Equine Activities and Therapies

The veterans who come to High Hopes are a diverse population and our goal is to provide services that meet their varying, individual needs.

The veterans who come to High Hopes are a diverse population and our goal is to provide services that meet their varying, individual needs.  The following is a brief description of the programs currently offered at High Hopes for our veteran population.

Why horses? | The Equus Effect | Horse Sense | Riding & Driving | Program Volunteering | Individual ELP

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Upcoming Dates for Veterans Programs at High Hopes

in conjunction with The Norwich Vet Center and The Equus Effect

Sept 14 – Oct 12, 2018 (Women’s Group)
Oct 19 – Nov 16, 2018
Nov 30 – Dec 21, 2018
Jan 18 – Feb 15, 2019
Mar 1 – Mar 29, 2019
Apr 5 – May 10, 2019

Why horses?

First a little background

For many individuals who have served in our military, the ability to remain relaxed in the present moment and make important connections with other people is more difficult than most of the general public.  Often, this is a by-product of PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Additionally, when serving in the military, there is a demand for all individuals to be acutely aware of their surroundings at all times due to the perilous conditions faced each day.  For many who have served, this hyper-vigilant state does not subside when returning to re-integrate into society.  Making connections with civilians is challenging often resulting in a sense of isolation even when returning to home, friends and family.

Equine-assisted therapy is proving effective with veterans for both physical and emotional rehabilitation, including for PTSD and brain injuries. These individuals need an environment that is non-restrictive and challenging. High Hopes’ programs for veterans focus on interactions between the horse and the individual and allows for risk-taking activities that build upon improving personal decision-making. Similarly, the outdoor environment at our 120-acre facility provides a healing and stress-relieving opportunity.

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The Equus Effect

A natural horsemanship program just for veterans

The Equus Effect @ HighHopes is a horsemanship program designed specifically for Veterans which builds upon the horse-human bond and its effects on healing, building, trust and improving relationship.  Currently High Hopes runs 7 EE@HH sessions throughout the year.  Each session is five weeks long with a maximum of eight participants per session.  Veterans can enroll in either one session of the program or continue to build upon the program’s impact by taking part in multiple sessions.

If you or someone you know could benefit from this program please contact us. High Hopes is also working with Vet Centers in referring veterans to this program and they support it with a clinician during each session.

Please download a poster to display in your premises

To register either contact the Norwich Vets Center or contact Megan Ellis, Program Director direct.

Community Award

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Military Community Support Award is presented to an organization “that has gone above and beyond to show support for our local men and women in uniform.”
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Individual and unaffiliated Veteran Participation


Veterans can enroll in High Hopes 27 week program in either therapeutic riding, carriage driving or our unmounted “Horse Sense program.”  These programs are separate from The Equus Effect @ High Hopes, but utilize much of the same healing power of the horse and can be a great follow up for alumni of the program or can be enjoyed on their own.

Program Volunteer

Helping others while working as a Program volunteer provides therapeutic benefits, while also enabling volunteers the opportunity to build beneficial equine relationships.  Volunteering is a great way to connect with the community and High Hopes volunteer support all aspects of our program from horse care to rider assistance to event support.

These other equine activities are offered:

Therapeutic Riding

High Hopes accommodates all four elements of therapeutic riding as defined by PATH Intl.: Recreation, Therapy, Sport, and Medicine in a unique way through our interdisciplinary team approach that includes the applied practices of both the Therapeutic Riding Instructor and licensed Therapists in the areas of Physical, Occupational, Speech and Language and Expressive Therapies.

Find out more

Carriage Driving

People with disabilities that restrict their movements, such as those who cannot easily transfer from a wheelchair, Image of smiling pair carriage driving can participate with the security of an adapted cart. Benefits include improvements in balance, posture, coordination and emotional well-being.

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Equine Learning

The Equine Learning Program curriculum is designed on an individual basis to accommodate each student’s needs and goals. The Equine Learning Program is an excellent way for individuals to develop confidence and become comfortable working with horses.

Find out more

To find out more information about our veteran services please contact:

Megan Ellis, Program Director
(860) 434 – 1974 ext. 116

Email Megan »