Meet the Herd
Visit this page and get to know all of our beautiful & intelligent horses who live for their work. These amazing creatures have been working wonders for years.
Aladdin, better known as “Al”, was born in 1996. He is a palomino Miniature Horse gelding. At 9.1 hands Al is actually quite tall for a mini. He has his own carriage, which he enjoys pulling. Al and his best friend Smokey are thick as thieves. They have been known to take down fence rails in their paddock to sneak out and eat grass in a neighboring pasture.
Baby is a chestnut Quarter Horse mare born in 2009. Petite at 14.1 hands high, Baby is an ideal mount for our youngest riders. Calm, level-headed and wise for her age, Baby is open to new experiences and ways of working. This very dear little horse lives up to her name in cuteness and defies it in maturity.
Bella is a 15 hand Quarter Horse mare. She came to High Hopes in the fall of 2011 and quickly became a favorite of staff, volunteers and participants. She was trained to be a reining horse, a western discipline that requires the horse to be smart and agile to perform specialized movements. She was retired from reining at the young age of 12, and is happy living a slower lifestyle at High Hopes. Bella has smooth, slow gaits that are easy to ride. She is happy to carry our littlest riders.
Blessing was born and raised to be a racehorse who pulls a carriage on the track – called a “pacer”. Blessing raced until he was 6 and earned nearly $40,000 in his career. After his retirement from racing, he was brought to East Haddam for retraining to work as a pleasure driving horse. He came to High Hopes in 2013 as a 9 year old. He is a smart and funny horse who loves to drive!
Although Buddy is one of the largest horses in our herd, he is also one of the sweetest. He has a gentle nicker that he makes when he is waiting for his dinner. You may notice that his tail is docked as is customary for his breed, Percheron. He also has a very thick mane and hooves the size of dinner plates! As you can imagine, Buddy loves to eat, and he likes to be fed at the same time each day. He will stand waiting at the gate for his feed to arrive…so don’t be late!
Candy is a Clydesdale and Hackney cross born in 1995. Her skill as a driving horse brought her to High Hopes, where she is the anchor of our driving program. Candy’s summer coat is stunning, dark and glossy. She doesn’t have a bit of ego even though all the geldings admire her when she passes by. Candy has shared a pasture with many of our horses at different times and she quickly becomes best buddies with each of them.
Chip is a 14.2 hand Appaloosa gelding who was born in 1993. Chip came to High Hopes in the spring of 2011 from a barn in CT where he worked teaching students to jump. Chip has to wear sunscreen on his nose in the summer – otherwise he gets a sunburn! Chip is very social, he loves to nicker at passers-by and has become fast friends with all the horses he shares a pasture with.
Fanny is a 16.1 hand Paint/Percheron cross mare who was born in Massachusetts in 1995. Most recently, Fanny was owned by a Connecticut family who rode her on long trail rides with their grandchildren. Fanny’s laid back attitude and comfortable gaits make her a favorite with our riders and instructors. Plus, she’s very pretty!
Born in 1993, Gavin is confident and sure-footed. A 16 hand high Swedish Warmblood gelding, he brings extensive education in a wide variety of disciplines to our herd. He is well-versed in his training and confident in his work. A talented and natural athlete, Gavin is pleasant to ride and a delight to watch move.
Gracie is a Paint mare who came to High Hopes in the winter of 2010. Despite her breed, she is mostly solid colored and does not have traditional Paint markings. Born in 1999, Gracie’s gentle, sweet and friendly nature makes her a perfect fit for our programs. She has a big, bouncy trot which helps our riders learn to post.
Half Pint †
†Half Pint is an Irish Sport Horse born in Ireland and imported to the United States to work in the sport of fox hunting. His registered name is “Bally Foran” and he was born in 1992. Half Pint is a sturdy mount but is not very tall, so he can carry a wide variety of riders comfortably.
Hummer is a Percheron cross gelding born in 2000. He arrived at High Hopes in 2010. Before that, he enjoyed jumping and going on hunter paces with his owner. Hummer’s big heart and quiet demeanor makes this gentle giant a great mount for people learning new riding skills. Hummer is fascinated by watching our driving horses pull their carriages.
Latino came to High Hopes in 2000 from New York where he had been enjoying fox hunting, hunter paces and dressage. He is best known for his calm, cool and collected demeanor. Although he is one of the largest horses in the herd he is extremely gentle, patient and kind. Latino is also known for his lack of speed in the arena. He is an easy going mover who does not like to exert too much energy to go any faster than he thinks is necessary. We love his logic!
A Dutch Warmblood gelding, Neon was imported from Holland in 2000. 16.2 hands tall, this handsome bay has four stockings, a star, a strip and a snip. With an extensive history of travel and competition in the hunt seat discipline, Neon is a sage, social horse who enjoys human attention. Neon has become a sought-after mount because he is comfortable to ride and has large, smooth strides.
Nifty came to High Hopes in 2002 at the age of 14. A registered Quarter Horse, he performed in English, Western and Reining competitions. He has a lovely smooth trot. Nifty has a very unique coat color called “dun” which makes him really stand out in a crowd. Nifty’s very long tenure as a therapy horse is very special, he is really a great guy!
Oliver is a pony gelding Born in 1994 and is 13.2 hands tall. Oliver previously lived on Long Island, NY where he taught young riders to jump. Now enjoying a slower work pace, he is happy to teach our riders the ins and outs of riding at the walk, trot and canter. Oliver’s coat color is known as a chocolate palomino, meaning his body color is dark grey to almost brown while his mane and tail are blonde. He is very handsome!
Petra is a Norwegian Fjord mare born in 1995. She is a brown dun with a dorsal strip. Her mane is “roached” to show off her two-toned coloring. She serves High Hopes’ participants by being one of our most stoic, reliable and tolerant horses. Petra is exceptional for many reasons…she came to work at High Hopes at the very young age of four years old!
Smokey came to High Hopes in the summer of 1998. A Shetland pony, he is one of the smallest members of our herd. What he lacks in height he makes up for with his flowing mane and tail and his big personality. Although now retired from traveling, Smokey was a long time Delta Society Pet Partner. He made several special appearances in the community as a representative of High Hopes and has even appeared on TV Channel 12 and 8!
Summer is a Clydesdale mare born in 2001. She is the same breed as the Budweiser horses and has the classic Clydesdale color and markings including the long white hairs on her legs known as “feathers”. Summer came to High Hopes in 2016 and is ridden by many of our adult riders who are learning to steer and to post the trot!
Before coming to High Hopes in the summer of 2009, Taylor’s career as a show horse was very successful. He was the CT Horse Show Association’s Quarter Horse Hunter Under Saddle Champion in both 2004 and 2005! At High Hopes, Taylor enjoys socializing with his friends and he loves to go for rides on the trail. Regardless of where he is being ridden, Taylor is very responsive to his riders and he appreciates a soft touch.
Teddy, born in 1998, is a high-spirited 14.2 hand bay Morgan gelding. Teddy is full of personality and likes to work hard. Teddy is a “people horse” and genuinely becomes sad when he has a day off! Teddy was born at the University of Vermont in their world famous Morgan breeding program.
Vixen joined the herd in the spring of 2011. She is a draft cross mare and was born in 2002. Vixen has a great sense of humor, is friendly and curious, not to mention fun to ride!