High Hopes Therapeutic Riding
Old Lyme, Connecticut
High Hopes’ fosters a vibrant community where horses and human interactions improve lives.
High Hopes’ participants and the community will be enriched by the provision of unique and impactful services which respond to the changing needs of our community with flexibility, creativity and quality.
High Hopes is a 501(c) 3 non-profit established in 1974. It has been recognized as a Horse Farm of Environmental Distinction by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources conservation Service, an Equus Foundation Equine Guardian, and is recognized as a Platinum organization for transparency by Guidestar.
Our services include: therapeutic riding; therapeutic carriage driving; equine facilitated learning programs; equine facilitated psychotherapy; community riding programs and all-abilities/unified summer camps. We also provide dedicated programs for memory care; families recovering from abuse; veterans and their partners; children of veterans, deployed service personnel, and first responders. Our staff run field trips for nursing and residential/retirement communities and birthday parties. We also have a thriving volunteer corps, which in itself acts as a therapeutic activity for many of our volunteers.
We primarily serve individuals living with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities, but our therapeutic horsemanship services support both the individual and in many cases their family too, as they face their daily challenges.
The primary disabilities include autism, attention deficit disorder, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrom. spina bifida, developmental delay, mental retardation, visual and hearing impairments, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and amputation. Many of the children and adults we serve, including disadvantaged young people from inner cities, having learning or behavioral disabilities.
High Hopes is a leading site for Training & Education with interns and trainees traveling to the farm from across the U.S. and from any overseas countries.
High Hopes is also a hub within our community with events such as our Annual Holiday Market in November and our June Gala – the Big Barn Bash in June.
High Hopes operates 6 days a week, with volunteer and other activities taking place occasionally on Sundays. The facility is also available for private rentals by arrangement.
High Hopes has two semesters, the Academic Semester running from September thru May and the Summer Semester running June thru August. The Summer Semester also incorporates a range of specialized camps and community activities.
High Hopes is a recognized leader in providing volunteer opportunities to over 675 individuals in our community who are an integral part of daily life at our center. The work they do runs the gamut from serving our Board of Trustees and various committees to sidewalk (assisting a rider by walking alongside him/her and the horse and offering physical support and encouragement when needed) or leading a horse during a lesson. Others prepare our printed materials for mailing, manage our special events, care for our horses and assist with facility and pasture maintenance. Quality has always been a driving force behind High Hopes’ programs, and we are able to provide the highest quality of services to such a large participant base thanks to the outpouring of volunteer support we receive. They work our staff of humans and horses to ensure that we provide the best possible therapeutic riding and other equine assisted programs to all who come to High Hopes for help. These volunteers are an integral part of our programming and their knowledge and support are essential to our daily operations.