High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.

Horses & Humans Improving Lives

aka High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.   |   Old Lyme, CT   |  https://www.highhopestr.org

Mission

High Hopes Mission is to foster a vibrant community where horse and human interactions improve lives.

Ruling year info

1979

Principal Officer

Kitty Stalsburg

Main address

36 Town Woods Rd.

Old Lyme, CT 06371 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Lower Connecticut Valley Educational Riding Association

EIN

06-0987749

NTEE code info

Rehabilitative Medical Services (E50)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

When High Hopes was established in 1974, the vision was to provide individuals with disabilities an improved quality of life through therapeutic riding. At that time, the majority of the people served had cognitive and/or physical limitations that prevented them from making connections with others, feeling the freedom of movement, or gaining an improved sense of self and accomplishment. Over the years, while still addressing the needs of this population, the demand for services for other disabilities has influenced the development of our programming. Today, for the nearly 1,700 people we serve annually, the diagnoses are more varied and include a broader range of physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities. We have added several new programs to meet the ever-changing needs of our participants including veterans with PTSD, families at risk of abusive relationships and children with challenges in educational settings.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Therapeutic Riding & Driving Programs

High Hopes programs serve people with physical, behavioral, and developmental disabilities. These programs include therapeutic riding, carriage driving, unmounted Equine Learning Programs and other equine facilitated activities. In addition, we manage over 600 volunteers and offer structured volunteer opportunities for disadvantaged populations. High Hopes offers the PATH Intl approved Instructor Training Course to students from all over the world who wish to become certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors. Our goal is to prepare individuals to plan and implement safe, effective therapeutic riding classes. As a presenter of the Instructor Training Course, High Hopes has met and exceeded stringent requirements for the content and methods of presentation. High Hopes is affiliated with Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut. The High Hopes Instructor Training Course is offered as an option for students as part of the Bachelor of Science Degree in Equine Management. Continuing education is part of the culture of High Hopes, and we offer workshops, lectures and riding clinics throughout the year. Many of these activities are available not only to our Instructor Training Students, but to our participants, their families, volunteers, staff and members of the community.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Economically disadvantaged people

As a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center High Hopes serves our industry through a wide range of PATH Intl.-branded and High Hopes branded training programs.

Population(s) Served
Adults

A program focusing on Youth-at-Risk from disadvantaged locations.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

A range of veterans programs for those living with the effects of PTSD and other emotional disabilities as a result of their deployment

Population(s) Served
Veterans
People with psychosocial disabilities

Where we work

Accreditations

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association - Accreditation 2011

PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Therapeutic Riding Center 2018

Certified Horsemanship Association 2019

Awards

Horse Farm of Environmental Distinction 2019

US Dept. of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service

Affiliations & memberships

PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Therapeutic Riding Center 1979

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Health, Veterans

Related Program

Therapeutic Riding & Driving Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number served represents the number of individual people who have benefitted from any of our programs during the year.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with intellectual disabilities, People with physical disabilities, People with psychosocial disabilities

Related Program

Therapeutic Riding & Driving Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Our volunteers cover a wide range of activities: sidewalking, horse handlers, event committees, office helpers, summer camp helpers, horse feeders and barn buddies.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with intellectual disabilities, People with physical disabilities, People with psychosocial disabilities

Related Program

Therapeutic Riding & Driving Programs

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Although we encourage all of our volunteers to track the time they donate, we know that many do not record the hours that they contribute to committees, fundraising events and non-program activities.

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Therapeutic Riding & Driving Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Per Google Analytics

Number of animals with freedom from hunger and thirst

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Therapeutic Riding & Driving Programs

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We pride ourselves not only on the way our specialist herd is cared for, but how successful we are at bringing new horses into the program and providing homes for life for those being retired.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Program Goals
High Hopes will maintain a strong leadership role within the field of Equine Assisted Activities
and Therapies (EAAT) through the continued evolution and innovation of program services, ,
providing high quality, individualized programming. High Hopes will expand training and education activities that are impactful to the field on a local, national and international level.

Infrastructure
High Hopes will ensure that human and equine resources are positioned to support its programs into the future. High Hopes will ensure that its facility, land use and technology needs are positioned to support its programs into the future.

Finance Goal
High Hopes will create a robust financial model which will support program growth and innovation into the future.

Governance Goal
High Hopes will ensure that a governance structure is in place which supports a strong and diversified board capable of providing the leadership needed to fulfill the mission.

Program Action Steps
Examine current program services and design new offerings which will optimize existing resources while providing participants with enhanced experiences. Pilot satellite activities and, if found feasible, incorporate into High Hopes' long term plan. Expand training and education activities to include distance education and the development of High Hopes branded courses , thereby providing
a reliable revenue stream in support of High Hopes operations.

Infrastructure Action Step
Conduct organizational inquiries and capacity analysis to identify constraints in all areas
and respond by developing and implementing an optimal resource model.

Finance Action Steps
Analyze present and future projected expenses to identify and implement ways to increase efficiency and increase potential savings. Develop recommendations to address funding gaps including optimization of the fee structure and scholarship policies , expanded fund development efforts and
identification of new revenue generating activities.

Governance Action Steps
Examine current structure, policies and practices of the Board and committees to ensure that the
composition and activities of the Board are aligned with the needs of the organization. Increase engagement of staff and trustees in fund development activities through ongoing education, preparation and training. Increase diversity on committees and the Board to increase community involvement and to support a culture of innovation and philanthropy.

This past year we served nearly 1,700 individuals at High Hopes. This translates to over 10,000 Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. Each of these sessions signifies a participant making strides toward personal goals, making new and supportive connections with staff, volunteers, or horses, and learning new skills. These range from sitting on the horse with support, to gaining the trust of another living creature, to self-advocacy, all which benefit our participants in their daily lives. High Hopes achieves this with a full-time staff of 13 and a part-time staff of 12, together with our amazing 650 volunteers who show their commitment to our programs and our mission with every one of the 25,000 hours a year they donate to our mission.

Our financial management and corporate governance strategies are a model for others in our industry as well as other non-profits in our location and we are supported by a highly committed Board of Trustees who come from a wide range of backgrounds.

In 2018 we launched a $3m Endowment Campaign - "Share Hope" in order to strengthen our ability to provide need-based financial aid and rider scholarships. Through this, we will continue to ensure that nobody that could benefit from equine assisted therapies and activities is denied the opportunity based on their ability to pay.

Forty-four years ago Sis Gould pulled together a nomadic group of enthusiasts who believed in the power of therapeutic horsemanship and they took those skills (and horses) out to the Lower Connecticut Valley. Over time we have impacted the lives of many who never thought they would feel a special connection with a living being; who never knew they were capable of greatness, and who never took such pride in themselves and their achievements.

Today High Hopes is a world-class center, built on 127 acres of its own prime land in Old Lyme, Connecticut with 21 stalls, 30 acres of fenced paddocks and 3 miles of carriage riding and driving trails. We have 25 horses, a 15,000 sqft indoor ring and a year-round outdoor ring.

Each year approximately 625 volunteers ranging in age from 12 to 92, provide over 25,800 hours of their time to serve 1674 individuals with a wide range of physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. Between them, those individuals share 46 different diagnoses, many with dual and triple diagnoses. Of those participants, 73% ride, 10% drive, 14% take part in unmounted equine learning programs and 3% comes from our community in peer-programs like our integrated, inclusive summer camps. We serve over 10 school districts and over 56 towns.

We are also a PATH Intl. Premier Training Center and currently the only Riding Center offering the PATH Intl. Approved Instructor Training Course. Over the past 21 years, we have trained candidates from 29 US States and 19 different countries from Australia to Canada, Turkey to Brazil.

Late in 2017, we launched a $3m endowment campaign with which we seek to underwrite the progress that has been made over the past forty-four years and ensure that the organization is fit for the future. Only 3 months into that campaign we are already close to 1/3 of our goal and we look forward to achieving our goal within the next 18 months.

In terms of programming, we are constantly reviewing and reevaluating our offerings as we find new groups and individuals who can benefit from the very special connection between horses and humans. Most recently this has included: over 50 veterans through The Equus Effect program, children of veterans and currently active and deployed servicemen and women who are impacted by their families' sacrifice all with the support of the Bingham Foundation. We will continue to develop our Horses & Healing Programs which focus on disadvantaged Youth with partners such as Eversource Energy and Dominion Energy.

From a development perspective, we continue to build partnerships with organizations whose community goals align with our mission, thereby increasing the sustainability of all of our work.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To focus our marketing budget on the most cost effective mechanisms,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In Programming: We have extended our IMMERSION program to a wider group of children through a new program called MY PONY and ME. We have also added a new program to our line-up called REINS of EMPOWERMENT to address concerns in our community about self-image and self-esteem in middle school girls. We have reintroduced and adapted our VETERANS programs, and added a VETKIDS program to cater for this underserved group. We are also extending our Equine Learning Programs (unmounted) to offer a wider range of programs to those unable to ride. In Development: We are taking our development activities to our constituents and potential constituents in the city, rather than relying on them to come to us in our location. We are taking more of our fundraising online.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners, Our volunteers,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 5/24/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr Jacqueline Kangley

Community Volunteer

Term: 2019 - 2021

Sarah Hill Canning

Community Volunteer

Jeffrey Ridgway

Caulfield & Ridgway

Margaret Mummert

VCA Companion Animal Hospital

Deborah Welles

Exencial

Barbara Willkens

Dominion

James Scott Douglas

Danker Sellew & Douglas

Jane Bolles

Saybrook Country Barn

Hannah Metcalf Childs

Hannah Childs Interior Design

Mark Fader

The Williams School

Todd Machnik

Old Lyme Fire Department, Old Lyme Planning Committee and Machnik Bros. Inc.

Vicki Newton

Community Volunteer

Robin Schonberger

Community Volunteer

Peter Watt

Outdoor Sportsman Group

Jacqueline Kangley

Amelie Michel

Nancy Bulkeley

Dominion

John Catlett

Community Volunteer

Sarah Keenan

Community Volunteer

Gary Rogers

Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Connecticut

Greg Varga

Community Volunteer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/18/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/18/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.