Since their humble beginnings in 1993, High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program has grown and expanded, but has always stayed true to their mission to improve the well-being of people with special needs. As one of the early therapeutic riding organizations, they were the first program in Vermont to meet the PATH Intl standards and receive “Premier Accreditation.”
They have continued to shape the future of the industry during their 26 years of service by developing and piloting programs to better help those with special needs. Now, they offer five different programs that clients can choose from. They offer traditional horseback riding, in private lessons or small group lessons, as well as Hippotherapy. The first hippotherapy program began in 2000, with 11 riders in one day – and this program continues to successfully help people today.
High Horses also offers a program called Connections, that helps reduce stress, relieve depression, and overcome anxiety. For riders over 50 years old, they have a Grey Horse Program that helps senior citizens with balance problems, decreased mobility, or other impairments. They also offer a program called Operation Unbridled Freedom – designed for Veterans, and led by a marine veteran.
One veteran came to High Hopes for a workshop they were offering. He walked into the barn with a pronounced limp, wincing with pain each step, and leaning on his cane. He started to come more often to the barn – volunteering, helping in the programs, and grooming the horses. He began to bond with the horses, and decided to ride in one of the programs.
Nicole Jorgensen, one of the staff members at High Horses, says that one day she walked into the barn and saw the cane that this veteran needed at first, leaning against the wall near the helmets shelf. Nicole shares, “our veteran arrives each week, walks with barely a limp and no one has ever seen the cane again. I feel like it’s our little miracle.”
In addition to the programs offered right now, High Horses is also piloting a SAGE program for riders fighting cancer and suffering chronic illnesses, and a Driving Program for horse and carriage riding. These future programs will provide even more options for those looking to enjoy the benefits of their programs.
Their beautiful new facility located in the Upper Valley region of Vermont has an outdoor ring, an indoor ring, and beautiful new barn stables. It’s home to 14 horses that help with the programs. They vary from small miniature horses to large Irish Draught Horses; each horse has happy riders and is lovingly cared for by volunteers and staff.
Visit their website below to learn more about their programs or donate below.
How to Contact This Farm:
138 Horse Farm Road Box 278
Sharon, VT 05065