May 25, 2022

Hartford Foundation Awards $5K to High Hopes to Support Programs

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to support its programs delivering more than 7,300 horsemanship lessons per year to children and adults with disabilities.

The grant will help High Hopes support its mission to improve the lives of people with cognitive, physical and emotional disabilities through the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities, while serving the therapeutic riding profession through training and education.

“At a time that is difficult for everyone, we are so grateful that the Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation has selected High Hopes for such a generous gift,” said Kitty Stalsburg, executive director of High Hopes.  “This gift will be used to help keep our therapeutic horsemanship programs among the best in the country.”

Before his death in 2008, Mr. Garmany, a former executive at Aetna, created a donor-advised fund at the Hartford Foundation through his will. Since then, 27 grants totaling more than $500,000 have been awarded to support more than two dozen nonprofits, including Hartford Hospital, the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and the Connecticut River Watershed Council.

Generous gifts like this have allowed High Hopes to enjoy the significant growth that it has experienced since its inception in 1974, said Stalsburg.  At that time, High Hopes had one instructor, eight riders, ten volunteers, borrowed horses, tack and equipment.  In fiscal year 2009/2010, High Hopes served over 1,800 individuals with the help of 25 horses specifically trained for therapeutic riding and more than 590 volunteers who contributed over 34,000 hours of their time.

“We’ve come a long way since 1974 thanks to our partners, contributors and volunteers.  We look forward to a successful 2011,” said Stalsburg.

High Hopes is one of the oldest and largest therapeutic riding centers in the United States, operating since 1974 and accredited by NARHA (formerly the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association) since 1979. High Hopes primarily serves the citizens of Southeastern Connecticut, providing horsemanship lessons to children and adults with disabilities and is committed to providing the highest quality of services to the community. Of the more than 800 programs that are members of NARHA, High Hopes is one of only six centers in the United States approved by NARHA to provide their training courses in therapeutic riding instruction and has trained over 180 instructors from all over the world. High Hopes is located at 36 Town Woods Road, Old Lyme, CT  06371.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for the 29-town Greater Hartford region, dedicated to improving the quality of life for area residents for the past 85 years.  The Foundation receives gifts from thousands of generous individuals and families and, last year, awarded grants of more than $25 million to a broad range of area nonprofit organizations.  For more information about the Hartford Foundation, visit or call 860-548-1888.