Laura Corsun: Founder and Executive Director
As the Founder and Executive Director, Laura is the woman behind all the magic. High & Mighty was founded in 2011 as a PATH Member Center, became a 501(c)(3) in 2013 and in 2019 became a PATH Premier Accredited Center. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without her whole-hearted dedication to the High & Mighty mission. Prior to founding High & Mighty, Laura obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a Masters in Education. Her role as the Executive Director is multi-faceted. Laura maintains the finances of the organization, develops the goals and mission of High & Mighty, provides leadership to the staff and volunteers, reports organization information to the board, and oversees the daily operations of High Mighty. She is also a PATH Certified Riding Instructor and a PATH Therapeutic Driving Instructor. Throughout these roles Laura finds enjoyment in the involvement of all aspects of our mission as well as in watching our participants, volunteers, staff and horses develop and change due to the work we do. It could be watching a horse drop their head and breath into a child’s hand, or an adult while riding who tells you they have never felt their body balanced before. When she has free time, Laura enjoys being outdoors, traveling, learning new things and spending time with friends and family. Laura is proud of what High & Mighty does, who we serve and is truly inspired by the community that supports us!
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is the future. Today is a gift.” – Bil Keane
Rachel Conaway: Coordinator of Programs and Equine Health, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
After graduating from SUNY Cobleskill with a Bachelors in Animal Science, Rachel joined the High & Mighty team in 2014 as an Instructor-in-training under Laura’s mentorship. In April of 2015, Rachel became a PATH certified instructor and began working part-time teaching lessons. Her dream of making equine assisted therapies a career came true in February 2018, when she became a full-time staff member. Her favorite part of being an instructor is watching a student master a skill that they have been struggling with. When she is not teaching, Rachel spends her time at the farm developing programs and keeping the herd in tip-top shape. Rachel enjoys each of their horses’ unique personalities and has a hard time choosing one that stands out as a favorite. She believes that they each excel at a different part of their job as therapy horses and she loves finding out what their strengths are. When she is not at work, Rachel can be found spending quality time with her husband Rhett and their daughter Harper. She also enjoys traveling to new places, trying new food, visiting with her horse Fly and cuddling her two cats; Talia and Wayne. In the future, Rachel would like to become certified as an Interactive Vaulting Instructor and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” -Winnie the Pooh
Rachel Ferreira: Volunteer Coordinator, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
We welcomed Rachel as the newest member of the High & Mighty team in June of 2020. Rachel is a graduate of SUNY Cobleskill and holds a Bachelor Degree in Animal Science with a concentration in Equine Science and a double minor in Equine Assisted Therapies and Agricultural Education. When she joined us at High & Mighty, Rachel took over the role of Volunteer Coordinator. To fulfill this role, she manages the training of all new volunteers, supports volunteers in their positions, coordinates volunteer continuing education and handles volunteer communication and relations. Her creative, hardworking and flexible personality allows Rachel to create engaging and fun lessons for her variety of participants. Rachel most enjoys that she is able to work with and learn from an amazing group of riders, volunteers, staff and horses. She has a difficult time choosing a favorite horse, but if she had to pick it would be Nemo. He has a playful and inquisitive, yet sensitive and serious personality. And he is also so fun to ride! When she is not at High & Mighty, Rachel can be found spending time with family and friends, listening to music, taking care of Otis the mini donkey, Matt the goat, and Daisy the sheep, gardening, baking gourmet cakes, or doing home improvement projects.
“Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6
Allison “Allie” Gleaton: PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor In-Training
Allie Gleaton joined the High & Mighty Team as an Instructor-in-Training in April, 2021 and was officially hired as a member of the staff on June 1st. Allie graduated from SUNY University at Albany in December 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Child Development. She recently submitted her application to become a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and is anxiously awaiting her results. Once she has completed this certification, she also hopes to become certified as a PATH Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. At High & Mighty, Allie teaches lessons and recently began the process of taking over our billing and invoicing. Her favorite part of her job is watching participants come out of their shells and gain confidence through working with horses. In her free time, Allie likes to kayak, take riding lessons to further her own skills, continue to learn American Sign Language, and FaceTime with her brother in California where she grew up.
“What is done in love is done well.”
Cindy Krewson: PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
In the spring of 2021, Cindy Krewson joined the High & Mighty team as a volunteer for our Spring Session. Before joining us, she volunteered, earned her PATH certification, and taught at GallopNYC in the city. When Cindy expressed an interest in expanding her teaching experience with our growing program, we were happy to oblige. In June 2021, she was hired as a part-time instructor! For Cindy, the most enjoyable part of teaching is the opportunity to facilitate moments of achievement, freedom, and pure joy for participants through a connection with horses. She has a special fondness for Spot since they are both relative newbies—they arrived with their own ways of doing things but are willing to learn and love being part of the team! When she is not at High & Mighty, Cindy enjoys traveling, exploring the city and countryside on foot, hearing live music, and going to the movies.
“Just because things hadn’t gone the way I had planned didn’t necessarily mean they had gone wrong.” -Ann Patchett, What Now?
Dianne Ortmann, MSW: Development Director
As Development Director, Dianne has one of the most important jobs on the farm. She is in charge of all things fundraising! This includes grant writing, appeal letters, event planning, board recruitment, acquiring new donors and maintaining our current donors. Without her, High & Mighty truly could not operate. Dianne has a special attachment to Cooper, because she and her daughter Louise are his owners! Cooper took such good care of Louise as her competition horse, that Dianne knew he would excel at taking care of our participants as a therapy horse–and she was right! Dianne enjoys seeing how Cooper and the other herd members benefit so many different people. When she is not busy at High & Mighty, Dianne enjoys riding, reading and watching movies with her family. Her family includes her husband Joe, daughters Tess and Louise, as well as two dogs, two cats and three horses.
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” – Winston Churchill
David Smith: Facilities Manager
If there was a prize for the longest employment, it would absolutely go to Dave! He has been with High & Mighty from the very beginning, since 2007 to be exact. As the Facilities Manager, Dave’s daily activities can have a vast range. Some of his duties include regular repairs and maintenance, clearing and creating trails, mowing the grass and fields, plowing snow in the winter, painting buildings and fences (as well as our fabulous signs!), helping with the care of the horses and jumping into program as a horse leader or sidewalker as needed. Honestly, if there is a job around the farm that needs to be done–Dave can do it! He is always coming up with clever ways to utilize his handyman skills, no matter what the challenge or request. High & Mighty truly could not operate efficiently without him. His favorite part of his day is opening the barn door in the morning and hearing all of the horses talk to him. He especially enjoys hearing Shorty. Dave has a soft spot for big horses and has always been drawn to Shorty’s gentle eye. When he is not hard at work, Dave enjoys hunting, fishing, metal detecting and spending time with his friends and family.
“Happiness is in wanting what you have, not in having what you want!”
Cindy Smith: Equine Advocate and Social Media Specialist
Cindy has been a member of the High & Mighty team for many years, but she officially joined our staff in 2018. Her initial job duties were mainly barn-related and included feeding horses, cleaning stalls, turnout and barn cleanliness. We soon discovered that Cindy had many more hidden talents! She is now the go-to for treating our herd’s cuts, scrapes, bumps and bruises as well as keeping us stocked up on homemade horse bug spray in the summer months. Cindy is also the manager of our High & Mighty Facebook and Instagram pages. Those adorable photos and funny posts that you see are all thanks to her. If you have had the pleasure of visiting our High & Mighty shop, you have also seen Cindy’s handywork. Several people (including Cindy!) create and donate handmade treasures for our families, visitors and community to purchase. Cindy works diligently to maintain a rotating stock of these items. Of her many roles, Cindy enjoys night check the most. There is something very special about the peaceful nature of being on the farm in the moonlight. When she is not on the clock, Cindy enjoys gardening, sewing, spending time with her family and summer field tripping with her grandsons. And of course, spending as much time as possible with Jack, the most handsome horse on the farm!
“Believe you can, and you’re halfway there!” T. Roosevelt
Ally Bray: Barn Assistant
Ally joined our team as a volunteer before we came to our senses and hired her as a member of our barn staff in 2014. As a volunteer she showed us that she was determined, ambitious and organized–all qualities that continue to make Ally a valued member of our team. The best part of Ally’s day is being able to interact with the horses. They each talk to her using the language only they have, and it requires her to know without words what they are conveying. One horse that Ally is an expert at communicating with is Sonya. Ally thinks that she and Sonya get along so well because of their similar personalities. She loves that Sonya is calm and collected and always listens when you give her 100% of your attention. Ally is currently a student at Columbia Greene Community College majoring in Social Science; she hopes to transfer to SUNY Cobleskill to major in Animal Science with a focus in Equine Science.
“You get what you give!”