Our Staff

Laura R. Corsun

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 breathe 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!

A close up headshot of a woman, Laura R. Corsun, smiling and leaning forward

Laura R. Corsun

Founder and Director,
PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor,
PATH Certified Driving Instructor

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is the future. Today is a gift.”

– Bill Keane

Rachel Conaway

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.

A selfie of a young woman wearing a tie dye shirt next to a dark horse in a grass field

Rachel Conaway

H&M Deputy Director,
PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”

– Winnie the Pooh

Fin Seely

Fin Seely joined the High & Mighty Team in May of 2022. Fin attended the University of New Hampshire where she studied Therapeutic Riding and received her PATH certification. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing how well horses can mirror the emotions and energies of the participants. Along with her job as an instructor, Fin has also taken on 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. Fin grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her parents, younger brother and their beagle, Beasley; but now she lives just down the road in Philmont. In her free time, Fin enjoys reading, hiking, painting and gardening. 

A woman wearing a red knit cap and hugging a brown horse's neck and smiling outdoors

Fin Seely

Volunteer Coordinator,
PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

“Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ann Thiessen

We welcomed Ann as the newest member of the High & Mighty team in August of 2022. She is a SUNY Cobleskill graduate and holds PATH certifications as both a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. The ability to constantly learn and then teach others what she has learned is the most fulfilling part of Ann’s job. She enjoys providing safe and fun lessons to her students. Ann has bonded with Nemo throughout her time at High & Mighty and enjoys spending time working with him. Her hardworking, generous and honest spirit makes her a great fit for our team. When Ann is not at High & Mighty, she is working hard on her Masters Degree at NYU and loves to do anything that involves being outdoors. 

Ann Thiessen

PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, ESMHL

“Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”                                                     

Dianne Ortmann, MSW

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.

A woman in a white winter coat holding the lead rope of a dark brown horse and smiling in a horse's stall

Dianne Ortmann

Development Director

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

– Winston Churchill

David Smith

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.

A portrait of a man in a white print short with a white hat and mustache

Dave Smith

Facilities Manager

“Happiness is in wanting what you have, not in having what you want!”

– Dave

Ally Bray

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 in the process of becoming a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and is mentoring under our senior instructors as she undergoes this rigorous and rewarding journey.

A close up of a young woman cradling a Fjord's horse's head and smiling

Ally Bray

Barn Assistant

“You get what you give!”

– Allie

Paloma Talbott

Paloma has been a part of High & Mighty in one way or another for many years. She began as a barn and program volunteer, where her obvious skill and work ethic made hiring her an easy choice. At first Paloma only worked on the weekends, then expanded her hours to include some weekdays as well. Since then, Paloma has worked varying hours while pursuing her education and has most recently taken on more of an administrative role as our Interim Program Coordinator in addition to her barn role. Paloma is the first person that the horses see many mornings and she says it is the best part of her day. They are always so excited to get their hay and greet her in their own special way. When Paloma isn’t busy with her daily tasks on the farm; she especially enjoys spending time with Thomas. He has the cutest personality and never fails to make me laugh or put a smile on my face.

Paloma Talbott

Barn Assistant and Interim Program Coordinator

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending”

                                 -C.S. Lewis


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