We did it! We were able to bring Beau (Windsong) home!

This past month, Xenophon ran a Go Fund Me campaign to help us purchase a new horse for the center. Thanks to the generosity of so many, we were able to purchase Beau, also known by his registered name of Windsong. We cannot thank our supporters enough! This was a huge purchase for the center and was only made possible through so many of you who contributed!

“Windy” as he is affectionately called now at the center, is an 8 year-old Halflinger gelding. He arrived at the center 3 weeks ago and is undergoing his isolation period and has already started his training. According to our Barn Manager, Linda, he is completely settled in and is advancing rapidly in his training. He seems to love the job and his curious disposition makes him unflappable no matter what Linda “throws” at him.

Halflingers originated in Austria and were bred primarily for carriage work and to navigate the steep hills of the alps. As such, they were bred to have a calm disposition, which makes them perfect for therapy work. In addition, they are smaller in stature but with big bones, this also makes them perfect for therapy work: they can carry large weight loads for their size, while making it very easy for sidewalkers! Windy started out life with an Amish family. He is broke to drive (pull a carriage) and we anticipate him being a super candidate for long-lining for Therapeutic Services.

While we appreciate the older horses in our herd, many of them are often with us for only a few years before they need to be retired. Those horses that we have brought in at a younger age, Kiwi, GoGo and Ozzie, have been with our program for many, many years. We are hoping that Windy will be with us for a very long time as well.

Again, a huge thank you to all who made the purchase of this special horse a reality for Xenophon.

Our 2024 Drive Through Crab Feed Was a Huge Success!

On February 9th, Xenophon held its 4th annual Drive Through Crab Feed. Started during the pandemic as a creative fundraiser, it allowed people to enjoy the yummy goodness of great Dungeness crab in the comfort and safety of their own home. Despite people being venturing out to events, and despite many organizations returning to large scale crab feeds in gyms and social halls, the concept stuck. Many folks still like the option of picking up a delicious crab dinner and enjoying it in the comfort of their home. Now, they invite their friends over and have a crab party!

We sold over 800 pounds of crab! That equated to over 165 dinners, some with extra bags of crab. Sourced from Alaska, the crab was big, juicy and delicious. Paired with a yummy caesar salad and a fabulous baguettte from Semifreddi’s, it was the perfect meal. We heard nothing but raves from those who ordered the Anna’s Seafood fresh clam chowder. That was a hit! And of course, there were cookies included for dessert.

A huge thank you goes out to all of our neighbors, friends, parents, volunteers and staff who bought dinners. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who stuffed bags, ran dinners out to cards, and kept track of orders. Acalanes NCL took on the huge job of bagging 350 cookies. Even more importantly, thank you to our sponsors: Semifreddi Bakery, Eric and Megan Lindberg, Diablo Foods, San Ramon Safeway, Pleasant Hill Safeway, Clayton Safeway, and Walnut Creek Safeway. It would not have been a successful fundraiser without your generosity.


We are up and running again and so excited to see so many smiling faces at the center! Tuesday, February 20th was our first day of classes after the winter break. Our 2024 got off to a good start, despite the pouring down rain for the first two lessons. Our Tuesday volunteers took in stride and children were weighed, helmets were secured and all participants mounted for their first lesson of the season. Wednesday’s and Thursday’s lessons also went off without a hitch thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers.

While the break allows staff to catch up on piling paperwork, we miss seeing everyone. It was fabulous to greet all of our volunteers at the pre-season trainings. But there is no doubt that the smiles on the riders’ faces were the highlight of the week. We thrilled in reconnecting to our returning families and getting to know new riders and their parents.

Welcome back! We look forward to an exciting and successful 2024!

Volunteer Training Part 2

Our second Volunteer Training Day was held on Saturday, February 3, 2024 and was another resounding success. We had over 60 volunteers come out to the center. The weather cooperated and while a bit brisk in temperature, we were fortunate to miss the Atmospheric River that hit on Sunday. Yet, again, our instructors did a great job imparting relevant information in an interesting and interactive manner, all of which stimulated great questions from our volunteers. The feedback was so positive, with many volunteers commenting on how much they learned. With such a fabulous cadre of volunteers, we are ready to open the 2024 season! Can’t wait to have everyone back here. A huge kudos to our staff for organizing and implementing such a great training.

Volunteer Training

Over thirty of our dedicated volunteers turned out for our first volunteer training of the season on Thursday, February 1st. We started out with a beautiful sunny day, but a few hours in that changed to a major rainstorm. They were not to be deterred! Rebecca, our Volunteer Coordinator, kept them moving smoothly through the scheduled workshops, covering such topics as Helmets and Experiential Activities, Mounts and Dismounts, Diagnoses, Horse Language, Holds, and Tack and Equipment. Our instructors, Haley, Laura F, Laura N, Annie, Heather and Jen presented a plethora of interesting information, providing hands-on opportunities with the horses and an immersion into the world of fine motor skill challenges that many of our participants struggle with!

We were so excited to see so many smiling faces. Xenophon requires a refresher training each year, and our volunteers always turn out in willing droves. The training serves as a reminder about safety protocols while also imparting new information. Many of volunteers have been coming to these trainings for years. Our volunteer, Diane, who has been with us for over 12 years said of today’s training, “This is the best one I have ever been to. It was a different universe. There was new information and the expertise of the instructors was amazing.” Annette, who has volunteered for Xenophon for over 10 years said that she always picks up 1-2 nuggets of information that she did not know.

We love imparting knowledge and empowering our volunteers to be the best at their jobs. For those who were unable to join today, we hope we see you out here on Saturday!

“Knowledge is power. Knowledge shared is power multiplied.” – Robert Noyce

Xenophon Staff….and Their Friends

Xenophon staff and volunteers got up close and personal to their mannequin friends during CPR training. They managed to turn a somewhat boring refresher course into a fun process with a little silliness and laughter. Thanks to our Barn Manager, Linda, for hosting the group in your beautiful home. Our staff are always working behind the scenes!

Volunteer Training

Volunteer trainings are coming up! Did you sign up for a date??? Our first one will be Thursday, February 1, 2024 from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. Our second date is Saturday, February 3, 2024 from 9:30 am – 12:30 am. Please contact Rebecca, rebecca@xenophontrc.org, to sign up.

Horse Handler Training

If you are a horse handler, we hope you have signed up for a refresher course! Horse Handler dates are February 10, 2024 from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm. Also on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm. Please contact Linda to sign up, linda@xenophontrc.org.

We are excited to get our 2024 year underway. We have missed you all and can’t wait to see your smiling faces back up at the center. As expected, Rebecca and Linda will have a fun and informative training planned. Even though these are required, they are not to be missed!!!

Instructor In-Service

Xenophon is fortunate to have a large number of very talented instructors, occupational therapists, a physical therapists and a physical therapist assistant on staff. These dedicated professionals take their job seriously and commit many hours, beyond those spent teaching in the arena, to further their education and ensure that they are current on industry practices and standards. This includes maintaining industry certifications, attending conferences, and taking on-line courses.

In keeping with this commitment, our fabulous group of professionals gave up their Saturday morning and braved the rain and wind to attend an in-service training at the center. This training included sharing knowledge gained from workshops attended at national conference, honing skills on teaching the “team” (participant, volunteers, and horse handler), best practices for addressing challenges experienced during lessons and a riding component. Adhering to Xenophon’s belief that learning and therapy should be fun, a bit of competitive “Family Feud” got everyone vying for best answer on addressing lessons challenges. And what better way to thoroughly focus on the movement of the horse than to be blindfolded and have to rely on your sense of feel to figure out which horse you are on? Huge kudos to staff for planning a fun, interesting and challenging training. Kudos to our instructors and professionals for rising to the challenge and sharing their wealth of knowledge. These are just some of the ways that Xenophon continues to work to provide state-of-the-art services!

All Work and No Play…Isn’t Healthy!

Many folks aren’t aware of all the work that goes on behind the scenes at Xenophon. During our winter break, while we are not running lessons, staff are working as hard as ever. Administrative tasks are caught up on, fundraiser execution and prep are going full bore, instructors are planning for next year. The list is endless. Once in a while, we all need a break. This past Monday, the Xenophon staff stepped out to have some holiday fun at Glowfari, the beautiful light display at the Oakland Zoo. It was a glorious evening with fabulous displays. If you have not gone, we highly recommend it! And just so you know, you are never too old to sit on Santa’s lap. Of course, his lap was not quite big enough for all 10 of us. It was a much needed reprieve, complete with a Merry-go-round ride. We really “let our hair down!”

Scouts are Busy at Xenophon

Xenophon has been lucky to be the beneficiary of two scout Eagle Projects this fall. Our young volunteer, Capri Filippenko, took on the project of winterizing the footing in one of our small paddocks above the roundpen. This area is needed to house horses in the winter, but in year’s past it became a mud pit due to poor soil. Capri’s project included leveling of the area, coordinating with 2 of Xenophon’s “fix it” men for placement of retaining wall blocks, then calculating and ordering materials. Lastly, donning shovels and gloves, all the new footing had to be moved into the paddock, evenly spread and tamped down. We now have horses housed in that area and it has held up beautifully through the first rain.

Danny Goldwyn’s project was the building of a new large pasture pasture on the back hill area of the center. This was a huge undertaking, requiring the setting of wood posts, placement of t-posts, stringing of hot wire, installing gates and installing the solar charging panel.

We are incredibly grateful for these dynamic, hardworking young people and that they chose Xenophon as the recipient of the Eagle Scout projects. Thank you Danny and Capri! Our horses thank you as well!