Author Archives: Jean Johnstone

Summer Camp Smiles

This year we mixed it up and brought new experiences and creativity to all our campers. Of course our horses are always the main attraction and along with riding lessons, our campers practiced leading their horse through an obstacle course, mixing up feed and supplements (and why), ranking scary objects from their horse’s perspective, horse anatomy, horse musical stalls, and understanding the non-verbal horse communication cues.

Then we added in two guest artists who refreshed our creativity for all our senses. Katie Shaw brought her Dragon Child characters, drawings, heroes and hand-made puppets which engaged our campers on many levels, including one camper who started her own hero story complete with drawings! We discussed what superpower you and your horse may have and later made hero sashes to take home.

Jocie Percell, Creative Vibes Music Therapy, arrived with egg shakers for all, getting the juices flowing, our voices, and our hips! Using her voice and guitar, she engaged us with different types of music and how they made us feel. Then we brought in the horses and our campers played to them, watching their reactions…from curious to bouncing to the beat. Our herd loved their rhythm!

Add in a nature trail ride, learning about native plants at Xen, forming their own seed balls to plant, art, bubbles, face painting, and the Golden Gate Garrisson who gave the Star Wars touch to our badge ceremony.

Check out lots more Summer Camp Smiles …including new buddies smiles, horse smiles, and the greatest volunteers in the world smiles!


We have an exciting lineup of extremely immersive experiences to bid on during our Live Auction! YOU can swim freely with dolphins for a week, indulge in Napa wine, wine, wine, and culinary delights paired specifically with more wine, head to Nashville for a week of southern hospitality, and make yourself at home at a 16th Century French Chateau! OR maybe you prefer a road trip down the California coast, up to Tahoe, golfing at Pebble Beach, OR a family day at Xenophon with our herd! Whatever your interest, we have a journey for YOU!

Check out all our LIVE AUCTION LOTS!

Special Resource for You & Your Family

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

and as you gather with family and friends over this holiday season, we wanted to tell you about a resource to share.

A loved one and their care partner (spouse, adult child, sibling, friend) may be living with the challenges of memory loss, impacting their quality of life. If so, did you know that Xenophon, in partnership with Connected Horse, facilitates therapeutic equine-guided workshops focusing on memory loss and the underlying relationship challenges?
These workshops are based on a three year research study conducted at Stanford University and UC Davis, and are designed to reduce stress, improve sleep patterns, and enhance communication, all through interactions with our therapy horses. If you don’t have the time for this yet, you can still lessen your stress levels by playing FM카지노.

The four week workshops benefit both the person living with dementia and their primary care partner, while providing a new shared experience, a new opportunity for social connection.

 “I really can’t explain it, but [my relationship with my wife] has changed, I don’t know if she’s less anxious because I’m less stressed or if I have less stress because she’s less anxious. All I know is that since we worked with the horses, our relationship is much better.”  – Connie, CH Participant

  • Horse experience is not a requirement
  • Participants engage with our trained horses from the ground, no riding
  • Participants must be ambulatory
  • FREE to participate; however donations are gratefully accepted!

Please share this information as a family and contact us for additional details, to ask questions, or send a donation.

 “I really can’t explain it, but [my relationship with my wife] has changed, I don’t know if she’s less anxious because I’m less stressed or if I have less stress because she’s less anxious. All I know is that since we worked with the horses, our relationship is much better.” – CH Participant

“Working with horses has helped bring me an emotional awareness, which helps deal with stress and feelings of sadness.  I better understand nonverbal communication and find gratitude in my life. It’s also a shared experience that my mother and I can both fall back on when times are hard.” – CH Participant

Blockbuster Hollywood Thank You!

Thank you for all your support for our first Fundraiser Gala in two years! It was a blockbuster, raising over $122,000, with the help of a huge cast of supporters – gala attendees, sponsors, volunteers, donors, streaming watchers, auction winners, families, staff, wineries, and our entire passionate community. Check out our heartfelt guest speakers and hear Kaleo’s true words – I Am Not A Disability, See Me For My Strengths!

Celebrating our Volunteers & Retiring Instructors/Therapists

We get an opportunity to do something wonderful, put our week in perspective, be a part of a family, we give all our participants a welcoming, safe place to be themselves, we give them a team, a smile, we give them control that they don’t always have in other aspects of their lives …Thank You to our amazing Volunteers! We gathered together for the first time in 2 years to celebrate our amazing Volunteers and give a special send-off to our retiring Instructors…we tried to match their passion, humor, and energy! Thank you to Diablo Foods for a delicious lunch, Loard’s Ice Cream (Orinda) for a show-stopper dessert, and Janet for our Martinelli toasts!

Thank you to our Volunteers who bring “family” to Xen every week…welcoming our participants with a smile, enveloping them with a caring team and an attitude of “be who you are”. And we thank our families and participants for sharing their joy, and our equine partners who teach us how to bring unconditional love.

We Need All of You to Make it Work!


Two groups of campers for a week at Xenophon…jam packed with activities! Of course they rode their favorite Xennie, and also learned how to play Musical Stalls…think musical chairs on steroids! Ride a 1000lb. horse in a circle until the music stops, steering through twist & turns to squeeze into a rectangular space without bumping heads or getting a tail slap!  Our horses were great sports through all the games, including bobbing for apples and painting modern art abstracts with their campers. More paint flowed for their succulent pony planters and everyone’s favorite…tie-dyed camp shirts!

They worked all week on their badge – Horse Sense – about how horses communicate, their body language, and herd dynamics. Not only did they observe our herd and discuss the details, but they all donned ears and tails to act out scenarios and get the feel for typical herd interactions. There was time for creativity each day, plus artwork, games, a photo booth, cooking horse cookies, peer interaction, mic drops, and just being a kid!

As challenges continue, we’re grateful for our parents and donors who made Summer Camp Fun possible! Thank you to all our amazing volunteers who helped share the memories with our campers and bring our plans to life! And speaking of plans, Thank You Rebecca, Jen, Hillary, Lindsay, Barbara, Mimi, Danielle, Rachel, Linda for designing a creative & flexible schedule that kept everyone engaged and the smiles flowing!  

Judy Lazarus, our Founder

A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. The Lazarus Family would like to invite family and friends to attend funeral services on Thursday, July 15th at 11am, to be held at Santa Maria Church in Orinda. A reception will follow.

In Judy’s honor, the family has set up a memorial fund and if anyone is so inclined, you can make a donation to support Xenophon and continue Judy’s passion to provide life-changing experiences for our vulnerable community.

Support Xenophon through the Judy Lazarus Memorial Fund
You can also mail a check to Xenophon TRC at PO Box 16, Orinda, CA 94563