One student's story
Las Campanas Compadres offers therapeutic riding and swimming lessons to people with special needs at the world class facilities of The Club at Las Campanas. Lessons are free and fully supported by private donations.
John Romero has been a student since the program’s beginning. Both John and his mother, Darlene, serve on the charity’s board. John is 24 years-old with cerebral palsy, cortical visual impairment and scoliosis.
Darlene tells us, “The rocking movement of riding a horse motivates John to come out of ‘stuck’ patterns which usually keep him from moving freely. Sitting upright and having to use his core strengthens his trunk.”
John tells us, “It was really exciting for me when LCC purchased a special saddle that allows me to ride more independently. I can hold the reins and ride the horse instead of going for a ride on a horse. that’s exciting. I took the saddle to an assistive technology seminar I was co-teaching and presented it as an effective assistive technology device that makes riding possible and even more enjoyable for people with disabilities.”
Darlene tells us, “Putting aside the many hippotherapy benefits, John simply has fun and looks forward to a good time with his LCC volunteers and teacher, who he calls his ‘posse.’ Because the LCC programs include setting goals and practicing skills, John consistently experiences feelings of accomplishment. Riding boosts his self-esteem and gives him confidence to set goals in other areas of his life.”
Currently John is pursuing a media arts certificate, is a volunteer videographer during the summer with Pandemonium Productions, is a LCC board member, and represents LCC in the community to promote its programs.
John tells us, “I feel like I can do what I need to do. Sometimes I don’t succeed at school or other activities. but when I can go to the LCC programs, I feel 100 percent better because there, I do succeed.”
For the past four years, Las Campanas Compadres has held a mini tri-fundraising event on the grounds of the club at las campanas. This is the charity’s only fundraising event and its success ensures the continuation of this worthwhile program. This year’s event will be held on Labor Day, September 2. Expectations are for 200 participants.
To learn more about the event, or the program and how you can help, please visit www.lascampanascompadres.org.
This is the first in a four-part series of articles about this local and worthy charity which offers therapeutic horseback riding and swimming lessons to people with special needs.