Darin moved to Arizona in 1996 after serving in the United States Army. He worked at Honeywell Defense & Space Systems for 15 years as an Electronics Test Engineer. Darin and his wife, Maricela, have a
two-year-old daughter, Addisyn and a 9-month-old son, Isaac, along with two dogs (George & Chelsey) and four tortoises.
Darin began volunteering at Horses Help in 2005 and really enjoys coaching and working directly with the riders. He has worked with one rider for the past 15 years and had to learn greater horsemanship skills as the rider progressed. Currently, he horse leads and coaches Saturday morning classes.
In his limited free time, he likes to bike ride, hike, go to hot yoga class and do yard work. He also welds and enjoys making furniture and art.
Valerie loves the outdoors and traveling. Her favorite travel spot is Australia, but she loves exploring any new location when she has the chance.
Since she volunteers as a Garden Gnome, it comes as no surprise that her favorite location at Horses Help is the North Garden. There she can get her hands dirty while enjoying the peace and quiet the area offers. Valerie is a very hard worker so therefore is always looking for more ways to be involved.
Louise was born and raised in Highland Park, IL as the youngest of seven children. She has two children and two grandchildren. She loves her Arizona home where she can enjoy the outdoors and go on a variety of adventures.
In her free time Louise loves to ride her motorcycle to music events, car shows and swap meets. She loves old and rusty things that have a lot of character. She also enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, who call her Noni.
Louise started volunteering at Horses Help to feed her passion for working with horses and children. She did not have any prior experience in the world of Equine Assisted Activities, but she finds it very rewarding seeing how time with the horses enriches the lives of the participants.
Stacey is fairly new to Arizona, having moved here from Darien, CT just over 5 years ago to be closer to her daughter. She is a proud single mother of one adult daughter and her two Papillon, Maestro & Copernicus. In her spare time she loves to be at the polo fields, either doing photography or helping with the ponies. Stacey also loved going to the Phoenix Comicon every year and getting pictures with her favorite actors.
Stacey has always loved volunteering and helping others. She volunteered for many years in Darien as a volunteer firefighter, and was able to start many beneficial programs for children. It is that love of helping others and a love for horses that brought Stacey to Horses Help.
Patricia R. was born in Los Angeles, CA but raised in Phoenix, AZ. She spent the first 10 years of her married life in Seattle, Washington until moving back to Phoenix to be near family. She raised her three children in Cave Creek. Patricia became a pharmacy technician at 17 and worked for several hospitals throughout her career. She is now retired and loves spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Due to a suggestion from Heather, her daughter, Patricia began helping at Horses Help and now, to the enjoyment of all, spends a lot of time volunteering. Patricia is a wonderful helper around the barn and is always willing to step in wherever there is a need. She always has a smiling face and positive attitude. She loves coming out to Horses Help because as she says, “The people are great, it’s a lot of fun, and of course you get your exercise!”
Jenni came to Horses Help from Philadelphia, PA. She and her husband have been married for 33 years and have three children and one granddaughter. Jenni and her husband moved to Arizona to be closer to their granddaughter. Here are some fun facts about her:
• She grew up with a special needs sister
• She began riding horses when she was 13 years old
• Her favorite thing is to see her granddaughter grow and develop as she gets older
• She loves being in Arizona with all of its new experiences
• She has been instrumental in developing a partnership between her employer, Farmers Insurance and Horses Help.
Jenni does a little bit of everything in the barn, from cleaning stalls to horse leading for classes. She truly gives her all every time she comes out. Jenni loves being at Horses Help because she loves what the horses and the people do for the participants.
Heather comes to Horses Help from Cave Creek, Arizona. She received her first horse, Meika, when she was four years old and he remained part of her family for 25 years. She is a huge animal lover who currently has four cats, a dog and a horse. Heather has been a dog groomer for over 12 years and currently is grooming at a local animal hospital.
After driving by for years, Heather stopped by to learn what Horses Help does and this began her volunteering contribution. Heather is the Wednesday night Barn Lead, who always makes room in her busy schedule to help others with their tasks. She loves spending time both in the barn and in classes. Her favorite aspect is seeing the joy on our participants’ faces when they are spending time with our wonderful herd.
Christina was born and raised in Phoenix, and she loves it here despite the heat! She started volunteering at Horses Help three years ago when she decided to get back into working with horses after a few years off due to asthma. Christina is a strong leader and is always very welcoming to the new volunteers she meets through her role as the Tuesday night Barn Lead. She helps out in many different ways including exercise riding, summer enrichment programs, and many Horses Help special events. Outside of Horses Help, Christina loves creative writing. and currently has a book and a half written of her trilogy. She is a full-time student at Paradise Valley Community College where she is a recipient of the Presidential Honors Scholarship. In the future she plans on transferring to a university to pursue a Bachelor degree in English. After she graduates, she plans on pursuing a career as a full-time author.
Kaylan was born and raised here in Phoenix, Arizona. She is currently attending
and preparing to graduate from Pinnacle High School in May of 2018. Upon graduating she plans on joining the Marine Corps. Kaylan volunteers at Horses Help because she is a true believer in its mission to serve the special needs community. Kaylan always takes the initiative to help others and always looks for ways she can be of assistance. Outside of Horses Help, Kaylan loves to travel, go hiking, fishing and go to the gun range with her father.
Great Job Kaylan, we love having you here at Horses Help!