Meet our four-legged therapists! SDTR's horses are carefully chosen and trained to work with new riders and remain cool and calm in lessons. Each has his or her own personality, and participants often form a bond with the horses they ride.

Stormy is a Quarter Horse gelding in his mid-20s. Stormy was formerly loaned to us by his previous owners but then was donated to the program in November 2015. Stormy's smaller build makes him a perfect fit for our riders who require a narrower base. Stormy is very patient and responsive to our riders. He quietly stands still as riders play 'horseketball' or reach for stuffed animals on the posts.
Calypso is a 14-year-old American Bashkir Curley and Paint mare. She was born on Laurie and Stan Vonasek’s farm and raised to be a driving/riding horse using natural horsemanship training methods. Calypso was imprinted by Laurie at birth. Imprinting is a process of intense and specific handling of a foal immediately after birth. It is believed by proponents to create less reactive horses, who are more manageable and accepting of handling. At two years old she was trained to drive by Stan Vonasek and George Parris. Today she is a very safe and consistent driving horse. At 3 years old, Laurie began gradually riding her and progressed to trail riding and doing obstacle courses. Calypso loves people and enjoys new tasks and challenges. Her experiences and training have made her an excellent horse to work with people of all ages and abilities. Calypso is loaned to SDTR by Laurie and Stan as a free lease. Laurie spends a lot of time with Calypso to help her adapt to her new career and assist with her training.
Gulliver’s Travels
Gulliver is a 24 year old registered American Mustang who is owned by Kelsey Hyneman – one of the SDTR instructors. Gulliver, or Gully for short, is a handsome 15.1h gray gelding who has had previous experience in the show ring, as well as at another therapeutic riding program. He is sweet, patient and loves to be groomed! SDTR is grateful to have Gully utilizing his skills in our lesson program!
All That Spice
All That Spice, or Stewie for short, is a 14-year-old registered American Mustang who is owned by Kelsey Hyneman – one of SDTR’s instructors. Stewie is a handsome 15.2 h Chestnut gelding. He is smart, playful and mischievous! This makes him a great fit with the participants in our program! He loves to be groomed and has a slow, gentle gait that participants enjoy! SDTR is excited to have this younger horse in our herd!
Izzy Reel
Izzy Reel "Izzy" is a 18 year old American Standardbred gelding. The American Standardbred was developed in New England in the early 1800s by a melting pot of horses who were trotted, paced, and raced both under saddle and harness. Izzy spent most of his life racing under harness before coming to SDTR.

Once Izzy was finished with his racing career he went to a rescue in Delaware that specializes in finding good homes for Standardbreds who no longer race. The rescue contacted SDTR because of his calm personality. They thought he would make a great therapy horse.

He arrived at SDTR in June of 2022. Izzy’s orientation to his new job has gone very well. Izzy has a very good steady and thinking mind. He is curious and wants to please. He has been learning his new job willingly with the help of a professional trainer and volunteer trainers. We are excited to welcome Izzy to the SDTR program!
Holly is a 14.2 hand Fjord/Percheron Cross. The Percheron is a draft breed that originated in western France. The Fjord breed is one of the oldest horse breeds in existence today and was first domesticated in Norway. Holly was originally a driving horse and has been all over the busy roads in Pennsylvania and Delaware! She has also had riders of all ages on her including little ones in lead line classes.
Holly loves attention and is nicknamed “the Goat” because she eats everything plant related plus peppermints. Holly has smooth gaits with a forward walk. Her wide yet short stature makes her an excellent therapy horse for our participants and volunteers! We are very excited to have Holly join the SDTR team as one of our 4-legged therapists!
Pilgrim is a 22-year-old Paint Quarter Horse mare with impeccable training. Her owner, a Natural Horsemanship trainer, has trained Pilgrim in multiple disciplines from western to dressage. Pilgrim has also done Liberty work with her owner which involves communication between the person and horse that is free of any tack or equipment. Pilgrim has also done extreme trail riding which has taken her to the mountains in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Colorado. She has a lot of miles put on her under saddle!
Pilgrim’s skilled background makes her an excellent candidate to be a therapy horse. She is strong and healthy with a drive to work which shines through in the lessons. Her quiet nature and smooth gaits have quickly made her a favorite of the participants. Pilgrim is amazing at knowing the needs of the participant that is riding her. We are very thankful that Pilgrim has joined the SDTR herd to help improve lives one stride at a time!