Peter was raised on the east coast in Pennsylvania and upstate New York. He became a resident of Tucson in 1987 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from State University of New York College at Cortland. He also holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Most recently, Peter and his wife, Leslie, have celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary.
Peter was an elementary school teacher and elementary and junior high school administrator in the Flowing Wells Unified School District for 30 years. He retired in 2017 after dedicating his entire career to enriching the lives of students in low socioeconomic elementary and junior high schools.
Peter’s first experiences with horses were as a groom working for his father. For five years, he enjoyed the environment of working around the barn and racing Standard Bred horses in Montreal, Quebec and in the NY State County fair circuit.
Much later, when Peter was principal at Flowing Wells Junior High School, a group of students participated in TROT’s therapeutic riding program. He was able to witness firsthand the benefits of TROT for his students who attended. As they returned from TROT, the students excitedly expressed what they learned or how they felt as they got off the bus at school. These students’ responses are forever ingrained in Peter’s heart! Joining the TROT organization brings Peter full circle as he begins a new career.
TROT Team Member Since July 2020
Margaux is a native Tucsonan and her belief in the power of TROT first stemmed from her volunteer experience at TROT when she was in high school. Margaux has always been involved with horses through 4-H and local shows. Margaux is an Apprentice Graduate of Al-Marah Arabian Horses where she studied Equine Husbandry and Training. Margaux has always understood the healing properties of the human-horse connection leading her to complete a Master of Social Work degree through the University of Southern California. Margaux focused on social change and innovation with a specialty concentration in equine-assisted therapies. Her experience in grant writing, program evaluation and events will help to propel TROT’s legacy.
TROT Team Member Since October 2019
Laura grew up in Tucson, AZ and after traveling across the country for her degrees, has returned to the desert. She holds a B.S. in Communications from NAU and a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Elon University. Throughout her life, she has been very service minded with a wide breath of volunteer experience ranging from animal rescue and therapeutic riding to pro bono services and youth recreation programs. She is always eager to learn new things and believes some of her best teachers have been the four-legged and furry kind. She is excited to put her skills to good use as a Volunteer Coordinator at TROT.
TROT Team Member Since September 2019
Growing up in Alabama, horses were the focal point of Carolyn’s life, including a passion for riding in the woods, jumping, pony club and eventing.
As time went by, she migrated to Arizona and graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Sociology and English. Later she continued her studies at Pima College with an A.A. degree in Sign Language Interpreting. She bacame a certified interpreter and worked as a classroom interpreter for hearing-impared students in the Special Needs Department at Pima College. In a couple of years, it was back to school again at Pima College for another A.A. degree in teh legal assistant training program. She workled for ten years as a legal assistanct in the area of probate and estate planning.
In 2002, Carolyn left the legal field with a longing for change and a more personally meaningful career. This eventually led her to TROT where her daughter, Sierra, was an instructor. She started out with sign language interpreting and side walking in ASDB classes. Before long, Carolyn had her dream job at TROT where her passion truly lies.
TROT Team Member since January 2006
Dora Kafkaridou Brown
Dora was born in Cyprus and has been a Tucson resident for the last 25 years. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and has dedicated her career to non-profits. Dora was involved in behavioral health for over ten years, working extensively with children in the foster care system providing behavioral management, de-escalation training, as well as grief and loss work.
Dora fell in love with horses as a toddler and began riding as a hunter-jumper at age seven. She continues to ride today and has had the pleasure of training as well as caring for horses, both her own and within program settings. Dora has held certification through Eagala as an Equine Specialist, and in 2017 she was the program director for Desert Dove Farm, a non-profit equine-assisted psychotherapy program.
Dora began her involvement with TROT as a volunteer, and in 2018 she became a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor through PATH Intl. Dora’s passion for her career and her unique skill set helps our participants reach both their riding and personal goals while ensuring that our TROT programs adhere to the highest PATH Intl. standards.
TROT Team Member since January 2019
Lead Program Instructor
Sophie moved to Tucson after graduating from Lake Erie College with a Bachelor of Science in Equine Facility Management and Therapeutic Horsemanship with a concentration in Administration and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Organization and Leadership. Sophie has grown up riding horses and competed in the Hunter Jumper arenas until going to college where she competed as a four-year member of Lake Erie College IHSA Hunt Seat team. She was also a two-year officer for her IHSA team and has experience working at a variety of equine facilities. Sophie is a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and has plans to pursue her PATH Advanced Instructor Certification.
TROT Team Member since August 2018
Denice became involved with TROT by volunteering as a horse handler and side walker in 1983. She is a PATH Intl certified therapeutic riding instructor and a special education teacher in the Sunnyside School District. She is thrilled that she has been able to provide her classroom students with the opportunity to ride at TROT for the past 30 years.
TROT Team Member since February 1990
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC),
PATH Advanced Instructor, Equine Specialist
Sierra has been in the presence of horses all of her life and knows from experience their healing powers. She has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Equine Assisted Mental Health. She is an Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH). Sierra has presented both nationally and internationally related to Equine Assisted Therapies. Horses are barometers that provide feedback to allow humans to explore the mind, body, spirit and emotions. Sierra has extensive training in somatic therapies, meditation, yoga, and dance. In addition, she is trained in Eye Movement and Reprocessing (EMDR). Her office is mostly outside in the beauty that is all around, and the horses are her co-therapists. The horses allow for co-regulation, felt sense, and non-verbal communication in a supportive manner. It is through the partnership with horses that Sierra is able to guide people on their journey. A horse can change the way you see the world.
TROT Team Member since July 2007
Full-Time Barn & Property Manager
Steve joined the TROT team in March 2018. He and his wife, Nancy, relocated from central Illinois to be closer to family and get away from the cold winters.
Steve grew up with horses, cattle and other farm animals and has always had sensitivity to the needs of animals of all shapes and sizes. For many years, he has been involved with farming and equipment management. These skills make him a valued member of our team. Steve and his wife live on the TROT property and look after the herd and the ranch.
TROT Team Member Since March 2018
Part-Time Barn & Property Manager
In early 2018, Kim became involved with TROT as a volunteer and soon thereafter, Assistant Barn Manager. She grew up in the Phoenix area and holds a B.S. degree in Zoology from Northern Arizona University. After relocating down to Tucson with her husband in 2017, Kim was looking to fill her time by volunteering at another equine rescue. “I was looking to connect somewhere and share my recent passion in caring for horses. TROT came up on my search, and I had no idea what therapeutic riding was all about but thought I would give it a try. I was hooked!”
Having already raised a family of four children and worked in her career field as a small animal vet tech and wildlife biologist for the Arizona Game & Fish Department, Kim now gets to do something for fun that she absolutely loves. Between volunteering and working, Kim spends 4 to 5 days on the property. “We all have a role to play in the TROT mission and mine is caring for these wonderful therapeutic riding horses, so they are at their best when working and connecting with the riders.”
TROT Team Member Since February 2018
Nik is a native Tucsonan. He learned about TROT from his sister, Autum, who volunteered and worked here. He started volunteering as a side walker at age 15. A few years later, he was hired as a barn assistant. Nik enjoys working with the horses and helping maintain the grounds. Nik hopes that TROT will always be a part of his life.
TROT Team Member since March 2007