The Riding Academy

For more than 25 years, InStride has provided equine assisted activities and therapies to people with disabilities and others in our community who benefit from working with our horses. InStride has long been recognized as one of the leading equine therapy providers in the Southeastern United States upholding the highest safety and quality standards set forth by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH).
InStride’s Riding Academy blends our knowledge of therapeutic horsemanship and equine assisted learning with traditional riding instruction. Lessons are well-rounded and include learning about equine behavior, horse care, ground handling, and riding. The goal of each lesson is to help our students develop solid horsemanship skills and an understanding of how these skills translate to critical life skills.
Each lesson is taught by PATH International certified instructors. Daila Lybarger is a member of the AQHA Professional Horsemen’s Association and a PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. For more than 25 years, Daila has coached riders and trained horses for AQHA, 4-H, and local lever competition. Lisa Morningstar is a PATH Intl. Registered Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Lisa specializes in teaching horsemanship to novice riders, with or without disabilities, for competition or recreation.

What can you learn from a horse?

Working with and riding horses has many benefits for both children and adults. Aside from the obvious physical benefits, handling, riding, and caring for horses also helps develop critical life skills such as responsibility, patience, emotional awareness, empathy, accountability, confidence, and self-discipline. Developing a healthy partnership with a horse requires us to become good leaders, recognize and establish healthy boundaries, and communicate clearly. The traits needed to develop good horsemanship skills translate well into the classroom, work environment, and daily living.

Our Lesson Program

Lessons are taught by qualified instructors with many years of experience instructing at all levels. Our horses are well-trained, safe, and versatile. Students can choose from English or western lessons with an intentional focus on recreational or competitive riding. Riders must be at least 7 years of age. Discounts on pricing will be given when 4 or more lessons are paid in advance ($5 off each lesson).
  • Private lesson

    (1 student, 15 min. ground, 45 min. saddle time)
  • Semi-Private lesson

    (2 students, 25 min. ground, 50 min. saddle time)
  • Group lesson

    (3-4 people, 30 min. ground, 60 min. saddle time)

RISE UP Program

InStride’s Riding Academy also offers a unique 8-week program for children called RISE UP. Through small group instruction, students participate in curriculum-based classroom and hands-on instruction that promotes RESILIENCE, INTEGRITY, SELF-AWARENESS, and EMPATHY while being UNAFRAID and PURPOSE-DRIVEN. Each lesson is 90 minutes and includes observations, demonstrations, horse care, and riding while encouraging social interaction and team building.
  • Cost per lesson

    (or $475 when paid in advance)

Ready to ride?

To get started, complete and submit the enrollment packet and one of our instructors will contact you. If you are interested but would like more information, please call or email us and we will be happy to answer your questions. We look forward to helping you discover how horses can enrich your life!


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1629 Ranch Rd • Nokomis, Florida 34275 • (941) 412-9333

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