Our Instructors

Marion Therapeutic Riding Association Instructors

Our current PATH certified instructors include:

Pam Morriston, MTRA Program Director

Pam Morrison, Program Director, is a PATH Certified Instructor. She received her certification in 2009 while working at Harmony Farms in Rockledge, Florida, where she later became Program Director. After five years with Harmony Farms, Pam moved to Hidden Acres in Port St. John to help with a new equine program focusing on at-risk youth, as well as conducting riding lessons for all levels of dressage, hunter/jumper, trail and obstacle challenges for beginner through intermediate riders.

Pam has vast and varied experience with equine care, management and training. She has two horses of her own; one that she started as a colt and a Thoroughbred she adopted for her husband.

Pam studied at the University of Southern Maine and held a career in general management in the country club industry. She served on the PATH International National Conference Committee in 2013 as a chair of hospitality and entertainment. Pam also served on the committee for the PATH Regional Conference in 2012, held in Tampa. She currently resides in Cocoa, Florida with her husband, Brett. Her love for the horse and passion for equine-assisted therapeutic riding has brought her to MTRA. She began as our head instructor for the Hillcrest School program in the fall of 2014 and was promoted to Program Director in the fall of 2015, after Terri Libera accepted another position closer to her home.


sally2Sally Ann Lyle is our most senior Certified PATH Instructor and has had a lifetime with horses as a breeder, owner, exhibitor and fine artist and moved to Ocala from Kansas City, MO. Sally has World Champion Morgan Horses and currently shows the western pleasure gelding “RWJ Flash Gordon”. She was also the creative mind behind our beautiful MTRA horse and rider logo. She is one of our most senior PATH certified instructors and is a trusted friend to MTRA. She has won numerous awards for her beautiful equine art and frequently has her work featured in magazines and on the covers of show programs and horse magazines.

 


Catherine Sears-KochCatherine Sears-Koch is a third generation Equine Enthusiast and Professional. She has been training, schooling, caring-for and riding horses of all breeds and disciplines her entire life. At just 22 months old, she competed in her first horse show in Western Equitation. In the mid 1990s, she started professionally teaching English and Western Equitation and timed competitions. At her family’s equine business, Rocky Top Stables, Catherine managed 300+ farrier clients and over 30 boarders, which consisted of foaling, training, schooling, riding lessons and rehabilitation. For over 18 years, she has been an apprentice certified farrier.

In addition to being a farrier, Catherine found it important to become trained in Equine Massage Therapy. She says that the benefits of combining the two are extremely worthy in maintaining a horse’s well being, soundness and recuperation.

Because of her passion for teaching therapeutic riding, in 2008 she earned her PATH certification. She has been enjoying every minute of teaching and has made amazing friends and seen so many miracles that have touched her heart. Catherine joined the MTRA family in 2016 and feels blessed that she can make a positive difference in people’s lives through horses. Her riders inspire her with their determination and perseverance.

When Catherine is not teaching, she enjoys taking care of her farm and horses, spending time with her husband, Brandon, and making memories with family. She also loves music, singing and writing songs. She released an album of all original songs titled, “Life’s Amazing Ride”. Her music is playing worldwide and topping various charts. The song, “Let Fate Dance” hit the top 10 charts in Italy and she was awarded Best Live Performance by the Independent Country Music Association in Nashville, TN.

Her mottos are “Never stop learning” and “Patience and a smile can go a long way.”

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A lifelong equine enthusiast, Jenna grew up showing 4-H and riding her Arabian every chance she had. She showed in English Equitation, Western Pleasure, Show Jumping, Reining, and Gymkhana events. She also showed in pleasure driving classes for a friend with Hafflingers.

Jenna attended Youngstown State University in Ohio, obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and pursuing a career in child welfare and human services with a long-term dream of combining love of horses and love of social work through some type of equine therapy programming. She exercised racehorses and obtained her Assistant Trainer’s license for Thoroughbred Racing at Mountaineer Racetrack, Tampa Bay Downs, and Thistledown through college, and continued working with Thoroughbreds through two-year old in training sales introducing her to Ocala’s Horse Capital of the World. Falling in love with the area, Jenna decided to move to Florida in 2006, where she continued galloping by morning and social working in child welfare/foster care field during afternoons and evenings as a Placement Specialist for Kids Central Inc., and Lead Case Manager for the Heart of FL Youth Ranch. She was a founding member of Unbridled Hope Therapeutic Horsemanship, a PATH Int’l member program, through the Heart of Florida Youth Ranch, which was designed for children residing in the program under foster care statutes in 2017 with a focus on teaching empathetic leaderships and establishing foundation for children to begin trusting others again. Jenna obtained her PATH Int’l Therapeutic Riding Instructor certification in December 2018 after completing her training and instructor hours through MTRA.

Jenna is extremely excited to assist in developing and raising awareness and funding for MTRA. The reach of MTRA’s mission within the community to children and adults through the vast selection of programs offered through MTRA aligns with Jenna’s lifelong goals and passion for giving back to the community!

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Tasha Lawlor-Smith, PATH Int’l Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor… Tasha grew up in a family surrounded by horses with being immersed in raising Thoroughbreds and enjoying the racing scene for about 15 years and through her mother who is a Licensed Equine Massage Therapist and also for humans.  Their horse farm was small, as her step-father was a Chiropractor and owned his own business, but they loved their horses and had fun celebrating their wins!  While Tasha a bit too young to ride their race horses, she was able to enjoy riding their pleasure horses around their farm or on trails in their area, and once she was married, she and her family obtained their own land and their own horses to enjoy as well.  Tasha works full-time as a Licensed Massage Therapist since 1995,and she began volunteering at MTRA in 2017 and soon after joined our mentor program, getting certified through PATH International as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor in 2018.  She is grateful for her second families through the Pentecostals of Gainesville Church she has participated in her entire life and her more recently acquired family with MTRA.  She values having more time to enjoy horses, her family, and the privilege of working with our team of instructors, staff, and volunteers, and the incredible students she gets to work with as an instructor, and we are happy to have her on our team in return!

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Destiney Carreiro, PATH Int’l Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor