Our Team

Kelsey Lasher

Program Director with Ride With Pride Horse

Program Director, PATH Certified Instructor

“Hi! My name is Kelsey and I have been working with horses for over 16 years. I started riding when I was 7 and fell in love! I have always known I wanted to build my career with horses and have trained and taught many lessons over the years. I have been working for Ride With Pride for a little over 6 years. I started out as a volunteer and soon began working for them in many different ways. I have worked as a barn worker, instructor, and volunteer coordinator. I am currently proud to say I work for Ride With Pride as their Program Director and one of their PATH Certified instructors. I graduated from Bridgewater College with a major in psychology in 2018.”

Alex Walden


PATH Certified Instructor

This will be Alex’s third year being an instructor for Ride With Pride. She was originally trained at a large therapeutic riding organization in Colorado where she also received her PATH certification. Alex owns a horse of her own and enjoys taking the Ride With Pride horses on trail rides on their days off from lessons. We are extremely excited to have Alex on our team and enjoy her creative and fun spirit!

Marsha Pillet



“I’ve ridden since I was a child and learned a lot when my family owned and ran a riding guest farm in eastern PA where we focused on English riding. I’ve owned and cared for horses at my home all my adult years. Given my choice of riding I most enjoy schooling and training, establishing communication and fitness for both horse and rider.
I’m an experienced registered yoga teacher with over 30 years teaching experience including multiple certifications. I have years of experience teaching chair based yoga and adapted mat based yoga for people practicing with physical challenges of all sorts.
I began as a NAHRA volunteer around 1997 and began teaching NAHRA students around five or six years later working one on one with students with autism under Debbie Winters guidance and with Sue Woundy with more physically challenged riders.”

Marian Updike

mini-Me (2)


“Hi I’m Marian Updike, I have been involved with Ride With Pride since Summer of 2010 where I was completing an occupational therapy clinical course. I have been riding horses all of my life with primary style of riding and showing locally western and hunter pleasure. I obtained my PATH Therapeutic Horseback Riding Certification November 2013 and have been teaching at Ride With Pride when able-aside from my full time job as an occupational therapist. I obtained my Master of Science degree from Shenandoah University in Occupational Therapy December 2011 and prior to that held an Associate of Science degree as an Occupational Therapist Assistant from Jefferson College of Health Sciences in 2005. I have been working in the occupational therapy field since 2005. My two passions of horses and therapy have led me to absolutely love working with and helping out at Ride with Pride!!”

Sally Koch

Sally Koch

Licensed Professional Counselor

“My name is Sally Skeeters Koch. I have been involved with Ride With Pride for over 20 years. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and work at People Places, Inc. I also have a certification in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. My emphasis in therapy, whether it is individual or group, is to help create a safe environment for relationships to heal. Animal assisted therapy helps create this therapeutic environment. The therapeutic groups at RWP provide relationship building experiences with the horse in a safe and therapeutic setting. I am originally from Mishawaka, Indiana where I received my BA. I graduated with a Master’s and Educational Specialist degree from James Madison University.”

Bonnie Wells

Bonnie Cropped

Administrative Assistant

“Hello, Bonnie Smiley Wells here. Upon retirement to Moneta, Va., I volunteered at Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue for five years before recently moving to Stuarts Draft. Once I got settled I looked for a place with horses to volunteer. You can imagine my delight upon finding RWP and learning they needed an Administrative Assistant. Talk about timing! That was in March of 2017. In the past I got to be a part of helping abused equines know the healing touch of a kind human, but now I get to be a part of helping people who, because of horses, can find their healing. This is incredibly awesome to me and I appreciate the opportunity to serve our Director, Kelsey Lasher, and all those associated with this wonderful and vital organization aptly named Ride With Pride.”

Interested in joining our Staff?    


Become an Instructor…

Without our professionally trained team of instructors we would not be able to provide the absolute best services for our clients. Ride With Pride always makes sure to present learning opportunities and encourages our instructors to attend conferences and workshops to enhance their teaching abilities. Every year our certified instructors are required to complete at least 20 hours of additional training to uphold their certifications. Through fundraising efforts and generous donations from our sponsors, Ride With Pride is able to send our instructors to four-day PATH Conferences that take place in a different state every year.

Think you might be interested in joining our team as an instructor? Ride With Pride is always looking to expand our staff by adding new, experienced, and talented horsemen and women. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have volunteered with our program with a minimum of 20 hours, have completed our mentoring program, and completed our interview process. Please contact Kelsey Lasher at info@ridewithprideva.org or call 540-255-2210 for more information.


Become a barn worker…

Our horses do a wonderful job for our program but with that means they take a lot of care. We have a wonderful team of barn workers to help feed, bring horses in and out of their stalls, and clean. Interested in working for us? Barn workers should be at least 16 years old, have horse experience, have a flexible schedule, and good team working skills.  Please contact Kelsey Lasher at info@ridewithprideva.org or call 540-255-2210 for more information.