InStride Therapy Inc
1629 Ranch Road
Nokomis FL 34275
Partnering with our horses, we challenge individuals with special needs to meet their fullest potential. 
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Dana A. Johnston
Board Chair Mr. Bill Sutton
Board Chair Affiliation Progressive Community Management Inc. (PCM)
General Info
Former Names
Smith Center for Therapeutic Riding
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1995
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes July 2018
State Registration Yes July 2018
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
Other Documents
InStride TriFold Page2View
Impact Statement
Accomplishments for 2017:
  1. Dana Johnston hired as new CEO to lead the InStride organization into the future.
  2. Doris Berkey hired as Director of Development
  3. Stabilized the InStride Board of Directors. Added two new Board Members; Nicole Murby and Lisa Spillman
  4. Added two new Therapy Horses.
  5. Completed Phase I of the Sensory Riding Arena.
Goals for 2018:
  1. Continued growth of the EAT Hippotherapy Program. Emphasis will be placed on professional development and at least two additional staff PATH Certifications. Recruit and develop two additional Therapists.
  2. Complete InStride re-branding and website redesign.
  3. Develop and introduce an EFL/EAL Program for Veterans and Victims of Abuse. Professional Development of staff in Equine Therapy with an emphasis on Mental Health.
  4. Continued development of Partner Programs. Expand Day-at-the-Barn with Easter Seals to include adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Plan for the expansion of the Literacy Program to include Grades 3 to 5. Expand existing Special Olympics Program. Send two or more riders to Statewide Special Olympics.
Needs Statement

1.     1. $25,000 in funding for upgrades to existing computer equipment and office furnishing. 

2. Sponsorship for Major Events- $25,000 to $1,500
3. $50,000 in funding for new programs.
4. $3,600 in sponsorship for each of our 12 therapy horses.
5. $4,000 in Rider Scholarship for 20 riders.
Background Statement

InStride is recognized as the leading Hippotherapy center in the Southeastern United States and has been a member of the American Hippotherapy Association (AHA) and Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International since 1994. InStride's state-of-the-art facility offers year-round equine assisted programs and activities including Hippotherapy, Therapeutic Riding Therapy and Equine Assisted Learning programs. InStride also offers experiential learning through outreach and youth programs and many volunteer opportunities. Hippotherapy is administered by trained Physical; Occupational and Speech Therapists trained in Hippotherapy techniques. At InStride, Equine Assisted Therapies and other equine activities benefit the bodies, minds and spirits of people with disabilities. A horse's movement closely resembles the normal gait of a human and can be used to produce specific physical changes in the rider, including normalization of muscle tone, postural and balance improvements and increased strength. The riders at InStride represent all ages and backgrounds. Most of our participants are between the age of 18 months and 19 years. Most participants have varying degrees of cognitive, physical, behavioral, psychological and sensory disabilities. There is no “typical” rider, as programs are designed (including which horse to ride) to benefit individuals with a wide variety of disabilities. We currently have an upper weight limit of 175 lbs. to keep our riders safe and our horses in good condition. The primary disabilities include autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorder, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, spina bifida, developmental delay, visual and hearing impairments, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and amputation. Our participants come to us from special-education classes at local schools, as referrals from physicians, social service agencies, group homes, rehabilitation or vocational training centers, and through individual referrals by other participants and friends.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Manatee
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
Areas Served Comments InStride Therapy provides therapeutic services using hippotherapy (therapy with the aid of a horse) services in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.  InStride also provides equine assisted services to clients of organizations like Special Olympics, Loveland Village, Easter Seals, UCP and Sarasota County Schools. In addition, InStride welcomes  individuals who come from other geographic areas including those involved with InStride via collaboration with PATH, International sanctioned training, and periodic workshops for therapeutic riding instructors from around the U.S. and Canada.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Human Services
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Health Care
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
By Bill Sutton, Board Chair
I am proud to be associated with the InStride organization and to be given the opportunity to lead the InStride Board during this critical phase of its evolution as a provider of much needed therapeutic programs and services to SW Florida. I look forward to assisting the organization through its expansion under the direction of new CEO Dana Johnston. The entire Board is committed to bring much needed services to under served populations. 
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

By Dana Johnston, CEO.

I am proud to have been selected to lead the InStride Therapy organization into the future. With this recent change in leadership at InStride and changes in governance at the Board level, the opportunity presents itself to make immediate improvements in the day-to-day governance of the InStride organization including: Adopting industry ‘best practices” in daily operations and community development/fundraising activities.

Additionally, improvements in area of operating infrastructure and facilities management will be undertaken as well as a review of key “business partners” in Endowment Management; Human Resources and General Business Management to ensure we have in place the operating and business development environment to facilitate the growth of the organization. This growth strategy includes the expansion of existing programs and services coupled with the introduction of complimentary new programs.

InStride will be looking to expand its current Hippotherapy program with services and therapeutic offerings through the a “Collaborative of Service and Therapy Providers” model. This collaborative approach will be designed to create a network of service providers with the objective of providing greater access to educational and transitional services and related equine assisted therapies that will result in measurable outcomes for children and adults. Additionally, InStride will be looking to complement its traditional Hippotherapy offering with an equine facilitate learning model designed to advance the recovery of veterans and victims of abuse who suffer from PTSD and other anxiety disorders. This program will provide greater emphasis on the mental health component of an equine assisted therapy.

This fusion of non-therapist assisted programs and services with InStride’s existing Hippotherapy services will be an integral part of creating a “Center of Excellence” with the expressed purpose of enhancing educational and learning goals; therapeutic, sport and leisure goals; life skills and vocational goals delivered with the intent of promoting independence in and out of the classroom and/or living and work environments.


Hippotherapy describes the way in which licensed physical, occupational and speech therapists incorporate equine movement into a therapy session.  In accordance with the AHA (American Hippotherapy Association), these therapists use purposeful manipulation of equine movement to engage sensory, neuromotor and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes.

At InStride, where miracles happen every day, Hippotherapy and other Equine Assisted Therapies benefit the minds, bodies and spirits of our riders. A horse’s mobility (1250 to 1500 unique kinetic movements in a 30 minute session) most closely resembles the normal gait of a human and can be used to produce specific physical changes in the rider, including normalization of muscle tone, postural and balance improvements and increased strength. The horses movement can also help mitigate sensory integration issues. A smooth-gaited horse or a consistently paced horse can provide input needed to help a rider establish rhythm. A rough-gaited horse can provide the stimulation needed to help organize and integrate sensory input.

Our clients come to us from special-education classrooms; referrals from physicians; social service organizations; group homes; rehabilitation or vocational training centers and other agencies.

Budget $368,060
Category Health Care, General/Other Rehabilitation Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities
Short Term Success
InStride therapists work with physicians on a referral basis. Theses referrals and the therapeutic needs of the client require specific therapy goals. Because each rider is unique, there is no one answer to short term success. In many cases, there will be neuro-muscular improvements in as few as 4 – 6 therapy sessions. Since our riders have varying degrees of sensory, muscular, speech, hearing and nervous system issues, it is difficult at times to pinpoint a typical short-term success. We see riders who make amazing progress in a few short weeks and others who make significant progress over several months and even years
Long Term Success
Long term success of Hippotherapy will not only come from the physical improvements our riders experience but from improvement in their cognitive development. Horses provide a unique opportunity to couple therapeutic experiences into a single therapy. Educational goals such as letter recognition and sequencing can be incorporated into long term goals of treatment plans. Related equine activities including Therapeutic Riding assist in developing social skills leading to better interaction with peer groups.
Program Success Monitoring InStride works through physician prescriptions that call out specific therapy goals and uses licensed physical, occupational and speech therapists to achieve those goals.  Riders are evaluated at least annually for progress, and case notes detailing progress against goals and benchmarks are updated at the end of each therapy session.  When/if hippotherapy is no longer indicated as an effective strategy, riders are discharged.
Program Success Examples

Manny's smile - Is the first think most people notice. Over time they notice the endless supply of somewhat irreverent declarations emblazoned across his seemingly endless supply of tee shirts. Both the smile and the shirts reveal his robust sense of humor. 

Just a few short years ago, while vacationing with his family, this engaging, popular, smart and talented teenager collapsed. His family initially thought he was joking and soon realized their mistake. Manny was in cardiac arrest. The lack of oxygen resulted in a severe brain injury. Manny went home in a persistent vegetative state and his parents were given little hope. Manny was not eligible for rehabilitation therapies so his mother became his therapist. Millie took him for hyperbaric oxygen treatments and worked with him in the water. When he recovered enough, she took him to conventional therapies. In June of 2015, Millie brought Manny to InStride.
He was excited but nervous. We started by counting steps to give Manny frequent breaks while he learned to adjust to the movement. Ten steps led to twenty. Soon we were only counting for the first few minutes of the session. In a matter of weeks, we were hearing reports of increased endurance in his other therapies. He continued to have difficulty sitting up without leaning to one side. When his upper body was leaning, it was harder for the side walkers to help him get in the middle so we switched him to a saddle. With a weight bearing surface for his legs, Manny learned to actively help shift his weight. Most of the time, he needs only a verbal cue to correct his upper body. In the words of his mother, "We have no limits, just goals. Life goes on, so does Manny." 

In conjunction with the Campaign for Grade Level Reading and their set forth goals. InStride Therapy offers a hands-on interactive literacy, math and personal development experience through the magic of horses and a very special story, Little Red and Friends. By providing a learning experience about the care of horses and connecting to similar skills that all children need to thrive and develop, InStride focuses on six important development areas. Feeding (eating/nutrition); Tacking (clothing); Grooming (washing & cleanliness); Farrier (shoes/no-shoes); Dentistry (healthy teeth) and building appropriate Language and Math Skills (Common Core Standards).

Each child participating is rotated through 5 separate stations to learn about caring for horses and themselves. Each child is provided with a copy of the Little Red and Friends book as a teaching aid and memento of their special day.

Budget $52,580
Category Education, General/Other Early Childhood Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Children Only (5 - 14 years) Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Short Term Success

The short term success of the Literacy and Leadership Programs is determined by the expressed and increased interest in reading by the children who have participated in the program and their ability to meet the K – 1 grade lesson plan goals of the Common Core Standards.

Long Term Success

The long term success of the program is determined by the efficacy of the Campaign to improve Grade Level Reading.

Program Success Monitoring Pre-post tests and feedback from teachers using our worksheets with participants to report on success goals.
Program Success Examples

InStride relies on Teacher feedback as the mechanism for measuring program success. More data collection and research will be conducted to demonstrate the efficacy of the program.


In conjunction with our Hippotherapy Program, InStride offers a non-therapy Adaptive or Therapeutic Riding Program (THR)

This program is an instructor led, skills based program that focuses on teaching horseback riding and horsemanship skills to individuals with disabilities; special needs; traumatic experiences and specific physical injuries. InStride currently provides Therapeutic Riding for individuals who have met their Hippotherapy Therapeutic Goals.

Budget $105,160
Category Human Services, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults Other Health/Disability
Short Term Success

The success of a Therapeutic Riding experience is predicated on determining the readiness and goals of the rider. Unlike Hippotherapy where the goals are set by the therapist, Therapeutic Riding goals will be set jointly by the rider and the instructor and may be achieved over a number of days, weeks and months. These goals include, but are not limited to:

1. Riding Goals – Trot; Cantor; Post etc. (Example; Demonstrate direct rein steering)

2. Therapeutic Goals – Physical; Cognitive; Social/Emotional etc. (Example; Improve coordination)

Long Term Success

The Long Term success of Therapeutic Riding revolves around a measure of independence that each rider achieves and their desire to continue the development of their horsemanship skills leading to potential horse ownership. These goals may be achieved over a period of 1 – 2 years.

Program Success Monitoring A conversation ensues between family and therapist, to evaluate  rider's Hippotherapy progress in meeting treatment plan goals and objectives.  If all goals and objectives are met, an  assessment is conducted to determine the appropriateness of continuing with a Therapeutic Riding experience. At the families request, a therapist can conduct a monthly evaluation of the riders progress in the Therapeutic Riding experience.
Program Success Examples Since this is a newer program at the InStride facility. We cannot share program and rider success currently.
Program Comments by Organization With its foundation in the medical community and our therapist's extensive training, seeking and tracking rider outcomes has been ingrained in InStride since our inception in 1994.  Hippotherapy has been well documented to provide 6 times the number of neuro/muscular stimulations as compared to traditional physical, occupational or speech therapies delivered in a clinical setting.  
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Dana A. Johnston
CEO Term Start Nov 2017
CEO/Executive Director Email

Dana Johnston moved to Sarasota from Davis, CA in 2014.  Dana is an avid, engaged volunteer with programs for autism and for rescue horses. Dana has volunteered at InStride Therapy for two years.  He believes he has found his "home".  Dana has a MBA in Entrepreneurial Management and has formed several companies which provide customer communications management solutions.Dana and his wife have five grown children.

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Donna Blem Jan 1995 - Jan 2014
Jody Jorgensen Jan 2014 - Jan 2015
Senior Staff
Ms. Doris Berkey Director of Development
Ms. Sue Button Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Mrs. Susannah Cripe Program & Community Engagement
Ms. Cindy Eaton Hippotherapy Coordinator
Mrs. Daila Lybarger Barn Manager
Ms. Mary Nastan Director of Therapy
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 7
Part Time Staff 4
Staff Retention Rate % 95
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 5
Volunteers 197
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
InStride regularly collaborates with organizations including but not limited to: Boy Scouts of America, Care2Tri, Easter Seals of Southeast Florida, Ed-Stavaganza, Forever Friends, Fox Lee, Jdubbs Street Team, Loveland Center, Nokomis Fire Department, Prospect Riding, Ringling College, Sarasota Christian School, Sixteen Hands Sanctuary, Soul to Soul Yoga, Special Olympics, Suncoast Blood Bank, The Haven, UCP, United Way 211, Venice Creamery, Venice Fire Department and the Oak Park School - Sarasota County School District.
InStride is one of only nine Hippotherapy centers in Florida (only one in SW FL region) and one of only 60 in the U.S.  Of those, InStride is one of the top 15 centers for its capacity and is a long-standing member of PATH, International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). InStride also partners with Therapeutic Riding Instructors and several of our licensed physical, occupational and audiology therapists have at least 100 hours of training through the American Hippotherapy Association.
AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)2017
Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance2018
Venice Area Chamber of Commerce2018
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization2009
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Daila Lybarger, Equine Specialist & Lisa Morningstar, Equine SpecialistPATH International 2018
Center MembershipPATH International, Inc.2015
Sue Button, certified instructorPATH International2015
Center MembershipAmerican Hippotherapy Association2015
Linda A. Frease - Hippotherapy Clinical SpecialistAmerican Hippotherapy Association2011
Susannah Cripe, Safety Instructor, CPR/First AidAmerican Health Institute2003
Risk Management Provisions
Accident and Injury Coverage
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Automobile Insurance and Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan Yes
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Policies and Procedures Yes
Management Comments by Organization
InStride has been blessed to have a dedicated and highly motivated group of staff and volunteers involved in the delivery of our programs and services. Staff and Volunteers with a therapy background, horsemanship skills and nonprofit experience have been fueling InStride’s success in the face of increased regulatory complexities; declining payments from insurance carriers and a shifting donor landscape. However, the future is bright with resource development, program development and new services to support the mission of the organization underway, all designed to maximize old and create new streams of revenue. The entire InStride organization is devoted to meeting the needs of our partners, clients and the communities we serve.
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
Please come to our 62 acrea ranch in Nokomis and see first hand the life transformational learning we experience every day. We invite you for a Stride by Stride tour so we can show and share in person! Partnering with horses, we challenge individuals with special needs to reach their fullest potential. We often say that we see little miracles every day here at InStride!  Our videos and pictures are truly the next best thing to personally witnessing the power of this remarkable therapy. Please visit our website at and/or our Facebook page 
Other Documents
Other Document 2
InStride TriFold Page1
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Bill Sutton
Company Affiliation Progressive Community Management Inc. (PCM)
Board Term Jan 2014 to Nov 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mrs. Elise Angeloro Progressive Community Management
Mrs. Cathye Bouis Florida Citrus
Mr. Klaus Frost Paradise Dryer Vent Cleaning
Mr. Dana Johnston CEOInStride
Ms. Carla Koeffler Community Volunteer
Mr. Glen D. Koehnlein Community Volunteer
Ms. Nicole Murby Easter Seals of Southwest Florida
Ms. Mary Nastan Licensed Physical Therapist
Ms. Lisa Spillman Theraplate
Mr. Bill Sutton PCM, Inc.
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 4
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 9
Board Meeting Attendance % 87
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Governance Comments by Organization
Two additional  board members were added in December 2017. The Board now represents geographic, nonprofit, philanthropic, horsemanship and maintenance skills.  The members are visible in the community and skilled in advocating for the mission.
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Jan
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2018
Tax Year End Month Dec
Tax Year End Day 31
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $634,800.00
Projected Expenses $595,320.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $2,400,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$125,229$203,784$154,817
Investment Income, Net of Losses$106,122$84,967$63,869
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$83,984$28,277$115,117
Revenue In-Kind$10,037$75,378$11,305
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$539,379$586,132$504,461
Administration Expense$57,000$63,606$57,117
Fundraising Expense$4,000$4,000$4,000
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.901.832.23
Program Expense/Total Expenses90%90%89%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue2%2%1%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$6,006,165$6,046,049$5,957,400
Current Assets$1,906,681$1,931,139$1,749,021
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$19,736$8,853$351,323
Total Net Assets$5,986,429$6,037,196$5,606,077
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Fees $223,882Lawsuit Settlement $684,156Gain from Sale of Assets Other Than Inventory $709,040
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $125,229Contributions, gifts, grants $203,784Program Fees $219,860
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $106,122Program Fees $194,147Contributions, gifts, grants $154,817
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities96.61218.134.98
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
2017 was a challenging year for InStride in many ways.  Despite hiring a new CEO in November and a New Director of Development the end of December, InStride still fell short of meeting its financial goals for the year.  Revenue for the year fell short of Budget largely due to underperforming in select Fundraising Events by $145,954.41 (The annual Derby Day Event was cancelled).  This was partially offset by better than anticipated Revenue from paid programs (Medicaid and Private Pay) of $20,541.21 and Restricted/Unrestricted Donations and Boarder Fees of $68,524.46.  Expenses for the year exceeded the Budget by $73,731.01 largely to due to unbudgeted expense for a new CEO; Interim ED (Consultant) and related items.  This was offset by income generated from Managed Endowment Assets in the amount of $143,090.35
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from IRS Form 990 and audit documents.  Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support.  Federal tax returns and audited financial statements reconcile.
Nonprofit InStride Therapy Inc
Address 1629 Ranch Road
Nokomis, FL 34275
Phone 941 412-9333