Riding Instructors & Barn Staff

At Manito, we offer instruction in dressage, western, and recreational riding. Every discipline is taught with an emphasis on the balanced seat. Horsemanship and teamwork are a big part of Manito's lessons. Our lessons are taught in the ring, out in our expansive fields, and on the trails. Our program is designed to not only make great riders but to build self confidence and self esteem in our students, and (most of all) to have fun!

Our staff and apprentices are a big part of what makes Manito the wonderful place it is. Here at the barn we are a family and everyone contributes to keep the horses, the students, the boarders, and our visitors happy, healthy, and safe. We pride ourselves on the organization and cleanliness of our beautiful 60 acre, 27 stall facility and invite you to come visit us!

Manito Staff


Lisa Schadt

M. Lisa Schadt, R.N., attended Bucknell University and the Allentown Hospital School of Nursing. She worked in the medical field for seventeen years prior to founding Manito Equestrian Center. Thirteen of her years in medicine included successfully managing a busy family medical practice. For the past twenty years, she has created, developed and managed Manito Equestrian Center, a riding school located in South Whitehall Township, PA.

Lisa developed a successful summer camp program that continues to operate seasonally after nineteen years. She formed successful partnerships and programs with various local community agencies and schools, including Easter Seals, Allentown School District, Parkland School District, Lehigh County Depts. of Human Services, Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Kidspeace, Northwestern Human Services, Marywood University School of Social Work and Equi-librium.

In 2002, she founded Manito Life Center, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the mission of helping children surviving trauma through equine assisted therapies and nature-based programs. She presides as president of the board of directors. Her unique program is well received by the local medical and social work communities as well as the school districts whose children have benefited from her programs. Lisa Schadt has owned and worked with horses for many years and has received training through EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth And Learning Association).

Riding Instructors

Jennifer Lomastro

Jennifer Lomastro grew up in the northeast corner of Connecticut on a Morgan horse breeding, training and lesson barn. She began showing horses at the age of three, and began instructing beginner riders at the age of 14. She was exposed to many breeds of horses, and many disciplines, though Morgan horses have always been a true passion for Jennifer and her family. Jennifer has instructed traditional students to wins at local and regional levels, and several of her students have gone on to become world class trainers.

She attended and graduated from the University of Connecticut, with a concentration in Pathobiology and business. She spent more than 25 years in the veterinary industry as a veterinary technician and practice manager. In addition, she taught anatomy at the summer session at the Cambridge School of Weston, lectured on the national veterinary conference circuit , and taught numerous clinics and seminars in the veterinary and equine industry.

Jennifer became interested in therapeutic riding when she attended a volunteer training in Oklahoma. Jennifer soon became an active volunteer and was asked to begin teaching. Inspired by her students, Jennifer began the certification process through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH). She achieved her certification as a therapeutic riding instructor, and then went on to get her certificate as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health in Learning through PATH. She became the director and instructor of a therapeutic riding center, growing the program from 42 riders to more than 160, serving participants with a wide range of physical and cognitive different abilities. She partnered with local businesses, school districts, equine professionals, and health care providers to carry out the mission. She trained more than 200 volunteers and mentored new instructors for PATH as part of her commitment to education and awareness.

In the fall of 2014, Jennifer was fortunate to partner with Manito Equestrian Center and Life Center and moved to Allentown to reside on site as the head instructor. Since that time, she and Lisa Schadt, facility owner and founder, have been collaborating to expand the scope and size of the therapeutic equine activities at Manito Life Center as well as focusing on excellence in equine instruction and education at the Equestrian Center. Since 2014, the Life Center has experienced unprecedented growth, with the addition of a new mounting system, expanded services, a show series, and additional equine partners, Manito Life Center looks forward to an exciting future.

Lydia Hugel

Barn Manager/Instructor

biography coming soon

Brittany Williams


biography coming soon

Kate Foster


biography coming soon

Karin Nifong


biography coming soon

Janice Hertia


biography coming soon

Alicia Pramik

Administrative Assistant

biography coming soon

Apprentices & Interns

There are currently no openings available for staff, but if you are interested in apprenticing please contact us. No previous horse experience necessary, but a willingness to work and a sunny disposition is a must! During your apprenticeship you will gain hands on horse experience while you clean stalls, help with turn in and out, groom, and learn all of the aspects that goes into horse care and ownership.

Allie O'Conner


biography coming soon

Manito Life Center Staff

Rebecca "Becky" Small, MSW, LSW

Becky is a licensed Social Worker with a Master's degree from Marywood University. She is a co-facilitator in equine assisted therapies at Manito Life Center. Becky has received training through EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association).

Rachel Little, LCSW