A Little About Us

Time spent with horses teaches compassion, hard work, dealing with success and failure, and many other character building values. Perhaps the most important aspect is the connection between horse and rider, an element that is unique to equestrian sports. Horsemanship lessons teach adversity and develop invaluable life experience through relationship building with these incredible animals.

Here at strides our mission is to provide a safe and fun learning environment that is welcoming to riders of all levels and backgrounds.


Meet Our Team:


Mikkayla Myers

Instructor and Events Manager

Mikkayla Myers has an extensive background working with all age ranges from children to senior riders. Riding and training horses has been a passion of Mikkayla’s since she was 9 years old. She has ridden in the Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo for the past several years and has over 6 years of 4H experience. Throughout highschool and college she has volunteered as an assistant basketball coach and understands that a great coach has the power to change a person's life. Beginning around the age of 16 she began giving horse riding lessons and pursued a career working with youth in Cowlitz County. Mikkayla has worked at a local daycare center and worked with Longview Parks and Recreation to build a relationship with children and their families to understand recreational and fundamental needs for local children. Having focused her college years on understanding and learning child development, socio emotional health and the advantages of hippotherapy, Mikkayla is beyond excited to implement her knowledge to Strides Horsemanship. With the rapid decline of youth involved in recreational activities, Mikkayla feels compelled to do her part to engage youth in learning natural horsemanship. She believes that horsemanship follows a person beyond the barn, it changes the way we perceive the world. Mikkayla’s goal is to teach values that will create strong, confident and fearless leaders for our future.

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Brooke Myers

Instructor & Camps Team Member

Brooke Myers started riding when she was just 5 years old, and it has been a lifelong passion for her ever since. She loves barrel racing and gaming on her two horses, Chill and Summer. Brooke is a WAHSET (Washington High School Equestrian Team) alumni where she built skills in horsemanship, teamwork, and leadership. She also qualified for state championship events in many disciplines. While Brooke has a passion for her horses, she also has a deep passion for passing all she has learned on to others.


Emma Nichols

Instructor & Camps Team Member

What does being an instructor mean to you?:
“Being an instructor means sharing my knowledge with the youth of the horse community. It is so important to me to set a good example for those learning to love and teach horses. Riding horses has transformed me as a person, and I hope to help more people experience the joy they have brought into my life.” - Emma


Leilani Nichols

Owner, Visionary, & Clinician

Making horses accessible to those that do not own them or know very little about them is Leilani’s dream. Not only is time spent with horses valuable in so many ways to humans, but educating people about horses can only benefit our local horse community.

         Leilani will be the first to tell you that horses “saved” her, and she does not know where her path would’ve led without them. Of course, she has always been passionate about them, but the values they instilled have positively formed her life in every aspect.

         Leilani has a degree in animal science and worked for 5 years as a large animal certified veterinary technician. She also spent over a decade training horses for the public and has a great reputation in the local horse community for training outstanding all-around and barrel racing horses. Youth activities such as 4-H, FFA, and Rodeo Court had tremendous impact on her life path and are part of her "why" behind bringing Strides Horsemanship to the local community. Strides Horsemanship LLC is Leilani’s dream manifested, and she is dedicated to bring every horse and rider the best experience possible.

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I can’t say enough words as to how amazing Strides Horsemanship is and Mikayla Myers (Paitynns instructor). It has been Paitynns dream to ride horses and possibly someday be a “Rodeo Queen” and I can’t thank them enough.  If anyone is looking for horse training, look no further 🏆

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Mikkayla Myers is an amazing instructor. Her knowledge is so deep that an hour spent with her will not only teach you how to ride, but all about horse behavior(s), composition, and movement. I'm on the other end of the age spectrum as a senior citizen student and Mikkayla is helping me build confidence back at a pace that is just perfect. It's a joy to be at Strides Horsemanship!