Lessons

Equestrian lessons are a wonderful way to build confidence and increase physical fitness. Our team of instructors has years of experience teaching riders of all ages, taking a holistic approach that focuses on communication and understanding.


Private Lessons

Learn at your own pace with private lessons. One-on-one intensive learning and undivided instructor attention ensure a rapid increase of skills.

Group Lessons

Group lessons allow students to compare and contrast their skills with other riders. Groups explore new techniques and learn from each other in a friendly environment.

For more information, call us at 828-225-1454 or submit an online request.

children on horses


woman and girl tending to horse

Lesson Instructors

This group of instructors brings a wealth of talent and expertise to our lessons program. In addition to giving lessons, they feed the herd, bring the chosen horses from the field, check them for injuries and shoes, give medications, and keep the lesson barn clean. They also make sure all the tack is in good condition. When students arrive, they supervise grooming and tacking, give the lesson, and supervise untacking and grooming.

Lelia Canter started at the Center in 2007 as a student, later working as a weekend office staff member. Lelia is now supervisor for the lessons program and provides administrative and event support. A licensed massage therapist, Reiki Master Teacher, and Certified Qi Gong Instructor for humans, Lelia is also certified in equine bodywork, Myofascial release, and Craniosacral therapy for horses. She uses all her skills in her sessions with horses and riders, focusing mostly on beginners. Lelia is a Certified Level I Centered Riding Instructor and a PATH Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor. She is also a talented painter and printmaker.


Karen Kiser started as a student and volunteer at the Center in 2005. She was here so much that she was offered a job as an assistant. She attended numerous clinics, working closely with Emily Shields and Buck Brannaman. Karen has also studied Centered Riding and attended dressage clinics. She earned her place as an instructor by spending quality time in the saddle. She keeps her Arabian mare at the barn and enjoys western trail riding.

Emily Shields started teaching at Biltmore in 2004. She is a veteran clinician who works in other venues as well. She teaches a variety of disciplines ranging from dressage and lower-level jumping to classic horsemanship. Emily also teaches both English and Western to students from ages 8 to 70. She subscribes to the teaching methods used by Buck Brannaman, Ray Hunt, and Sally Swift. She currently owns one Quarter horse mare. Emily is also an accomplished artist working in pencil, colored pencil, and oil.

closeup of booted foot and stirrup of mounted rider