Lelia Canter: Bodywork & Artwork
Centered Riding Newsletter Article
Highlights of Centered Riding Instructor Certification
at Biltmore Equestrian Center, Asheville, N.C.

by Lelia Canter, CRI Level I



Biltmore Equestrian Center in Asheville, NC. was fortunate to host Part I and II of Centered Riding Instructor Certification this June and August. During the seven days of clinic instruction we learned many valuable skills to utilize in our own riding as well as those to encourage and help our future students.
In addition to Part I of our certification, Peggy Brown, Sr. Level IV instructed an open clinic, and with Susan Harris, Sr. Level IV presented the Visible Horse and Visible Rider which greatly
added to our experience by viewing the skeleton of the horse and rider in motion. Through these demonstrations, we were able to further our understanding of comparable parts as well
as see the circle of muscles in action. Part I and II of our certification process melded well together our understanding of the four basics of Centered Riding (soft eyes, breathing, centering, and building blocks) in addition to grounding and clear intent. Susan
Harris and Rebecca Billard, Level II, utilized many helpful mounted and un-mounted exercises to help our bodies develop the muscle
memory and understanding of how our andthe horse’s body can work in harmony.
I particularly identified with Centered Riding imaging techniques used to help the rider connect with their bodies and the horse by using
both the left (thinking) and right (feeling/ creative) brain. Visualizing your center as a spinning sphere to facilitate movement and direction,
along with the concepts of the power triangle, ground/center/grow, and heavy elbows were a few of many useful techniques reviewed and practiced.
Becoming a Centered Riding Instructor has been a wonderful journey for me because the methods taught are such valuable tools for daily living as well as my work with horses and riders. As a Body worker and a PATH Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Centered Riding concepts have helped me become a more effective therapist as well as providing a way to holistically bring together the positive body changes that horse and rider experience following bodywork sessions.
I feel that my Centered Riding training will coalesce well in my work as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor by incorporating the 4 basics and grounding to help riders improve coordination, balance, relaxation of hypertonic muscles, flexibility of joints, posture, and toning of hypotonic muscles. The
chapter on Therapeutic Riding in Sally Swift’s Centered Riding II was particularly compelling to me
as she relayed many significant positive changes in riders with disabilities through utilizing centering and grounding techniques.
As an added benefit, I have found that using Centered Riding concepts and becoming aware of my body position works well when I am performing computer tasks and working as a dental hygienist. By checking in with my body, becoming aware of my tight neck and back, and allowing them to relax, I am able to better function through a long day of office work
and patients more easily.
I offer many thanks to Susan, Peggy, and Rebecca for their excellent assistance, guidance, and instruction during our certification
process. I am excited and honored to be part of the Centered Riding community and look forward to many more years of development
and learning through Centered Riding. And, thank you for your work in furthering the worlds understanding and practice of Sally Swift’s
ideas and teachings. Through utilizing these techniques, the bodies and minds of both horse and rider are able to seek, allow, and
achieve greater balance and comfort within themselves.

Highlights of Centered Riding Instructor Certification
at Biltmore Equestrian Center, Asheville, N.C.
by Lelia Canter

Level I Sr. Level IV Centered Riding Instructor, Susan E. Harris, conducted a successful two part clinic for established riding instructors to become certified Centered Riding Teachers. It was held in June (3 days) and August (4 days) of 2012 at the beautiful Biltmore Estate
in Asheville, N.C. The Biltmore Equestrian Center spreads along the east bank of the French Broad, River and is known for its enticing trails and vistas. The Vanderbilt’s family estate, is open for tours
year round. One can meet people from all over the world anywhere on the grounds enjoying the pastoral scenes. The Riding Center is a mecca for endurance training and recreational trail riders.
There are presently three instructors at the Biltmore Center who are now certified to teach Centered Riding: Lelia Canter, Ginger Cecil and Elizabeth Bush McLean. The other instructors
who attended were Heather Brinkman and Donna Bishop from Kentucky, Susan Gustafson from
Virginia, and Susan Gasperson, Level II, from Tryon, North Carolina who updated her certification. Rebecca Billard, Level II from Tennessee, assisted Susan Harris with the clinic. Peggy Brown, Sr.
Level IV taught an Open Centered Riding Clinic in June along with the first part of the Instructor’s Clinic and performed the Visible Rider and Anatomy in Motion Presentation with Susan Harris on
the eve of that clinic. If you would like to host a clinic for instructors in your area, or host an open centered riding
clinic, go to www.centeredriding.org . The Centered Riding instructor’s clinics are taught by Level IV Clinicians and the Open Clinicians are Level III or above. You may contact them directly, assisted by the search feature on the website.