• YMCA May 2024
  • Five Oaks May 2024
  • CCES May 2024
  • Int'l Ballet April 2024
  • SCCT April 2024
  • Prisma Health Jan 2024

Posts Tagged ‘Tryon NC’

Foothills Equestrian Nature Center Provides the Love of Horses Through Equine Therapy

Posted on | No Comments

Do you know a special needs child or adult who could benefit from a unique friendship? Did you know that the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center offers an Equine Therapy program only 40 minutes from the Upstate? The program works with children and adults who have autism and other physical, cognitive, and emotional disorders, giving them a beneficial activity to engage in. We have information about their therapeutic riding program and the cost of lessons, so you can get your little one into their program as quickly as possible.

Foothills Equestrian Nature Center in North Carolina

The FENCE equestrian center is just over the state line in Tryon, North Carolina, and under 40 minutes from most of Spartanburg. We have all the information you’ll need to see why the drive could make a world of difference in a child’s life.

For over fifty years, horses have been used as a source of therapy for people with disabilities. The relationship built between the rider and the horse, helps those with disabilities lead fuller, more satisfying lives.

About TROT at Foothills Equestrian Nature Center

At the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE), they’ve been offering TROT for over 18 years. Therapeutic Riding of Tryon offers lessons in small classes and individual classes. Each rider is accompanied by three volunteers to help guide the horse and as side walkers for safety.

Classes are available for children and adults and strictly follow the standards of PATH, the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. Individuals in the North Carolina counties of Henderson, Polk, and Rutherford are welcome at TROT. South Carolina counties of Spartanburg and Greenville are also welcome in the program.

Benefits of Equine Therapy

Equine-type therapy is beneficial to so many. Horses provide a non-judgmental relationship in a rider’s life. It doesn’t take much to fall in love with these horses. Some of the challenges that can be eased by the companionship gained through the classes at TROT are eating disorders, PTSD, Autism, ADD, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, and more.

Child looking at horse at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center

Equine Therapy Course Information

The weekly therapeutic riding courses utilize specially trained horses and each rider has volunteers supporting them before and during the lesson. Typically, three volunteers are assigned to each rider to ensure their safety.

These courses are based on the needs of each student. They teach riders to do everything that goes along with riding a horse from start to finish. Each student spends hands-on time with the horse before each class grooming and learning how to saddle the horse. After each lesson, students help remove the saddle, clean their horses, and offer treats.

Courses are about thirty minutes in length and are encouraged to be taken weekly. You can choose to join one of two riding seasons TROT offers in ten-week blocks – March and early June, and another between September and early December.

For those who are unable to ride astride a horse, TROT also offers an unmounted course. These courses include caring for the horse and learning how it communicates, basic horsemanship, and relating the horse’s behavior to humans. The unmounted courses are typically an hour long.

Pricing of TROT

TROT currently charges $250 for a 10-lesson mounted session and $100 for a 10-lesson unmounted session. Financial assistance in the form of a “ridership” is available for those in need who meet certain criteria.

The peaceful surroundings at FENCE only lend to the therapeutic effects that the horses have. These majestic creatures are just waiting to help people feel better. For a child or adult struggling with an emotional or physical challenge – the victory of learning to care for, and/or ride a horse is life-changing.

Check out Foothills Equestrian Nature Center

3381 Hunting Country Road, Tryon, NC
Visit the FENCE website.

Here is the FENCE TROT Information and registration link.

We hope you share this info with anyone you think might benefit from equine therapy!

Eden Farms horse

Looking for more horseback riding lessons? These local stables offer horseback riding lessons for kids of all skill levels to learn about horses and how to ride them safely.

Half a Million People Are Traveling to Tryon for the World Equestrian Games™ and We Live Just an Hour Away

Posted on | 2 Comments

Are you planning on attending the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and looking for all the information you need for your visit? Do you live in the Upstate region and are considering attending the games? We have put together this comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need for the 2018 Games in Tryon including where to stay,  where to eat, where to park, and what else you can do in the Tryon area.

Update 9/12/18: PHOTOS from the first day of competition are here. A FREE Community Day is happening at the games on Monday, September 17th as well. There are no competitions that day but everything on the grounds – including kids activities like the carousel-  are open!

Half a million spectators are expected to flood into North Carolina in September for one of the largest horse competitions in the world, the  FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) in Mill Spring, NC.. The economic impact is enormous, which could trickle into the Upstate’s economy – organizers expect the games to generate $400 million into the greater Carolinas.

John Lummus is president and CEO of Upstate SC Alliance and told the Upstate Business Journal that he “anticipate[s] a great deal of eyes will be on Tryon and nearby communities like Asheville [N.C.], Greenville, Spartanburg, and the surrounding retreats.”

In a word, these games are going to be huge. They are happening at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, NC, only an hour from Greenville. This is the place that our readers just love! They have Saturday Night Lights events over the summer that are free of charge and include lots of kid-friendly activities like a carousel, face painting, pony rides, magicians, and a horse show.

Tryon International Equestrian Center Saturday Night Lights

What are these games?

The World Equestrian Games™ are held every four years in the mid-Olympic cycle, the largest event of its kind. The events showcases the core disciplines of reining, vaulting, driving, endurance, dressing and para-equestrian dressage, show jumping, and eventing.

The games happen from September 11-23. The 2014 games in Normandy attracted over 1,200 horses, almost 1,000 riders and 575,000 spectator. Again, this is huge.

Each discipline will have its own competition and a schedule of events are here. If you’re not familiar with horse competitions, here is what each discipline means in regular people terms:

Dressage is actually an Olympic sport and has been compared to ballet, where horse and rider work together to create a beautiful performance in tune with music of the rider’s preference.

Driving is probably the most exciting for the spectators as they watch a three-man team navigate four horses that are pulling a carriage through a specially designed course that includes water obstacles and sharp turns. The phases for the driving competition are split up into three days: Dressage, Marathon and Cones.

Endurance is exactly as it sounds: a test of both horse and rider through 100-mile course to challenge the speed and endurance of both. Mandatory rest periods and vet checks are enforced to ensure the welfare of rider and horse.

Eventing is another Olympic discipline that tests the jumping, dressage, and endurance of horse and rider over a three-day period of competition.

Jumping is the third Olympic discipline, and arguably the most popular, as it showcases the rider’s ability to control the horse as it soars over obstacles.

Reining is the only western discipline for these games and looks most like what rodeo horses do when they spin, ride in fast circles, and pull off immediate stops. This competition will happen at the indoor arena at TIEC.

Vaulting is essentially gymnastics on a horse and has its origins in the circus. There are individual, team, and freestyle competitions where the rider performs gymnastics moves on the back of the horse as it rides.

Para-Equestrian Dressage is the same as dressage except riders are scored by their division of functional abilities. The bond between horse and rider are perhaps even more evident as these special athletes demonstrate the relationship with their horse.

Are these events kid-friendly?

Yes, but some more than others. At Saturday Nights Lights, the horse competition is usually jumping and dressage and spectators are requested to stay quiet as to not spook the horses. It’s pretty amazing though to watch but sometimes the smaller kids have trouble keeping quiet.

But other disciplines are more conducive to louder environments and are exciting for the kids to cheer along. For example, Reining events encourage a loud and rowdy crowd. The Cross-Country phase of Eventing and the Marathon phase of Driving are done in an open, outdoor atmosphere and is exciting as spectators watch horses galloping through.

And Vaulting – gymnastics on a horse – is performed to might and often includes colorful costumes, both of which kids will likely love.

Kids are welcome at all events though so don’t be shy about checking out one that sounds like your family will love. Also, Reining and Vaulting are performed indoors, which could be great options if it’s a hot day. There are covered seating in the big arena outside as well.

All tickets include entry to the World Equine Expo™, which includes lot of fun activities and a kids zone. You can also buy these tickets separately.

Are tickets available?

Tickets are sold for individual disciplines, day passes, weekend passes, and all access passses. They can be purchased online. Tickets include access to all the grounds, restaurants, vendors, exhibitions, and entertainment. Parking will be an extra fee, which has not yet been released by the organizers.

Children two years old and younger are free but must sit on the lap of a ticket holder. If parents or guardians want that child to sit by themselves, they need to buy a ticket for them.

Day passes start at $20 per person. Individual competition passes start at $30 and some include more than one day and time for that individual competition.Passes for individual competition qualifiers are more expensive, upwards of $300. For the bad daddy of tickets, the All Sessions Full Games Pass is $1,380.

All tickets bought online are charged a service fee (8.5%) and sales tax (6.75%).

Tryon Internation Equestrian Center World Equestrian Games


The Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is only an hour from Greenville but maybe you want to stay up there for a few days or you have friends coming to town and want to check out the area near the games. There are certainly places to stay near Tryon, from hotels to AirBnbs and apartments. The official games website has a listing page of all area rentals that you can view here.

For a family-friendly place that has activities everyone can enjoy, Lake Lure is 18 miles from where the games are held. A quick Google search turns up several cabins, resorts, and vacation rentals in the area. This local website has information on where to stay as well. If you’re the outdoorsy type, there are several campgrounds in the area like Rutherford Mountain, Hitching Post, Hickory Nut Falls, or Creekside Mountain.

Asheville is an hour away from the TIEC so staying there is also an option for visitors. Hendersonville is a 30-minute drive away and other nearby towns are Landrum, SC, Flat Rock, NC, and Saluda, NC.

Many Greenville and Spartanburg hotels have reported rooms are already filling up for those dates so if you’re thinking of getting out of town and offering your own home for VRBO or Airbnb, maybe you can make some money during the games by hosting visitors.

Places to Eat Near Tryon International Equestrian Center

There are several places to eat on site at the TIEC. From full restaurants to coffee shop and general store, they have it.

Blue Ginger Sushi & Noodles: traditional sushi, rolls, sashimi and more

Campagna Italian Cuisine: wood fired pizza, Italian grill

Legends Grille: Seafood and steak

Roger’s Diner: classic diner fare, milkshakes, gluten free and diary free options

Siesta Cantina: Mexican cuisine, tacos, burritos, salads and margaritas

Mane Street Coffee: pastries and treats, serving North Carolina’s Larry’s coffee

The General Store: Ice cream, deli, along with groceries and donuts

Nearby Columbus, NC is about 8 ½ miles from Tryon. Google maps says that’s about an 11 minute drive, and there are a number of restaurants in Columbus. Here are a few with top reviews!

Mountain View BBQ & Deli: This Columbus favorite serves pulled pork, bbq ribs, brisket and more

Southern Manners: Open for breakfast and lunch, sandwiches, pastries, milkshakes

The Brick Pizzeria: Pizzeria with a variety of appetizers, salads and traditional Italian dishes

Rutherfordton, NC is a little farther from the Equestrian Center but at 12 miles away (an approximately 20 minute drive) it is still a good option for a meal. We’ve listed a few with great reviews.

Rutherford Thai: Popular Rutherford restaurant serving Thai food for lunch and dinner

Mi Puebltio: Mexican restaurant serving salads, nachos and combos loaded with traditional Mexican favorites

Scoggins Seafood and Steakhouse: Lobster, prime rib, steaks, chicken, salad bar, and a lot more!


General parking will not be available at the TIEC for this event. Parking will be available at nearby lots with shuttle service. It will not be free parking. More information on parking is still To Be Announced, check the World Equestrian Games™ FAQ page for updated parking information.

Extra Things to Do in Tryon and the Upstate

If you are looking for fun things to do in addition to attending the World Equestrian Games™, you have several nearby options. Tryon is a lovely town with art galleries, golfing, and picturesque views – you can easily spend a day just exploring the town itself! Here are some ideas to make the most out of your visit:

Go Back to Nature

The area surrounding Tryon offers excellent hiking and outdoor adventures. For example, families should check out The Gorge in nearby Saluda for an amazing zipline canopy tour. If a zipline tour over the gorge is out of your comfort zone, head to Pearson’s Falls for hiking and scenic waterfall views or to Chimney Rock State Park for amazing views of Western North Carolina.

Pick Some Apples

September is the ripe apple-picking time, and Western North Carolina is home to several outstanding apple orchards where you can pick your own bushel. Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock is a popular venue for families.

Play Like a Kid

Tryon is situated close to two super fun children’s museums. Kid Senses Interactive Children’s Museum is located in nearby Rutherfordton, and Hands On! Children’s Museum is located in nearby Hendersonville. Both are only a short car drive away from the equestrian center. Additionally, if your kids near to run off some energy indoors, Mountain Play Lodge is close by in Arden.

Tour the Wineries

Within minutes of the TIEC are several award-winning wineries, such as Mountain Brook Vineyards, Parker-Binns Vineyards, Overmountain Winery, and others, that offer wine tastings and more. To get an idea of where to start, check out the WNC Wine Trail. It will tell you where to find the area’s best wineries.

Be a Tourist

The location of the World Equestrian Games™ could not be any better. Your family can hop in the car and tour several nearby towns and popular tourist destinations, such as the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. Plus, Tryon is only 40 minutes from Spartanburg, South Carolina and 1 hour from Greenville, South Carolina. Visit Kidding Around Greenville and Kidding Around Spartanburg to find out the many fun things to do with kids here. We’d love to have you visit the place we are proud to call home!

Will your family visit Tryon for the World Equestrian Games™ this September?

This website post was a collaborative effort by Kidding Around Contributors Kristina Hernandez, Jennifer Curry and Maria Bassett.