Instructors, Lessons & Training 

Lessons are available for horses and riders of all levels and disciplines. All of our instructors are lifelong students of the horse, and continue to provide the highest standard of education. From beginning lessons to advanced coaching for competition, a program to fit your needs awaits.

Leah and Buck .jpg

Leah Keller - Barn Manager 

Leah has a professionally strong Natural Horsemanship foundation, and has ridden and trained with Buck Brannaman, Buster McLaury, Maryal Barnett, Theresa Dorhety, Randy Rieman, and other well-known trainers.  She believes in a foundation that starts on the ground and works up to the saddle.  Her students start with groundwork in order to better communicate with their horse under saddle.   She has been teaching for 13 years.  At Bay Harbor Equestrian Center, where she began in May of 2005, she progressed from stable hand to training horses to including the profession of teaching.  Leah then took over managing Bay Harbor Equestrian Center in the fall of 2009 and was the head trainer and manager until spring of 2013 when she went to South Fox Island where she managed the island's equestrian center until the summer of 2014. Shortly after that she took a brief break before beginning her management/training and teaching at Rising Hope in June of 2016. She teaches beginner lessons all the way up to advanced lessons, and everything in between. Anybody would be lucky to take lessons with her. 

Lesson Prices

$50 Private 

$40 Semi-Private 

$30 Group 


Susan Klimas

A native of Harbor Springs, Susan began her riding career in Hunter-Jumpers at Black Forest Hall under Alison Cram.  She became certified by the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) in 1994 in both English and Western styles of riding, after which she taught riding at Camp Westwind on the Oregon Coast.  Teaching on and off throughout college in Michigan, Susan moved to Singapore in 2004, where she joined the riding section at the Singapore Polo Club as a full-time Instructor.  In 2006, she became certified in Therapeutic Riding and served as Head Instructor at the Riding for Disabled Association of Singapore.  Jumping being her specialty, Susan has significant experience with showing horses, instructing private and group therapeutic riding, trail riding and Natural Horsemanship.  Locally, she has instructed for the Bay Harbor Equestrian Center, Exceptional Riders of Northern Michigan, KColfer Sporthorses, Grace and Glory Riders and Rising Hope Equestrian Center.  She enjoys teaching both children and adults at all levels.

Lesson Prices

$ 45 Private 

$35 Semi-Private 

$25 Group 

Patti teaching .jpg

Patti Repasky

 Patti has been teaching at Rising Hope for four summers. She grew up riding on Mackinac Island in the summers and had various clinics in her adult life that changed the way she looks at the human/horse relationship, which sparked her interest in learning more about that connection and sharing it with children through teaching.  Her goals are to become an equine-assisted learning  teacher combined with Natural Horsemanship.

She has two children who grew up in Harbor Springs, and she worked at Nub’s Nob for 18 years. Her passion is horses; you can never stop learning; they are the best teachers.

Lesson Prices

$ 40 Private 

$30 Semi-Private 

$20 Group