Situated on 25 wooded acres located next to the Taylor River, Taylor River Farm uses its beautifully bucolic space as a school for teaching students correct horsemanship and riding form. The Lesson Academy offers individualized instruction to students of all ability levels under the guidance of head instructor Kristin Farley, who has trained numerous world champions over a riding career that has spanned more than 25 years. The barn's heated indoor arena features a viewing room from which spectators can view a pupil's lessons in Hunt Seat, Saddle Seat, or Western. In addition to riding properly, students learn how to groom and tack up their lesson horse, as well as how to communicate with the horse telepathically.
Hunter’s Haven Farm sprawls across multiple acres of verdant farmland in Groveland, fostering a bucolic atmosphere dedicated to teaching equestrian riding techniques in lessons for riders 8 and older. The center’s two horse whisperers call upon three decades of training and riding experience to coach students in the center’s dual riding modalities, hunt seat and dressage. Hunt seat displays the horse’s prowess while running flat or jumping over small hurdles, and dressage showcases the horse’s natural impulses, whether running freely with a rider or stopping to vote “neigh” on a potential future of donkey riding. The farm’s facilities encompass an indoor arena, cross-country fences, and a galloping track. Students can also guide their steeds around a lit outdoor ring or practice circuits around the onsite dressage ring during private or group sessions. Children can experience guided pony rides and natural interactions with ponies, goats, pigs, and a philosophical saddle at Hunter’s Haven Farm’s petting zoo.
Your hour opens with some time to get to know the horses, and then, after saddling up, additional time is taken for your instructor to get to know your riding ability. Verrill Stables works hard to match each of its guest riders with a steed that suits their style, so no matter what your skill or prior horse-sailing experience, you'll find just the right American Saddlebred to wrap your legs around. Members of the Verrill family have decades of horseperience between them. Lead trainer Jess spent her college summers horsing around in the prime horse orchards of Kentucky and in 2005 brought home the gold for the U.S. from the equestrian equivalent of the World Cup.
Rondo, the de facto host of Grooming at Tiffany's, happily greets every guest with a hardy handshake. Or if not that, perhaps an exuberant tail wag, an offering of chew sticks … something that lets visitors know they're welcome. The amiable shih tzu-poodle mix belongs to owner Tiffany Perron, who styles canines with the skills she developed at the Dapper Dawg School of Professional Dog Grooming. She and her fellow groomers provide an array of services, from crate-free full groomings to quick touchups for dogs facing short-notice job interviews.
At Paws Club, pooches carouse in the outdoor play area before retiring to the sofas and beds of the social lounge indoors. In that air-conditioned space, they relax while listening to soft music. If feeling more active, they romp around the large supervised backyard or prance through sprinklers. All the while pups remain under the watchful eye of bonded and insured staff and pet sitters who love to play and interact with their furry guests. Canines staying overnight are housed in cageless boarding and pampered with late-night treats. A toll-free phone line is available, as well, so owners can check in on their pets while away.