Guests at Summit Farm are greeted by a bucolic country scene: horses trot along in open fields, birds dart in and out of thickly wooded ridges, and a farm cat basks lazily in a sunny flowerbed with a belly full of field mice. The privately owned equestrian facility buzzes with activity. As a full-service stable, the farm offers lessons, boarding, showing, and party services while still leaving enough time to fit leisurely trail rides into the daily schedule.
Dedicated trainers expose their horses to a variety of disciplines, enabling them to accommodate many different riding styles and students, and occasionally enter steeds in local hunter paces and AA circuit competitions. The instructors also lead summer riding camps that help beginners acclimate with grooming, tacking, and riding activities. Jeans or long riding pants are required for all riders, along with riding boots and hair ties for kids with shoulder-length beards.
The staff members at Natural Cat and Dog and its partners aim to enhance all aspects of pets’ lives with a focus on nutrition, grooming, and training. In addition to running specialized seminars for both dogs and owners, they provide additional services such as pet sitting and underground-fence installation.
Outfitted with a wide range of indoor and outdoor play areas, Furry Friends Daycare & Boarding takes animals of all shapes and sizes into its care. Cat accommodations include an indoor room for exercise and prowling, whereas dogs are treated to an outdoor dog run. Other services include dog grooming, nail trimming, and boarding for rabbits, ferrets, and other small animals.
Nestled among 151 private acres, Larkspur Farm’s 36-horse facility sets the spacious stage for education in the equine pursuits of hunting, jumping, and dressage under the tutelage of specialized trainers. All lessons take place year-round on the farm’s all-weather outdoor lesson ring or inside the 80’x120’ arena. Beginners establish riding skills by starting with one-on-one lessons that instill such fundamentals as mounting the horse, trotting, and applying enough gel to give your steed a mane mohawk. As riders advance, they matriculate to small group lessons of up to four riders that last one hour and cover more advanced techniques.
Larkspur Farm offers boarding facilities for privately owned horses, summer camp for boys and girls aged 7–14, and a sales and leasing program for horses and ponies.
Passage East Kennels is devoted to all things pooch, so much so that John Travolta and Robin Williams filmed parts of their 2009 movie Old Dogs on its grounds. The family-owned business has provided dog care since 1967, and today, it offers pet owners flexible boarding options, doggy daycare, and full-service grooming. Passage East also donates its time and profits to helping homeless dogs find loving families, procuring new homes for more than 150 pups over the last decade.
Sarah and Krista, the lead trainers at Elite Equine Group, help students develop confident horseback-riding skills during lessons and nurture comfortable relationships between humans and horses. The teaching duo takes into account each rider’s variables⎯including experience, age, abilities, and hat gallon number⎯as they teach students within the two indoor rings or one outdoor arena.
With a focus on safety, the instructors typically start young riders out in 30-minute lessons, while older students partaking in hour-long lessons that teach grooming, tacking, and groundwork.