Featherbrook Farm's head trainer and instructor Lisa Avaloz draws upon a lifetime of equine experience and an international network of colleagues. The farm fosters interspecies cooperation through lessons, camps, and birthday parties. Riding lessons instill in young riders the importance of grooming, form, and confidence, rewarding proper handling skills with positive reinforcement. Beginning students start on a lunge line to improve their positioning, strengthen their seat, and gain a feel for their horse. Safety remains of utmost importance throughout the lesson. All students must wear helmets while riding and avoid giving horses celebratory piggyback rides after completing a session.
Featherbrook Farm conducts weekly camps from June to August for 6–14 youngsters at a time. Campers ride twice each day and establish a solid foundation of horsemanship through grooming, first aid, and studying horse anatomy. In addition to education, fun and excitement abound as children play games and make crafts with new friends.
Ollu's long list of services has something to primp and pamper every pup. Owners can choose to bathe their own pup with all supplies and cleanup provided ($15 for dogs less than 10 lbs, $20 for dogs 11 to 90 lbs, and $25 for dogs more than 90 lbs). Boasting waist-high stainless-steel tubs and a variety of eco-friendly supplies, the grooming center aims to deliver an effortless washing environment for you to clean your pet. Or tail waggers can be passed off, by appointment, to Ollu's friendly cleansing pros for a full-service bath and brush that includes nail trimming, ear cleaning, and optional fashionable bandana accessorizing (dogs less than 10 lbs cost $30, dogs weighing more than 10 lbs start at $40). Full-service grooming with breed-specific haircuts and specialty add-ons such as a de-shedding treatment are also available.
In 1874, English immigrants John and Eliza Ames saddled their percheron draft horses and ventured westward from the Atlantic shore. They settled a plot on the Minnesota countryside and their horses grew strong there, roaming 500 acres of grassy fields. Today, the Ames family continues to care for the breed at Cedar Ridge Arabians, Inc., leading many of their full- and half-arabian horses to class A competitions and earning the Breeder of the Year designation from the Arabian Professional & Amateur Horseman's Association in 2011. In addition to raising horses, the trainers guide riding students with lessons that include tacking, untacking, cooling down, and selecting suitable bedtime stories for each horse.
With seven play areas, walking trails in a nature preserve, and a 24,000-square-foot luxury hotel, it's a wonder that any dog would want to leave Adogo Pet Hotel. Canines at daycare romp in one of two indoor and five outdoor play areas, each with umbrellas, water fountains, and specialized turf designed just for dogs. Meanwhile, trainer Cassia Drake calls on more than 20 years of experience to lead group classes ranging from puppy socialization to agility training in order to maintain manners and teach that mail carriers are the glue that binds any democratic nation. But overnight boarders may have the best treat of all—they get to spend the night in one of 93 upscale rooms and private suites overseen by a service-oriented staff. Before heading to bed, residents might visit the spa for a mani-pedi and a blueberry facial—an ideal way to forget the day's stresses. Webcams allow pet parents to watch what's going on inside, and a cutting-edge centralized cleaning system keeps the place tidy.
This highly sophisticated pet hotel is the vision of president and lifelong dog lover John Sturgess. Having spent more than 20 years as a leading hotel-industry executive, Sturgess knows a thing or two about giving guests the red-carpet treatment. As reported on KARE 11 News, Sturgess "grew the Country Inn & Suites brand by more than 300%," and now offers canines the same service and quality "you would expect at a four- and five-star hotel for humans." His combined passion for people and their four-legged friends earned him the Twin West Chamber Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2012, and also inspired him to work with Make-A-Wish Minnesota to provide a lifetime of complimentary boarding services for the new golden retriever of a boy with epilepsy, according to Minnetonka Patch.
At Lucky Dog Pet Lodge, experienced and caring dog lovers supervise playtime and pampering services across 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. Paws tear into an 18,000-square-foot outdoor yard or clomp across a 7,000-square-foot indoor space as dogs wrestle with fellow canines and chase new furry friends. Automatic watering stations constantly circulate fresh water for tongues to lap, and an air-exchange system continuously circulates fresh air throughout the center. Dogs preferring rest, solitude, or the Politics section of the New York Times can find sanctuary in quiet areas of the center, spending one-on-one time with the staff. Owners can also treat their four-legged companions to Lucky Dog's boarding services, which include 10 hours of daycare per day and private suites furnished with fresh blankets and cushy Kuranda dog beds.Groomers scrub pups and seasoned trainers practice behavior modification, teaching canines to sit, stay, and answer phones in a British accent. All doggy emergencies are handled in the capable care of staff members trained in dog-specific first aid and CPR.