A veteran of horse shows well versed in hunting, jumping, and grand-prix competitions, Leslie Webb Janiak knows her way around a stable. As the owner and trainer at Oxford Farm, Leslie imparts her lifelong knowledge to aspiring equestrians of all ages, helping to build relationships between man and steed so that they may one day sit together in the halls of Congress. With facilities including 30 stalls, an indoor arena, and 18 large paddocks, Oxford Farm offers comprehensive horse care for owners looking for a place to board or train their long-faced friends. Amateur or beginning riders can also take part by enlisting in private lessons. During each session, instructors divulge riding basics as well as basic horse care, such as how to handle the horse's halter and lead rope and pepper trail rides with Lone Ranger recaps.
A family-owned-and-operated business, Northeast Pet Grooming falls back on more than 26 years of experience to offer bow-wows of all breeds a familiar, welcoming space to get spruced up. The gentle staff provides one-on-one attention during various services, including baths that polish pooches with professional, all-natural products. Similarly, flea baths expel unwanted pests from their furry hideaways, and during haircuts, groomers comb through thick tufts to remove any entangled wiffle balls before using clippers or scissors for a stylish trim.
Fronted by head trainer and grand prix rider Erika Heintschel Githens, River Hollow Farm's experienced trainers teach riders age five years and older to groom and guide horses in the traditional English style. Each 45- to 60-minute lesson begins as riders learn the basics of tacking their four-legged transporters, dressing them in bridles, saddles, and halters, and using basic grooming techniques such as brushing their coats and flossing their teeth. Once dressed, students then learn to control their domesticated mustangs and ponies while settled in a shallow English–style saddle––a shallow, un-horned style that allows equestrians more movement when jumping hurdles. Because the style demands more contact between horse and rider, English riding promotes a deeper student-steed bond as they sync their bodily movements and giggle about their communal crush on Lyle Lovett. Jockeys-in-training are advised to don long pants and riding boots or hard-soled shoes with at least a 1-inch heel.