RaveWaves refurbishes marine and terrene cruisers with comprehensive interior and exterior detailing. Doting maritime travelers can entrust treasured schooners to RaveWaves' detail technicians, who restore be-barnacled exteriors to a showroom gleam. Collinite 885 Fleetwax seals in clean surfaces and stands up to 90 days of elemental attacks from sun, wind, rain, and absent-minded gulls. A hand dry with microfiber towels and chamois eliminates the telltale signs that your boat has been around water. The technicians who sunburn easily go to work on interiors with a thorough vacuum, and a wipe down clears the cockpit and windows of the brightly colored evidence from your last wild Mary Kay party. Captains must drop off sea steeds for two to three days to ensure ample time for detail orientation.
With 70 years of teaching experience between them, Jane and Heidi Wilson form a mother-daughter team that has helped riders learn the grace and technique necessary to win awards throughout the Illinois show circuit. The pair leads horseback-riding lessons at Driftwood Stable that teach students of all ages and skill levels the fundamental skills of hunter/jumper or western styles. Students guide one of the 10 gentle school horses around the facility's 100' x 200' outdoor arena, heated 180' x 200' indoor arena, or acres of verdant pastures ruled by clans of warring bunnies.
Most basic riding lessons include a how-to on tacking up the horse. Get a head start with Groupon's overview of horse tack.
Tack refers to everything a horse wears for a ride, from saddles to bridles to reins. Just as people dress differently for different jobs, horses wear different tack depending on whether they're employed riding on trails, working on a cattle ranch, strutting down a runway, or competing inside a show ring.
One of the most important pieces of tack is the saddle, buckled onto a band around the horse's middle called a girth. Western saddles, designed for long days of riding, distribute the rider?s weight evenly and comfortably across the horse?s back. At the front is a horn around which cowboys can wrap rope used to lead cattle. English saddles, on the other hand, are hornless, and are light to give horses more freedom to run and jump.
Then there are the parts of the tack designed to help the rider communicate with the horse. The bridle?leather headgear that slips around the horse?s ears and nose?is attached to a bit and reins. The bit is a metal or synthetic bar attached to the bridle and resting in the back of the horse?s mouth on its gums. The reins connect to the bit, letting the rider tug gently to indicate the need to slow down or make a turn. Although the reins used in English and Western riding may be the same, they're used differently. English riders hold on with both hands, whereas Western riders hold both in just one hand, leaving the other free to high-five passing sheriffs.
The horseback lesson takes place at Sunflower Farms, which boasts 170 acres of pristine wooded lakefront farmland, ideal for galloping horses and running a mildly successful Internet business. Start the two-hour session with an hour-long ground lesson that helps riders get to know their horses, covers the basics of riding equipment, and teaches horse-grooming methods. Once riders feel comfortable enough around a horse to not be overwhelmed with the desire to challenge it to a staring contest, they'll saddle up and ride for a full hour, outfitted with a certified helmet from Saddlers Row. Sunflower Farms instructors will work with riders of any skill level, from beginner to competition level.
When Sensei Katrina Polen teaches Ryukyu Kempo karate to students of all genders and ages during classes, she?s not just showing them self-defense techniques?she?s encouraging them to adopt a lifestyle of fitness, character growth, and creativity. She oversees sparring matches that teach the value of a strong work ethic or stunt double, and also plans optional competitions for those desiring more concrete stakes. To allow her prot?g?s an artistic say in their practice, she gives them free reign of the demonstration group, TeamKat, which plans routines for performance.
She also offers non-karate classes in the form of cardio-kickboxing and personal-training sessions. She works to cultivate a tight-knit sense community by hosting additional events, such as birthday parties and bimonthly movie nights.
Diamond Edge LLC's head instructor, Samantha Swanson, got her start as an equestrian when she was just four years old. Because her parents lived on a dude ranch, Samantha started out with Western riding before transitioning to English riding at the age of six—a discipline that would carry her to prestigious circuit championships all the way through high school. Today, with her competition years behind her, she grooms new legions of riders to compete at the same high level. She starts beginners out with the basics of communication with the horse—including vocal commands, body language, and love letters written in hoof tracks—until they're ready to move on to entry-level jumping and showing in intermediate lessons. Students can also fine tune their skills in advanced lessons, and truly push themselves to perform their best if they're willing and able to take on the challenge of show team lessons.