On a ranch in the country, Epona Farms' trainers share the equestrian spirit with newcomers, youth, and champions-to-be in their indoor arenas and outdoor sand area. Triona Watson, an advanced coach since 1975, draws from her international experience to head up the facility's instructional programs. Her riding curriculum centers on three components: dressage, stadium jumps, and cross-country riding. Along with these focuses, her students learn English and Western styles of riding in an indoor arena and outdoor sand area. As spring turns to summer, Epona's horse whisperers expand their lessons into immersive day camps that teach horsemanship and leadership skills to adolescents, and let the children interact with other animals, such as rabbits and sheep. Younger children may be enchanted by PeeWee Pony School, a program that pairs pintsize novices with appropriate-size steeds to help instill a love for horses and riding at a young age. Additionally, the instructors focus on community outreach and work with special-needs children and young adults.
Clint Robinson's U.S. Air Force duty took him around the world, but it was his time in South Korea that made the biggest mark. There, he learned the art of tae kwon do—and the positive fitness and values associated with it. When he returned to the states and left the Air Force, it didn't take long for him to found his own martial-arts school. More than 40 years and 19 locations later, Robinson's Taekwondo continues to thrive on the same principles on which Clint founded his business: excellence, personal attention, and tradition. He now counts children's, adult, and family programs as part of his curriculum. With continued training, students of all ages not only hone their fitness, but also improve their mental sharpness, self-confidence, and discipline.
Equipment: Kettlebells, stability balls, Bosu balls, weights, and medicine balls
Students should bring: Towel
Average class length: 30?60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Have fun.
Since 1972, Spare Time Clubs has evolved into a 10-club, full-service family sports club company that includes programs for both adults and children. Each location varies in size—some boasting multiple complexes—and houses amenities such as lighted tennis courts, pools, kids’ play areas, and fitness centers. At the Diamond Hills and El Dorado Hills locations, members can shine up in the onsite European spas, and the jewel of the Gold River club is a lighted stadium court encircled by a 5,000 square-foot observation deck. In the event of inclement weather or courts being overrun by ball-chasing dogs, players can schedule time at the dedicated indoor-tennis center, where eight fully sectioned-off, championship courts glow under the power of tournament-level lighting. World-class coaches develop kids’ court skills at the junior tennis academy, students of which can practice with an unlimited number of sessions at any of Spare Time’s other clubs.
A ninth-degree black belt in karate, Tony Nunez has proudly empowered thousands of women in the eight years since he founded Women Kickin It. As reported on Fox40, "Nunez is giving women something he wishes his mother had." After watching his own mother succumb to the crippling effects of domestic abuse, Nunez made it his life's goal to ensure not only that his students are equipped with survival techniques when faced with an attack, but also that they are building and nurturing their feelings of self-confidence and self-worth.
His classes provide a fun, safe alternative to standard self-defense techniques, such as firing pepper spray or breathing fire, while increasing mobility and body confidence. A low-key, welcoming environment facilitates training for women of all experience levels and body types, whether they sign up for group classes, one-on-one instruction, or sparring sessions with Tony.