Hunter’s Haven Farm sprawls across multiple acres of verdant farmland in Groveland, fostering a bucolic atmosphere dedicated to teaching equestrian riding techniques in lessons for riders 8 and older. The center’s two horse whisperers call upon three decades of training and riding experience to coach students in the center’s dual riding modalities, hunt seat and dressage. Hunt seat displays the horse’s prowess while running flat or jumping over small hurdles, and dressage showcases the horse’s natural impulses, whether running freely with a rider or stopping to vote “neigh” on a potential future of donkey riding. The farm’s facilities encompass an indoor arena, cross-country fences, and a galloping track. Students can also guide their steeds around a lit outdoor ring or practice circuits around the onsite dressage ring during private or group sessions. Children can experience guided pony rides and natural interactions with ponies, goats, pigs, and a philosophical saddle at Hunter’s Haven Farm’s petting zoo.
At Paws Club, pooches carouse in the outdoor play area before retiring to the sofas and beds of the social lounge indoors. In that air-conditioned space, they relax while listening to soft music. If feeling more active, they romp around the large supervised backyard or prance through sprinklers. All the while pups remain under the watchful eye of bonded and insured staff and pet sitters who love to play and interact with their furry guests. Canines staying overnight are housed in cageless boarding and pampered with late-night treats. A toll-free phone line is available, as well, so owners can check in on their pets while away.
Situated on 25 wooded acres located next to the Taylor River, Taylor River Farm uses its beautifully bucolic space as a school for teaching students correct horsemanship and riding form. The Lesson Academy offers individualized instruction to students of all ability levels under the guidance of head instructor Kristin Farley, who has trained numerous world champions over a riding career that has spanned more than 25 years. The barn's heated indoor arena features a viewing room from which spectators can view a pupil's lessons in Hunt Seat, Saddle Seat, or Western. In addition to riding properly, students learn how to groom and tack up their lesson horse, as well as how to communicate with the horse telepathically.
Crate Escape owes its existence to a 10-year-old jack russell terrier named Ernestine Hastings. Ernestine's owners, Bradley and Stephanie, loved their pooch so much that they decided to spread this affection to other dogs by opening a spacious boarding and grooming facility. Pet owners can drop off their furry friends for daycare or overnight boarding services, letting pups gambol about in a 17,000-square-foot play space. Groomers tackle matted fur and tails caked in cake by scrubbing coats with hypoallergenic shampoo.
Boston Phoenix and Boston Magazine both agree that the off-leash adventures led by Doggie Daytrippers are an upgrade from leaving pups at home. The rationale behind the unique form of doggy daycare? A tired dog is a happy dog. Tiring activities look a bit different for each dog, which is why doggy field trips involve swimming and snowshoeing at local parks and beaches, whereas daycare includes hours of open play at each pooch's pace. Dogs can also pal around with new friends if owners sign them up for a city hike, which means two hours at a nearby dog park, including pickup and drop off at home.