The quiet hanging over 20 acres of white kentucky fence-lined prairie is broken with the opening chords of a power ballad. Lori Ragland is in a light-rock kind of mood today, and has chosen the soundtrack for the afternoon’s riding lessons accordingly. Finding this balance between the serenity of nature and ebullience of horseback riding is key to Lori’s approach to providing a controlled yet supportive learning environment for all of her pupils. A seasoned equestrienne who started her riding career at the tender age of 5, she strongly believes that a rider should possess a solid knowledge of riding safety and horse anatomy before stepping into the stirrups, which is why much time is spent with beginners reviewing these basics. Lori and her equally passionate crew of instructors pride themselves on their almost preternatural ability to pair up riders with their perfect steeds. They carefully analyze each rider’s disposition, comfort level, and fluency in colloquial neighing before matching them with a well-tempered mount from their fleet of 32 predominantly arabian horses.
Earth tones, wood fixtures, and vintage furniture. Shear Impressions is more like a quaint home than a typical salon and spa. That's due to the aesthetic decisions of Veronica Vallejo, who opened the doors to the cozy getaway in 1999. A licensed cosmetologist, her 27 years of experience in skincare allow her to understand what clients want out of a visit: pampering, personal attention, and up-to-date fashion expertise. She leads her team of stylists and aestheticians by regularly attending workshops, which keep her abreast of current styles, techniques, and products. Sharing her knowledge, she and her team style hair using products such as Kenra and Paul Mitchell and keep skin youthful and radiant by employing facials and peels. They also enhance natural beauty with waxing, makeup application, and mani-pedis.
White Stone Day Spa is a shimmering oasis amid the stresses of daily life, giving clients a brief respite from the outside world with a full complement of spa and salon services. The day spa continues to evolve its relaxing environment by embracing modern advancements in cosmetic products and technology. Human touch massage chairs transform the most straightforward mani-pedis into truly luxuriant experiences, and those chairs coexist happily with White Stone's human massage therapists, who relieve muscular aches with combinations of Swedish and deep-tissue techniques. During facials, aestheticians pamper clients and their ventriloquist dummies with glo minerals and glo therapeutics skincare products. White Stone Day Spa also stocks diamond-tipped microdermabrasion wands and encourages visitors to schedule a detoxifying session in its infrared sauna.
Arrowhead Bicycles is stationed only a few pedals away from the Southern Tier bicycle route that stretches from Florida to California, issuing customers a tantalizing challenge on their way out the door. The store itself is a hub that local and visiting cyclists swing into for new accessories, an impromptu tune-up, or simply an air-conditioned oasis where they can rest their feet, refill their water bottles, and hop online to check weather alerts and their favorite cycling blogs. Customers in the market for a new steed choose from models by industry mainstays such as Fuji and Scott, which were made for mountain, road, ramp, and spacious-condo travel. Meanwhile, the store’s stable of skilled technicians breathes new life into serviceable bikes with tune-ups, repairs, installations, and washes.
Bel Canto Farms owner Suzanne Warmack has been enamored of equestrian sports since she took her first horseback ride at 18 months of age, more than 40 years ago. Now, in a facility where two dressage arenas, a derby field, and a 90-foot round pen segment the grounds, she leads a team of three regular instructors whose combined experience in teaching and showing surpasses 60 years. Since the facility is also outfitted for full boarding and pasture boarding, horse owners who lack stables or whose stables have been overrun by iguana flash mobs can house their steeds there, selecting one of three stall sizes equipped with a constant supply of hay and water and fans in summer.
"It's like throwing a party every day," Byron Severance, who co-owns The Jumpy Place along with his wife, Cathy, told the Hays Free Press. "It's the most fun I've ever had in a job." Byron and Cathy's indoor playground—kept immaculate with a strict socks-only policy, daily disinfectant washes, and an unbudging ban on trashcan-dwelling Grouches—relieves the endemic of excess energy common to youths aged 10 and younger. As children bounce in and slide down air-filled fortresses, adults entertain themselves with complimentary coffee, WiFi, and cartoon-free television. Both locations are open every day except Tuesday, and each admission grants all-day access that allows families to come and go as they please.