For more than two decades, Pam Roush has been hosre-training equivalent of a Harvard professor. Her alumni regularly accumulate blue ribbons, awards, and credits such as the UPHA Chapter 16's "Horse of the Year" award. Notable former students include CH My Heart, Top Star Willie, and Galahad's Gold Mine, which all received the "Best of Breed" honor from Saddle and Bridle after spending time under her tutelage.
On Avalon Stables’ 30 acres of open pastures, Pam and her assistant trainers provide boarding and training services for horses, as well as lessons for riders of all ages. They address individual riding goals during private lessons, encourage camaraderie through group lessons, and introduce to riding at children's camps, where kids bond with horses that tell ghost stories.
The high-energy activities under Xtreme Adventures Family Fun Center’s roof instigate rushes of adrenaline in technicolor environs. In the multileveled, 6,000-square-foot laser-tag arena, teams of combatants track down their opponents as they navigate serpentine passageways, duck around forest plants, and circumvent digital quicksand. Padded Crazy Cars spin 360 degrees as drivers ricochet around the rink, while on the trampolines lining the walls and floor of the Xtreme Jump pit, visitors of all ages traverse its elastic expanses in leaps and bounds. After their adventures, they can sample snacks from the Xtreme Cafe & Bar, including pizza, sandwiches, and wings.
Krystle Lee grew up riding horses, and when she got to college at William Woods University, her love of equines only deepened—so much so that she wound up graduating with a degree in Equestrian Science. Now a member of the American Riding Instructors Association, she also runs Suncoast Stables, a barn specializing in show training for American Saddlebreds, Hackneys, and Roadsters.
Open to students ages 4 and up, Krystle’s riding lessons unlock the fundamentals of styles including English horseback riding and driving, which mostly involves riding a horse while spinning an imaginary steering wheel. Her summer camps cover similar basics, making each lesson more memorable with an added infusion of arts and crafts. No matter the season, the barn’s spacious boarding quarters house four-legged residents that enjoy two feedings per day, automatic waters, and a daily turnout.
Andrea Whiting, Arbordale Riding Academy's head instructor, draws upon 14 years of professional experience to teach budding equestrian all-stars. Andrea has served as a board member of the Tampa Horse Show Association and a member of the United States Equestrian Federation, a group known for supporting quality care and voting rights for prettier ponies. On the academy grounds, Andrea's students hop atop one of the outfit's carefully maintained horses to receive an introduction to the skills required for competition. Students can learn how to ride in the english style of saddle seat during lessons, and summer camps are also available. One of Andrea's most accomplished students won a National Championship title with the help of her tutelage, and two other horses and three riders who studied under her earned top ten World Championship ribbons.
Arbordale also offers full boarding facilities for steeds, providing all the bedding, grain, and blanketing their tired haunches require. Horses and their owners exercise on 15 acres with various turnout options, and take advantage of the facility's large outdoor arena, jumps, and full tack room.
Christy Jeffreys, lead instructor at Hoofprinted Hearts Farm, draws upon 21 years of equestrian experience each time she introduces a novice to the sport of horseback riding or engages a child's imagination during summer camps. Children, teens, and adults of all skill levels can enroll in the farm's lessons, which aim to instill self-confidence and respect for the maned mammals. As the instructor looks on and provides guidance, students learn to feed, bathe, and groom the horses in preparation for showing, a skill that is sure to come in handy when restoring old collections of My Little Ponies. Summer camps engage out-of-school children between the ages of 4 and 13 in daily riding lessons, horse-themed crafts, and human-themed camaraderie.
At Champagne Stables, riding paths wind through five scenic acres, beckoning trail riders and students alike. The stables’ patient teachers pair their pupils with steady, reliable steeds before guiding them through the basics of riding, including proper posture, and more advanced techniques, such as how to navigate the swimsuit portion of equestrian competitions. Instructors correct and encourage students as they and their mounts prance around the stables’ show ring during lessons and summer camps.