Bridgette Harwood has been a horseback riding instructor since 1995 and horse trainer since 1998, with a specialty in opening up the lines of non-verbal communication between horse and rider. Bridgette's curriculum teaches riders to master the techniques of seat, balance, control, and fluency, all of which influence the horse to behave in the desired fashion. The overarching goal in Bridgette’s camps and lessons is to show the rider how to benefit from what comes naturally to the horse, whether that means trotting swiftly, jumping athletically, or secretly entering the Kentucky Derby on the last turn.
An 18-foot giraffe cranes its neck to look at passing visitors. Across the path, ring-tailed lemurs swing between the trees. Nearby, alligators thrash in a swamp, and ostriches strut through the grass. The animal handlers at Long Island Game Farm—comprising a team of veterinary students and environmental workers—care for these native and exotic species in re-creations of their natural habitats. On any regular day, they guide visitors past enclosures populated by aoudad sheep, cougars, zebras, and red kangaroos, and demonstrate the creatures’ eating habits through scheduled viewable feedings. They also let visitors feed giraffes, goats, and zebras by hand, and discuss each creature’s lifestyle without judging them by their nighttime hobbies.
A series of trails winds through woods and public picnic areas, leading to areas such as Bambiland—an enclosure for Mediterranean and native deer—and Old MacDonald's Farmyard, where visitors can bottle-feed baby animals and hang out with pigs, rabbits, goats, and ponies. Park staffers also help smaller visitors on and off the park’s carnival rides that include spinning teacups, a miniature train, and an antique carousel. In the summer, they further engage children in Camp Zoo, a one-week day camp during which an experienced instructor teaches participants about environmental conservation and divulges facts and gossip about various animals.
In 1997, when Carolyn Jolly and Richard Quackenbush first took a look at the 35 acres that would eventually become Hidden Pond Stables, they saw more than the massive barns and vast network of pre-existing trails. They saw a bright future filled with bustling horse shows, healthy ponies, and happy riders. Today, the husband-and-wife team welcomes students to their bucolic plot of land for horsemanship lessons and riding instruction in both the English and Western disciplines. When the weather cooperates, riders can guide their horse in the direction of two outdoor hunt courses, a cross country course, or a half-mile track. Should inclement weather prevent outdoor riding, horse and rider can practice in one of the facility's illuminated indoor arenas rather than just trotting on a giant horse-sized treadmill.
From a perch on Long Island, airplanes cruise high above some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, including the sapphire waves of the Atlantic and the beaches of the Hamptons. But, though the views from the plane are pretty, the experience of soaring through the air above them is unforgettable. Just ask 516 Skydive?s team of experienced instructors. They specialize exclusively in tandem jumps, making skydiving accessible and approachable to all jumpers, regardless of experience level. The staff keeps them safe by adhering to the strict standards of the United States Parachute Association, which enforces rigorous regulations, safety guidelines, and Top Gun code names for instructors.