As the head trainer at Raintree Equestrian Center—and in previous roles—Shannyn Welsh has worked in riding disciplines including Western pleasure, hunter/jumper, and barrel racing with horse breeds ranging from all types of top-bred warmbloods to arabians, andalusians, and tennessee walkers. Equestrians from all over the country and from Europe trust Shannyn’s experience so much that they routinely send her their own horses to help with problem solving, preparation, and training. Students of all riding levels also seek out Shannyn’s expertise to improve their skills. While practicing within the 60-foot round pen or the 100’x200’ lighted arena, or experimenting with a Fosbury flop on the full-jump course, students learn to exhibit the hallmarks of good riding technique, including center balance, soft hands, and firm legs.
Ashley Simmons has teased the locks and sculpted the toenails of canines from across the breed spectrum, from playful little terriers to stately black labradors. The seasoned specialist operates out of a tidy grooming parlor where she treats her canine clients to deep-cleansing baths, manicures, and stylish haircuts. She also administers a variety of luxurious spa-style treatments, including massages, facial scrubs, and oatmeal baths. To combat itchy fleas, the expert technician sprays dogs with a soothing formula and applies a powerful shampoo before coaxing out any remaining pests with a magical wooden flute.
Experienced gymnasts twirl and flip at one end of Gymcats Gymnastics’ floor as they train for advanced events. At the other end, toddlers learn introductory rolls and coordination. That’s the studio’s philosophy at a glance: real gymnastics taught in classes designed to suit all students. Kids aged 3–4 learn the basics of tumbling while increasing attention spans, learning social skills, and practicing human pyramids to reach cookie jars. More-seasoned athletes can receive instruction on the vault, bars, balance beam, and floor. After they graduate, students can apply their skills toward other sports or practice to become a part of Gymcats’ competitive teams. The gym also caters to grownups by hosting parents’ nights out on select Fridays and overseeing birthday parties.
Bensinger's Fine Cleaners handles dry-cleaning emergencies with a wide range of services. The skilled staff of dirt exorcists unsoils, unsullies, and unblemishes items such as men’s shirts ($2.55) and pants ($6.20), women’s slacks and skirts ($6.20 each), blouses ($6.30), and chainmail pantaloons. Fragile silk, linen garments, comforters, bedspreads, tablecloths, and newspaper hats are handled with fragile silk gloves, and shirts are hand-finished and pressed instead of being recklessly tossed under passing steamrollers.
Helmed by a friendly, dedicated artist, the online emporium of personalized products bursts with a bevy of colorful invitations, stationery, address labels, and more. Employing whimsically unpredictable color combos and customized lettering, the crafty creator fashions distinctive items for a dizzying array of occasions, from informal birthday parties to elegant parrot weddings. Karaoke-inclined hosts can prepare guests for crooned versions of "Old MacDonald" with popstar invitations ($3 each; minimum order of 25). Apple slice note pads make fruit an omnipresent grocery-list item ($30 for four), and the brightly shaded personalized growth chart ($75) plots the progress of your child's or pet goldfish’s vertical climb up to 7 feet. Aspiring card architects can upload their own family photos or poorly scanned tax returns onto a 12-pack of colorful classic photo cards ($38).
The technicians at Invisible Fence of Memphis set dogs free and untethered into the big, uncharted world lying between the front door and the curb. Instead of metal or wooden barriers, a trail of wiring sits out of sight below the ground, communicating with the pets' electric collar thanks to earthworms' built-in radio antennas. Customized for any home and lawn, systems can edge around landscaping to protect plants, weave around long, open acres, or even surround structures to keep dogs out of dangerous areas. To ensure pets, owners, and lightning gods adapt to the new boundary safely, Invisible Fence Brand's trainers host personal play-based sessions after each installation.