Certified Equine Appraiser Gord Wadds and his wife, Debbie, dedicate their 50-acre ranch to training horses as well as humans in everything from Western pleasure and equitation to hunter under saddle and reining. Gord’s career spans four decades and both sides of the Atlantic, including a record 103 American Quarter Horse Association pleasure points earned on a 2-year-old horse in 1974. He credits part of his success to understanding equine psychology, a skill he passes on to students through lessons, clinics, and seminars. The ultimate goal: to prepare each rider for events, including world shows, major circuits, and weekend shows.
With more than 20 years in business, head coach Lisa Luton-Hodges has seen her share of regional and national equestrian champions. As recently as 2011, she led the Williamston High School equestrian team all the way to a reserve state championship. Luton Training Center is the place where such journeys begin. Riders of all skill levels learn the basics of western, hunt-seat, and saddle-seat techniques amid the splendor of Michigan's rolling hills, or in the 150'x70' indoor arena for when skies are full of rain or the kind of clouds that terrify horses. The facility also offers boarding and training services.
play. owner Shelley Thomas is invested in creating environmentally safe play places for kids, while also giving their parents and caretakers a place to gather. play. was built with that vision. play.'s structure is built with natural, local, and organic materials, into a space where kids aged 6 or younger could frolic while parents relaxed with other adults. In the 2,600-square-foot space, kids can adventure in play areas and shop at a pretend farmers' market or cavort across a stage in elaborate costumes and props. Tykes who wish to check in with Clifford, Dora the Explorer, or Hamlet can nestle into the reading nook with a favorite book. Beside permanent play spots, constantly evolving interest areas accommodate new attractions, such as a chalk wall and a basketball hoop, that enthrall drop-in visitors and birthday-party guests alike. Along with unstructured play, classes led by experienced educators engage tykes with art activities and interactive projects. During the warmer months, play. also offers summer camps that run for two-week sessions and let children explore and create while accompanied by staff and guest instructors.