At Bay Area Equestrian Center, riders can advance from basic lessons all the way up to horse ownership and national-level competition on the Arabian show circuit. They do so under the guidance of Lynn Almond, who founded Friendswood Riding School in 1990 and turned it into BAEC in 1995. A member of the horse community her entire life, Lynn has used her wisdom to vault students to national championships in Western, Hunter, and Sidesaddle riding styles. Today, the center's visitors can learn from Lynn and her team during private and group lessons, which provide more detailed instruction than the riding directions scrawled across the belly of every domesticated horse.
A lush lawn and garden center teems with trees, flowers, and fragrant mulches, inspiring homeowners to create cozy stomping grounds for their farm animals and household pets. Inside Gulf Coast Equine and Pet Center, bags of feed from brands such as Purina and Nutrena await trips to swine troughs, dog dishes, and the Triple Crown trophies from which the coolest horses eat their meals. An onsite pet salon grooms dogs large and small, paying close attention to families' and pets' personal tastes as groomers create each dog's new 'do.
If a pet can’t stay at home while its owner is at work, its days can be just as comfortable and fun-filled at Gimmie a Bark’s elegantly homey facilities. Here, beloved pooches 25 pounds or less lounge on comfy blankets in well-kept kennels or frolic in the secure outdoor confines. Once their humans come to retrieve them, they can peruse the multihued doggy boutique together for gourmet treats, handpicked dog food products from brands such as Acana, or debonair attire for doggy prom.
Southern Breeze Equestrian Center is a utopia for horse lovers, where expert instruction turns whinnying tenderfeet into sure-footed saddle-masters. With lessons devised for all ages and experience levels, this full-service facility fills its four riding arenas with enthusiastic forays into horsemanship. Southern Breeze’s 45-minute private lesson ($65), offered Mondays through Saturdays with one of the center's experienced assistant trainers, is tailored to individual levels of equine expertise. First-time riders spend some ground time looking under the hood, using humanpower to harness horsepower before embarking on their first longe-line ride. Experienced straphangers will work on enhancing their skills, mastering the maneuvers of dressage horses or leaping over 20 burning busses.
Across the street from the Red Bluff Animal Hospital sits a large house surrounded by green lawns and fenced-in outdoor play areas. Inside, Red Bluff Pet Resort’s licensed trainers and behavior therapists see to their tail-wagging and nose-nuzzling guests’ every need with daycare, lodging, grooming, and training. Their dog suites feature large beds and Skype-enabled computer screens so that owners can digitally visit their pets. Alternatively, their multilevel kitty condos allow independent pets to enjoy a relaxing stay without being bothered by dogs or chairmen of neighborhood committees. Their training options range from puppy classes and obedience lessons to one-on-one lodge-and-learn packages for when owners are on vacation.
Midtown Veterinary Hospital's Dr. Richard Clive, alongside his wife Janelle and staff of registered vet techs, helps animals live long healthy lives. Inside the hospital, pets can curl up in the sun, which filters through the reception area's large windows, or enjoy such comforts as a padded exam table. Their bipedal counterparts, meanwhile, appreciate cushy, white chairs set on dark hardwood floors, cookies to balance on their noses, and vibrant animal prints that decorate the office.
Owners keep their pets up to date with an array of services, including regular check-ups, vaccinations, and dental exams. They can also rest easy knowing that should pets ever need further treatments, such as digital radiology or surgical services, Midtown's facilities are well prepared with an onsite lab and a heated surgical table that staves off chills as pets get their coats dry-cleaned. The hospital also sports a pharmacy that supplies owners with medications to prevent such maladies as fleas, ticks, and heartworm with next-day prescription filling and an online, home-delivery pharmaceutical service. :m]]