The round sun teeters on the barn's gable roof, threatening to roll right down. In a quick burst of wind, leaves begin clapping, as if in response to the equestrians trotting regally past. A smaller group of 10 riders wait patiently as guides corral a posse of good-natured horses, who toss their manes and lift their hooves with the joy of motion on a woodland trail ride past Wolfshohl Horse Training's gardens. Downwind, an individual lesson has a skilled trainer versing a 5-year-old about tack, grooming, and the techniques involved in English and Western riding styles. After patrons dismount at trail's end, they can question guides about holding a special event, boarding a pony, or the uncertain ramifications of using a lucky horseshoe to break a mirror.
Just north of downtown New Orleans, the family-owned-and-operated Northshore Riding Club encompasses seven picturesque acres of land fully equipped for horse riding, boarding, and grazing. Pony parties turn high birthday hopes into rambunctious reality with interactive equine celebrations. A trained horse whisperer in no way resembling Robert Redford will accompany the pony (or ponies) as the birthday kid and pals groom, pet, and take hand-led rides. Cowhands-in-training can also poke through the stables while learning the ancient secrets of equestrianism. The party concludes with a present gifted to the guest of honor by Northshore's benevolent ponies. Call to reserve a date and time.
Though severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina just five months after its debut, Slidell Rocks Climbing Gym rebuilt and reopened just months later and continues to provide the community with opportunities to build up muscular and cardio strength. The climbing center showcases top-rope challenges on walls nearly 40 feet high, as well as lower courses for younger climbers. Two bouldering rooms mimic the lifestyle of ancient arachnid cavemen with rooftop grips and seven hangboards. Between summit attempts, climbers can relax in the concessions area, watching their favorite sports on the televisions and munching on rock candy harvested from an active sugar volcano.