As RHC Riding Academy’s head trainer, Erin Reid shares a passion for horses that began when her family founded RHC in 1985. A devotee to all things equine since age 5, Erin quickly caught onto the finer points of riding and has instructed students for the past 19 years. Barn manager Debra Reid, who discovered her life’s passion while growing up in Kentucky, managed 70 horses at a breeding facility in Southern California and unites her experience with Erin's. Together they oversee nine horses, several of which are Arabians—prized for their distinctive beauty and superior intellects.
Students come to the facility from all backgrounds to learn proper saddling and riding techniques. Erin supplements her technical training with lessons in horse psychology, helping students bond with steeds or to get them to open up about complex relationships with their mothers. Horses in need of discipline or a hay-filled couch on which to crash can be boarded and trained at the facility, which boasts box stalls, an indoor riding arena, and a large outdoor arena.
Hoofbeats resound across cropped-turf grounds at Shelby Trails Park Equine Education Center. Here, 25-year equestrian Corinne Bradley teaches dressage and jumping techniques to riders of every stripe, from beginner to advanced to honorary centaur. She works with all ages but especially enjoys teaching young people, perhaps because she was only a child herself when she mounted her first horse. By the time she got to high school, she was steering her steeds through full-on equestrian events. Today, Bradley manages an equine paradise. Indoor riding areas introduce barn stormers to their mounts in a controlled environment, and winding trails encourage human and beast to bond while taking in the scenic countryside.
A student of the Parelli way of riding, Bradley’s style emphasizes the horse-rider relationship. Through the Parelli philosophy, students learn to communicate effectively with equines, earning the horses’ trust by eating salt licks and respecting how they react to their natural environment.
Shelby County Parks and Recreation's Family Activity Center chauffeurs clients toward good health with a cohesive, family-friendly exercise facility, classes, a 25-yard swimming pool, basketball court, and wellness seminars. After an included fitness-equipment orientation, solo, familial, and cloned cardholders can get to work whittling ideal physiques atop resistance-training machinery or the gym's indoor track. Structured sweat sessions take place in more than 20 fitness classes, including Zumba toning, step, and seven yoga styles, held six days a week. The eight-lane pool also hosts a handful of fitness classes, including Willing Wonders, which works with water's natural resistance and Marco Polo's light ankle-pulling to imbue exercisers with newfound strength and flexibility. Fitness cardholders also receive free childcare for kiddies aged 7 and younger at the Family Activity Center's on-site nursery; check the group fitness schedule for the nursery's hours.
When it comes to champion show horses, Lindsay Lavery has a lot of experience to call on. Lindsay's family has been training show horses for more than 90 years, and as a fifth-generation trainer, Lindsay has trained or showed more than 70 world champions.
But she's equally experienced with teaching humans. Alongside veteran trainer Renee Lavery, Lindsay instructs both amateur and competitive exhibitors in the family business. Instructor Elise Hagenow is the director of the riding school, where beginner through advanced students can take lessons that instill horsemanship skills as well as grooming techniques that are sure to win Best Equine French Braid at competitions.
Occupying the former gardens of late nursery and landscape leader Theodore Klein, Yew Dell Botanical Gardens displays graceful garden arrangements and lush foliage while striving to improve the botanical world through research and community-education programs. The Silver Cloud family membership gives you—and family members residing at the same address—free year-long access to the sprawling grounds and their leafy residents that welcome visitors with the friendly stoicism of a granite butler. Espy new varietals of ornamental plants, the hortichildren of Yew Dell's plant development program, wander through the alternately arborial and floral gardens, and practice your standup comedy on the dogwoods, sugar maples, and other plants that flourish throughout the property.
The Game Room’s 5,000-square-foot facility boasts 30 50-inch TVs, body-enveloping furniture, and enough pixilated thumb-candy to keep fingers on their toes. An all-day pass grants button-massagers access to Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Atari, and Nintendo systems—as well as chips and a drink to generate the brain power needed to wage computerized warfare. Stealthily stalk a buddy through the streets of Renaissance Italy in Assassin’s Creed II on the Xbox 360 or pit Peach against Donkey Kong against Teddy Roosevelt during Super Smash Bros. on the Wii. If none of The Game Room’s hundreds of games dragon-punch your fancy, bring along a game of your own, such as Capcom’s violent shoot ’em up adaptation of The Sound of Music. You can also pre-order the latest releases for 10% off. Though not included with today's Groupon, $1 pool games and 25¢ stand-up arcade games are also available; alternately, the Gamebulance will bring the fun right to your party.