Specializing in APHA and AQHA horses, the breeders at Coquat Ranch extend their equine knowledge to the general public through lessons, birthday parties, and trail rides across their wildlife-rich property. Beginner lessons acquaint novices with safe practices and the essentials of riding, centering on mounting, grooming, walking, and other basic topics. Building on this foundation, intermediate and advanced lessons delve into more advanced activities, such as moving laterally and riding around obstacles.
Once comfortable in the saddle, rider can sign up for a trail ride across the ranch's hundreds of acres, where they can spot wildlife ranging from deer and wild hogs to sandhill cranes amid the salt water marshes and brush country. Young riders can also enjoy time with animals through birthday and pony painting parties, when they'll have the chance to cover horses in non-toxic paint and ask for their definition of art.
A parade of customers saunters out of Kit + Kaboodle's Austin and Lockhart locations donning edgy mohawks, neon hair color, and sassy tattoos. This is not a group of teenagers from an ’80s flick, though. It's a pack of leashed corgis and everything about their look, including the hair dye and temporary tattoos, is nontoxic and tear-free. The technicians at Kit + Kaboodle love adorning pooches in such details. They groom dogs with organic and natural products and augment treatments with quirky trim such as handmade pup feathers. Their pet-sitting services include drop-ins and daily dog walks to exercise canines, administer medication, or refill food bowls while owners are at work or visiting their secret dogs.
Even pets that brush their teeth twice daily are prone to health issues—that’s where Friendship Pet Hospital and Wellness Center steps in. The caring staff at this AAHA-certified clinic helps keep furry companions in peak physical shape with comprehensive checkups. Veterinarians inspect teeth to root out dental disease and administer vaccinations to prevent common maladies in cats and dogs. A focus on breed-specific healthcare helps vets stay aware of which ailments most commonly afflict which pets, saving the trouble of testing Sphynx cats for hair loss. As pets visit with the doctors, complimentary cookies and beverages keep owners satiated.
Bruno’s Bath House elevates the dog-boarding experience by housing pups inside plush suites that will remind them of home. Two times a day, room service peeks in, checking to make sure beds are comfy and bowls are brimming with filtered water. Dog-loving caregivers oversee dogs so that each pet receives ample attention as they gambol across the indoor and outdoor play areas or nap on communal couches. This attentive treatment carries over into Bruno’s Spaw, where dogs receive baths with plush add-ons such as aromatherapy, massage, and Pawdicures. Edible and wearable doggie accessories are also available at Bruno’s Bistro and Boutique.
A decidedly pastoral sight surrounds Royalty Friesian’s stable: from a carpet of high emerald grass rise the powerful legs of regal friesian horses, whose jet-black coats and long, glossy manes do nothing but stand out against the green backdrop. These well-tempered steeds, bred from esteemed Dutch bloodlines, are ideal for the private lessons at Royalty Friesian and impressive exits after tossing a sheriff’s badge in the dust. Approved by the Friesian Horse Association of North America (FHANA), the stable’s expert staff breeds friesians and has produced world-champion show horses. The staff also helps others prepare their horses for review by FHANA, as well as the Friesian Registry System.
Rose-Rich Veterinary Clinic expanded its pet-care services with the opening of its 10,000-square-foot facility in 2010. Cat condos built into a bay window, separate checkup, surgery, and treatment rooms, an isolation ward, and eight themed luxury dog suites are among the new amenities at the clinic, which first started serving the community’s furry friends nearly 50 years ago. The facility also makes room for six veterinarians and an animal-care team that keeps boarded pets fed, exercised, and up-to-date on global news.
For all that’s changed and improved with the recent expansion, much has stayed the same. Dr. Charles McDonald, who founded the practice back in 1964, is still a part of the medical team—now he specializes in large-animal care—and Dr. Tucker Robinson, who joined Dr. McDonald in 1966 as a young Texas A&M grad, is still there, too, looking after the smaller patients.