John and Belle Hufferd, owners and head trainers at Triumph Stables, are experts in producing world-champion horses in a wide range of divisions and training riders of all abilities. The pair specializes in Morgan and Saddlebred horses, exhibiting mastery over such disciplines as park harness and pleasure driving, among others. As horses are only as good as the riders guiding them, human students learn proper technique for horse care, including vocal and non-vocal commands in the saddle as well as inspecting haystacks for needles before letting a horse eat.
Dr. Sunil Gupta has ways of putting four-legged family members at ease. The doctor packs up his medical bag and makes house calls when pets are ailing or demanding outrageous fees to fetch the newspaper. Some pets find the home environment soothing, though others are equally at home within Dr. Gupta’s clinic. Access to advanced equipment allows Dr. Gupta and his staff to provide a wide range of medical services, from standard checkups to diagnostic treatments. Healthy dogs and cats can take advantage of the clinic's grooming services and boarding packages, which feature flexible weekend pickup hours. Even without appointments or royal mandates, owners are welcome to bring their pets by for a complimentary nail trim and ear cleaning.
Surrounded by a lush ring of trees and matted with verdant grass, the 5-acre outdoor area at The Bark Park gives pooches a place to play and relax, either in the company of their owners or under the watchful eyes of the park’s staff. While they run free in the sun or laze in the shade, each guest gets the chance to socialize with other dogs and expend energy that might otherwise be spent on selling their collars for treat money. The canine caretakers also offer a concierge service that picks up dogs for daycare and returns them home after.
“What was a quiet section of Michigan 139 in central Berrien County has turned into a heaven of sorts for horse lovers,” writes a reporter for the South Bend Tribune. That 39-acre elysian stretch, surrounded by fertile Michigan vineyards, is Concord Ridge Equestrian Center. There, equines clip drumrolls against the soil on a cross-country course complete with banks and water jumps, and riders on the Natural Horsemanship Course brush up on skills such as posture and honking motions at passing clydesdales. The center’s teaching team dispenses instruction to eager pupils on the three outdoor arenas and two indoor arenas. Students can then take their newfound expertise out onto the network of riding trails or the nine pastures. Chatter about riding apparel and technique drifts from an upstairs lounge, where guests find WiFi, elevated bleachers, and a kitchen.
Certified farrier Mike Marquis's slogan is "Putting balace back into every step." But Mike isn't a yogi, nor does he treat vertigo. Instead, he works with the animals he is passionate about: horses. Mike specializes in natural barefoot performance trimming to help care for and stabilize domestic horses. Each day, the horses he works and plays with bring him great joy and stress relief, so he works hard to continue educating himself in farrier science and cutting-edge carrot-origami techniques to keep his horses healthy and happy. For trimming appointments, Mike travels to a horse owner's home or barn, where observes the horse in motion and then skillfully trims down their hooves.
Since opening their doors in mid-December 2011, friendly staffers at Happy Dog Hotel and Spa have welcomed pooches into a wag-worthy space outfitted with deluxe hotel suites, private courtyard, and capacious play zone. Owners can take a complete tour of the modern, brand-new space to view its shined wood floors, textured wall coverings, and trendy accents. Canines stay the night in suites ranging from 20 to 48 square feet, and all boarders enjoy soft blankets, two meals a day plus scrambled eggs with breakfast, and five walks to the private courtyard. Caring staffers treat dogs like their own, dishing out treats, toys, and medication brought from home at no extra charge. Owners can opt to let their boarding pooches release pent-up energy with romps and heated Scrabble matches in the bustling daycare area, where the attentive staffers ensure safe, friendly play. Visiting pups also can unwind in the spa, where staff members shampoo, brush, and clip coats while a stereo plays the soothing sounds of bellies being rubbed.