According to Buffalo Grove Countryside, Candy Oppman trained her first dog when she was only 9 years old. Like many people, she grew up and started a family—only her family turned out to be a combination of kids and rescue dogs. After founding her own pet-sitting business, Candy went on to learn about training and animal behavior. These skills would prove useful for her next endeavor: Bark University, Inc.
Inside Bark University's 3,500-square-foot facility, trainers rear canines through a method called "pack leadership"; or as Candy puts it, "training them as a mother dog trains her puppies, in a language they understand." The full-service facility is also open to daycare, where supervised dogs can frolic along the 5,000-square-foot fenced backyard and in the rubber-matted playroom in groups separated by size, temperament, and playing style. They round out their services with grooming sessions and overnight stays—wherein a staffer remains on premises to keep pets safe and see if they start to talk.
Head trainer Jacki Larisch passes along an abiding passion for horsemanship to each student that she works with at Creekside Farm. Jacki inherited her love of horses from her parents, themselves International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) level competitors, and it continued through her four years as a member of The Ohio State University Hunt Seat Equestrian team. Today, Jacki shares her experience in proper English hunter and jumping technique in lessons that aim to create knowledgeable, well-rounded equestrians even if their previous experience only involves hours spent on coin-operated stallions outside grocery stores.
Most Popular Service: Weekly service
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30 minutes or less
Pro Tip: Please let us know ahead of time if your gate has a lock, or if your dogs are aggressive.
Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, Save-A-Pet runs a purely no-kill, nondiscriminatory adoption center for dogs and cats of all breeds, ages, and health statuses, with the ultimate goal of finding permanent homes for each rescued animal. When the center receives homeless pets, the staff feeds them and provides intake exams, vaccinations, and medications. A steady supply of volunteers plays with the pets and ensures that they get enough outdoor exercise to maintain their health and mental well-being, backing this goal up inside by changing the cat litter and power-washing the 82 onsite kennels every day. Save-A-Pet also reaches out to adult and youth community members with education on animal welfare to reduce the number of homeless and euthanized pets. Through the organization’s efforts it has placed more than 40,000 dogs and cats into permanent homes.
Horse Tack: Geared Up for a Ride
Most basic riding lessons include a how-to on tacking up the horse. Get a head start with Groupon's overview of horse tack.
Tack refers to everything a horse wears for a ride, from saddles to bridles to reins. Just as people dress differently for different jobs, horses wear different tack depending on whether they're employed riding on trails, working on a cattle ranch, strutting down a runway, or competing inside a show ring.
One of the most important pieces of tack is the saddle, buckled onto a band around the horse's middle called a girth. Western saddles, designed for long days of riding, distribute the rider?s weight evenly and comfortably across the horse?s back. At the front is a horn around which cowboys can wrap rope used to lead cattle. English saddles, on the other hand, are hornless, and are light to give horses more freedom to run and jump.
Then there are the parts of the tack designed to help the rider communicate with the horse. The bridle?leather headgear that slips around the horse?s ears and nose?is attached to a bit and reins. The bit is a metal or synthetic bar attached to the bridle and resting in the back of the horse?s mouth on its gums. The reins connect to the bit, letting the rider tug gently to indicate the need to slow down or make a turn. Although the reins used in English and Western riding may be the same, they're used differently. English riders hold on with both hands, whereas Western riders hold both in just one hand, leaving the other free to high-five passing sheriffs.