With nearly 23-years of equestrian experience, Mechlin Farm owners Kenny and Connie Mechlin host high-quality instruction for bipedal students. Led by highly trained teacher Ellen Baehr, students begin their lessons by studying the correct way to prepare, groom, tack, and check their horse's oil. Learn to steer your steed in the great outdoors surrounded by verdant fenced-in pastures or retreat to Mechlin's covered arena in the event of rain or snow. Baehr tailors every one-hour session to each junior jockey's comfort level, ensuring an enjoyable and personal experience for individual saddle fillers or sects of rodeo clowns in training.
Since graduating from William Woods University’s equestrian science program, Jennifer Murphy-Buck of Gallop Equestrian Center has stacked her resumé with accomplishments in the field. From developing and teaching a vaulting class at WWU to running a nonprofit horsemanship program, Murphy-Buck laid solid groundwork for opening Gallop Equestrian Center in 2010. For the past two years, Murphy-Buck has worked alongside professional trainers Stephanie Marquart and Kylin Coulter-Meyer, leading classes in dressage, vaulting, and therapeutic riding. The trio also offers boarding, lavishing each stable occupant with hot washes, summer fans, and 24-hour room service.
Though kids need to frolic and play, they must also learn financial responsibility if they're ever to grow up and pay for their parents' dinner. At Hammer's Food & Fun, an electronic game card opens the door to Hammer’s array of indoor rides and arcade games, teaching kids the mystical power—and responsibility—contained within a magnetic stripe. Indeed, after games such as Big Bass Wheel and Space Balls dispense points redeemable for prizes, kids can retain the balance on the card for future visits—an educational precursor to saving money in a grownup bank's vault filled with 50/50 raffle tickets. Before exploring the indoor attractions—which range from go-karts and mini golf to inflatable bounce houses and a checkered dance floor—families fill their bellies at Hammer’s extensive buffet. Made fresh daily using local beef from Twin Hills Farm, slices of pizza in more than 20 varieties sit on circular trays, and elsewhere, a line of sweet desserts taunts the salad bar filled with crispy vegetables trying desperately to sprout ice-cream-flavored leaves.