Nestled among 151 private acres, Larkspur Farm’s 36-horse facility sets the spacious stage for education in the equine pursuits of hunting, jumping, and dressage under the tutelage of specialized trainers. All lessons take place year-round on the farm’s all-weather outdoor lesson ring or inside the 80’x120’ arena. Beginners establish riding skills by starting with one-on-one lessons that instill such fundamentals as mounting the horse, trotting, and applying enough gel to give your steed a mane mohawk. As riders advance, they matriculate to small group lessons of up to four riders that last one hour and cover more advanced techniques.
Larkspur Farm offers boarding facilities for privately owned horses, summer camp for boys and girls aged 7–14, and a sales and leasing program for horses and ponies.
With three individual chains in its family of stores—Pet Valu, Paulmac's Pet Food, and Bosley's—scattered across Canada and the northeastern United States, Pet Valu claims the title as the largest pet-supply retailer in North America. Inside its well-stocked outlets are more than 7,000 products for dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, birds, and other animals. These include specialty items that range from grain-free dog food and multilevel bird cages to hamster balls that resemble helicopters and neon-colored shells so your hermit crab can achieve success in the online-dating world. Some locations are furnished with grooming facilities where professionals pamper dogs with shampoos, nail trims, and other perks, along with self-serve stations let owners wash their own pets. Stores also partner with local shelters to host regular adoption events.
The business's name is taken from Matt Lazarus's two pitbull terriers, Beauty and Bella, both of which are rescue pups. He chose this name as a reminder that his dedication for pet care comes from a deeply personal place. Clients can solicit Matt for a park trip or dog walk, or for more complicated services such as bulk food delivery or to set a personalized weight-loss regimen.
Signature service: Tom Mooney
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Brands Used: Shampoo
Pro Tip: The earlier you bring dog in for grooming the quicker it can be picked up.
Guests at Summit Farm are greeted by a bucolic country scene: horses trot along in open fields, birds dart in and out of thickly wooded ridges, and a farm cat basks lazily in a sunny flowerbed with a belly full of field mice. The privately owned equestrian facility buzzes with activity. As a full-service stable, the farm offers lessons, boarding, showing, and party services while still leaving enough time to fit leisurely trail rides into the daily schedule. Summit Farm's 21-stall barn offers both a hot and cold wash stall and a heated office and tack room. Their indoor ring features a fully enclosed heated viewing area with coffee and other beverages for spectators, and a 130'x230' outdoor ring is also available.
Dedicated trainers expose their horses to a variety of disciplines, enabling them to accommodate many different riding styles and students, and occasionally enter steeds in local hunter paces and AA circuit competitions. The instructors also lead summer riding camps that help beginners acclimate with grooming, tacking, and riding activities. Jeans or long riding pants are required for all riders, along with riding boots and hair ties for kids with shoulder-length beards.
On the 15-acre parcel of countryside dubbed Winding Hill Riding Club & Show Stables, head instructor and trainer Christy Alexander-Van Eron coaches both horses and humans to become safe and successful competitors. She uses the facilities––including more than 40 paddocks, a pair of outdoor rings, and a large indoor arena renovated with new footing––to accomplish this task, which, in a way, has always been her life's work. Currently a Red Cross- and Horsemanship Safety Association-certified instructor, she's been riding since the age of five and has long been competing at a high level, including showing with hunters and jumpers throughout college. Over her career, she whittled instruction down to three key necessities to producing successful riders: riding for pleasure, competition, or sugar cubes.