Double D Equestrian Center is a scenic 867-acre horseback-riding facility complete with expert trainer, miles of riding trails, and stables full of well-maintained steeds. Each lesson is lead by the expert noodle and muzzle of Double D's resident trainer, Tory Jordan, who boasts 20 years of professional training and teaching experience and a keen ability to unite human and horse sans mad science. Seasoned pros can perfect their skills during advanced group lessons, and beginners are best served in private lessons as they learn to develop trust and control of their equine locomotive. Above all, both lesson levels focus heavily on building confidence in the saddle as well as on safety and correctness, with the potential goal of competitive riding in mind.
The best reward for a newly groomed dog is a tasty treat. Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming Wakefield provides both with its grooming stations and gourmet baked treats. Pets can stop in for a wash at the hands of a certified groomer or let owners do the dirty work at a self-service tub. A cornucopia of snacks, from peanut-butter bones to doggie donuts, awaits pooches in the retail store, where they'll also find animal outfits and regular food.
Pup's Day Out makes visits especially cozy by providing extra attention, belly rubs, and games of fetch free of charge. Spread out across 7,000 square feet of space, the locally owned facility features no crates or kennels, granting dogs the liberty to run about with their friends under the surveillance of a pooch-loving staff. That same staff also provides various grooming services right on site, including haircuts, baths, and nail trimming.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Wake County was originally founded in 1969 to transform the region into a humane area where every animal could find a home. Today, it works toward this goal by sheltering and securing the adoption of more than 3,000 animals every year and providing lost-and-found services for missing pets. The organization also supports pet owners with classes to help them care for their animals and addresses the problem of overpopulation through catch-and-release spay or neuter programs.
At Countyline Equestrian Center, owner and lifelong rider Rebecca Rainey is proud to maintain what she calls a "little barn" atmosphere. That intimate atmosphere stems partly from the fact that Countyline Equestrian Center is a working farm—Ms. Rainey breeds horses there, the show horses live there, and it's not unusual to see chickens pecking the dust looking for pieces of fallen sky. But it's also due to their approach to riding lessons, which are personalized to suit each rider's goals and abilities.
Long before new riders take to the saddle, Countyline Equestrian Center's instructors help them feel at ease around the horses. When students feel ready, instructors help them climb aboard gentle steeds to trot around the 60-square-foot arena, then eventually bring them into the larger footed ring. Taking it slow ensures that each rider feels comfortable holding the reins, whether it's for a short ride around the barn or to compete nationally with the center's show team.
Suite Paws Pet Resort & Spa is an eco-friendly facility engaging in sustainable practices, with a pet play yard made of recycled building materials, an on-site rainwater-recycling system used for irrigation, and an unlimited resource of cuddly cuteness. Whether you are looking for someone to watch your pooch when you are out of town or just treating your furry friend to a vacation while your allergic friend visits, Suite Paws offers a variety of cozy boarding accommodations to suit your needs. Check your canine companion into a comfortable villa for a very special escape ($23 per night in a Jr. Villa), or book a stylishly outfitted suite for an even more decadent getaway ($33 per night in a Jr. Suite). All rooms are equipped with larger-than-standard-sized Kuranda beds, and suites come with the added comforts of fleece bedcovers, DVD players, and web-cams to keep families in contact with their dogs while separated. Every guest will enjoy access to private play yards twice a day, and dogs that pass temperament testing will get to participate in additional group play. Not to forget about cats, feline friends are also welcome at Suite Paws Pet Resort & Spa, with a choice between the standard condo ($18 per night) and luxury condo (double the space, $35 per night) suites.