After she was born, Alana Henley basically rode a horse out of the hospital. Hyperbole aside, Alana did, in fact, begin riding at the age of 2. She also began competing at the age of 6, and did so for years with great success. Eventually, though, Alana realized she had another talent: dealing with problem horses.
In 2006, she formally opened SunFire Equestrian Training at Fresh Start Stables in Davis. That same year, she crossed paths with a rebellious young thoroughbred named Derby. Not only did Alana transform Derby’s behavior and instill in him the importance of flossing, the two triumphantly completed events across the West Coast. Today, Alana remains a teacher—both to challenging young horses and to students learning how to ride. She pulls double duty at SunFire’s new facility, a sprawling, 40-acre estate in Woodland.
There's something timeless about a classic county fair. There are the attractions such as antique cars and horse carriages, rodeos and livestock exhibitions. And, of course, there are the carnival rides. Midway of Fun makes sure that county fairs all over California stay stocked with the kind of flashing, whirling, fun that families have enjoyed for generations. A safety-focused team of pros sets up rides that range from sweet (the Berry Go Round and the Dragon Wagon) to nail-biting (the Viper and the Ranger). Fairgoers can also compete to win a stuffed toy or a term as mayor of next year's fair at games such as break-a-bottle and baseball toss.
Sugar Ditch Stables welcomes horseback riders onto its family friendly atmosphere. Riders young and old and of any experience level can look to the stable's instructors for help developing their command in the saddle and establishing the basics of good horsemanship.
The nonprofit Heidrick Ag History Center harvests the rich history of agricultural machinery and transportation through an extensive collection of vintage tractors and trucks. The 130,000-square-foot space houses both the Hays Antique Truck Museum—home to such artifacts as a one-of-a-kind Breeding steam-powered truck and broccoli steamer from 1916—and the Fred C. Heidrick Antique Ag Collection, an assemblage of olden-day iron horses and golden cows collected over a period of 60 years.
Using skills acquired from his childhood days building his own planes and combines from scraps of wire and wood, Mr. Heidrick himself restored most of the equipment—some of which was formerly little more than heaps of rust—to its original condition. Palettes of green, red, and yellow pop from John Deere tractors from the 1930s to the 1950s, a Deering reaper machine from 1891, and a 120-horsepower Holt built in 1917 to tow artillery during World War I.