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Tuesday
Apr032018

2018 HHB Spring Maintenance and Repair — Safety First

It’s spring time which means it’s time to complete maintenance and repair at HHB. Just like our tagline states — Safety First — our main goal is to make sure HHB is a very clean and safe equestrian facility. This year’s maintenance is a bit more complicated because we now have 29 Mountain Trail Obstacles that demand tender loving care. And as promised when we opened the Trail Park in October, we are committed to keeping the facility in excellent condition so that you can count on having access to all the obstacles on the Trail Park.

If you have already booked Trail Park access or lessons at HHB in the next three weeks, we will honor your appointment and there is no need for you to change anything. The only difference may be that certain obstacles may not be available on certain days.

In order to complete required maintenance and repairs before the summer heat sets in, we’ve decided to close the Equestrian Trail Park to the public for about three weeks, with an estimated reopening of Monday, April 24th. During this time the HHB maintenance crew will work diligently to take care of all the issues that need attention. The crew we work all have other jobs and commitments and are only available to HHB on a part-time basis on certain days. They will complete most of their work on weekends, with additional work being complete some days during the week. We work with this crew because they have been with HHB since the grand opening of the Trail Park and offer their services at a very affordable price, allowing us to keep expenses down, and prices low.

When Mark Bolender was here for the Intermediate Clinic, we asked him to do a walk through and provide us with recommendations on how to address the maintenance and repairs issues that we had discovered. The low humidity and high heat have had a brutal effect on the wooden obstacles, requiring us to be creative in how we maintaining and repair them so that riders can safely use them.

Jason and Sam, who will do most of this work, helped to complete a assessment of the entire facility this past weekend and began tackling the projects because there is so much work to be done.

In order to complete the maintenance and repair we will do the following:

  • Complete repairs before the summer intense heat which will bend and distort the wood
  • Special order hardware and equipment because Home Depot does not carry what we need including an impact drill, and specialized screws and bolts
  • Purchase materials to reinforce the obstacles against the wear and tear that is occuring
  • We will waterproof as needed
  • Repaint exposed wood with preservative and sealers
  • Disassemble, repair, and reassemble some of the obstacles
  • Order four tons of washed sand and pea gravel to be delivered

 

The following obstacles and facility features require maintenance and repair:

  • The Alligator Pond (Upgrade)
  • The Water Box (Repair body and reinforce the floating top)
  • The Car Wash (Redesign)
  • Cake Box (Repair)
  • Swinging Bridge (Maintenance)
  • Arena Sprinklers (Repair, replace and realign directional spray)
  • Rolling Bridge (Repair)
  • 45 degree balance beam (Repair)
  • Long Balance Beam (Repair)
  • Short Balance Beam (Repair)
  • Texas Two Step (Repair)
  • Digging up and removing large weeds(Maintenance)
  • Spraying for weed control (Maintenance)
  • Trimming Trees (Maintenance)
  • Clearing arena fence line of large sage that is expanding into the bridle path of the arena (Maintenance)
  • Watering systems for the properties trees and plants (Maintenance)
  • And, it’s not unusual to find additional issues as various projects are evaluated in detail

 

Upgrading the Alligator Pond

Our biggest project is an upgrade to the Alligator Pond. We put the wrong type of materials into the pond initially and it’s been very time consuming to keep it maintained and clean, taking four to six hours each week. So we are taking out the current materials and bringing in cleaner wash sand and pea gravel, in hopes of reducing weekly maintenance to two hours. Here’s what needs to happen:

  • Empty the pond of all its water and dry it out completely
  • Begin to remove all the original materials
  • Carefully remove the special plastic grates on the bottom by hand so as not to tear the protective plastic lining
  • Complete the removal of all the original materials by hand, no tools, careful not to step on rocks that will will breakthrough the bottom liners — time consuming!!!
  • Carefully reassemble the plastic grates on the bottom
  • Order and have delivered needed washed sand/pea gravel
  • Refill shovel by shovel  the pond with four tons of washed sand and pea gravel
  • Refill the pond with water… and enjoy

 

So we thank you for your patience as we complete these projects so that you can safely enjoy HHB Equestrian Trail Park for the next six months. And we apologize for any inconvenience this causes anyone.

Barbara H. Callihan

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