All my life I’ve heard it said, “Good things come in threes,” and in my experience, it’s been pretty true.
I’m grateful to three companies – Martin Collins, Premier, and Future Track – for a lot of my installation referrals. And I’m grateful to customers like Ron Rice and Hinkley Equestrian in Ohio for work that come in threes, too.
It was just before Thanksgiving almost two years ago when I got the call from Mr. Ron Rice about putting in a couple of indoor arenas before winter set in, and he didn’t beat around the bush.
“We’ve got old-fashioned Ohio clay here,” he said. “Shallow and hard as concrete.”
But what Hinkley Equestrian, and trainers Tammy Cagno, and Stephanie Framer of High Standard Training, did have was a reputation for presenting the best facility around, under management that understood the importance of investing in the best indoor and outdoor arenas possible.
Good footing is about good starts. Not only while riding but also when having that first conversation with a new customer about what they want (and don’t want) in their contracting goals. In Ron’s case, he’d been feeling frustrated working with someone who would only handle one element of the project and wanted to contract out the lesser details.
To Ron, there were no “lesser” details. This farm is his pride and joy, and its good reputation means everything to him as a businessperson and former rider himself. To him, it didn’t “feel right” to see his project subdivided into smaller, individual contracting efforts.
I told him that Diamond W would take care of the project from A to Z. To not worry, we’d take care of it all. From tearing down existing structures, to digging drainage, and rebuilding from the base up, as two inches of snow started to fall on the day before Thanksgiving (and trust me, this Southern boy was none too excited about that), we took over and started over on his two indoor arenas.
He must have liked the work because in April, just before Easter, he asked us back to do an outdoor arena and now, almost two years later, he says all three arenas are still holding up beautifully.
Ohio horse people still say Hinkley Equestrian has the “best arenas” in the area. In fact, don’t take his word for it. Let his show entry figures speak for themselves. A recent show had 60 horses and those arenas handled more than 300 trips by riders kept saying they love to come back there to show because they “love” the footing so much. “Our horses aren’t used to footing this good!” they confessed.
We’d like to think that’s why Diamond W Contracting is here- so that more horses, at more facilities all over this great nation, become more accustomed to footing “this good.” In the meantime, Ron’s not quite done with us yet – he’s hinting about another arena, at the new home he and his lovely wife have planned not far from Hinkley Equestrian. We’ll be here if he needs us (and if the project could start before Ohio sees its first snowflakes, that would be okay, too).