When developing her new boutique barn, Lauren Fischer insisted the best investment she could make was in her arena and the footing. She recalls telling her husband, “the footing, the footing, the footing!” Her husband finally said, “Honey, just get the footing.” She chose to trust Diamond W Contracting and its dedicated team, led by owner Austin Wood, with this task.
Lauren shared she “retired as a rider because I had kids who were very active. But now they are out of the house and so I started riding again and moved back to Illinois,” with the ambition of opening up her own boutique barn. When asked about the plans for her barn, Lauren said she hopes to continue to sell horses with her partner in Germany, offer a couple of stalls for rent, and be able to attract top class clinicians. Naturally, they wanted arenas and great footing to match her ambitions, “I did not want a footing where my horses hind ends loose traction in a collected canter. That’s not good!” said Lauren with chuckle.
The same ambition that inspired Lauren Fischer on the road from a retired equestrian to opening up her new boutique farm, connected her with Austin Wood. “It was like the stars aligned,” recalled Lauren when asked about how she contacted with Austin and Diamond W Contracting. After talking to Austin over the phone, Lauren expressed how impressed she was by his demeanor. Lauren was jubilant with how thorough, hardworking, polite, and flexible the Diamond W team was, especially Austin. “He realized he had to do more work in the leveling and he did not charge me a penny. He just did it and got it done in time!” Such was Diamond W’s dedication to the client --that both her rings were completed before the completion of her barn! “I haven’t even been able to ride in them yet ! I have actually only ran around in them a bit!”
The Diamond W Contracting Team built Lauren’s outdoor and indoor arenas, a necessity in the harsh weather of Illinois. “We needed both arenas because we show outdoors but if we don’t have an indoor (arena) we lose 6 months,” explained Lauren. She is excited about riding her upper level horses in arenas designed to get the best out of them. She beamed in agreement when asked if the footing is the first thing anyone should invest in. “It is! I know we’ve got beautifully engineered arenas with the right footing and we’ve got the right drag. And you better believe I am going to be the first one to ride in them!”
Diamond W Contracting is a unique arena building company headed by Austin Wood. Austin Wood has a BS in Agriculture Science and a CEPSCI certification; he has applied this throughout his extensive researching and travel in order to learn and master the art of creating an arena. He is also committed, first and foremost, to the wellbeing of the horse, and can customize the footing specific to any discipline, type of riding, or work the horse is being asked to do. Austin works with several different footing company’s products, to ensure that he constructs the arenas to accommodate for the specific discipline of the horse and rider and for the weather conditions that the ring will face. After proper construction and drainage Austin agrees with Lauren….”just get the footing but adds “and make sure it is the right footing for the job!”