Although I’m late to the party, I recently added a tagline to my blog. After a year of contemplation it finally hit me what my blog was really and truly about. I’m a DIY, budget conscious equestrian and many of my blog posts strongly follow this theme. That’s why this week’s blog post is especially fitting.
Last fall, a dear friend of mine who manages a boarding stable and lesson business got new jumps. She wisely and beautifully replaced hers with ones constructed of PVC. The good news for me is my friend is also incredibly generous.
Rather than simply throwing away her old jumps made of wood, she gave them to me. She knows that, by necessity, I am frugal which means that while I am always looking to improve the quality of my at home training I have to do so inexpensively. She also knew that although her old jumps needed a little work, I was definitely someone capable of breathing new life into them.
I had hoped to begin restoring the jumps over my Fall Break from school but my life being as busy as it is, that just didn’t happen. In fact, half of my summer vacation had passed before I decided that I simply could not postpone the project any longer. So…at the end of June I retrieved the jumps from where I had stored them in our pole barn and lined them up for pressure washing. Here’s what they looked like on the first day post pressure wash.
You can see that they needed some TLC. For some of them it was a little hard to imagine the end goal. Luckily, I have vision. Once the jumps were clean, it made it easier to examine the wood for rot as well as potential places that could be mended.
In Phase 2, pictured next, my husband and I patched what could be salvaged and saved the remainder, if at all possible, for spare parts. Bases, for example, take a lot of wear and tear so it’s good to have some extras on hand. Very little went to waste. After they were patched, I went over them with a wire brush to remove any remaining dirt as well as peeling paint.
In the Phase 3, once the jumps were ready to paint, we arranged them for ease of painting. My arena is outdoors so it’s especially important to cover all surface areas with paint for protection from the weather. Below is a picture of what that looked liked.
Finally, in Phase 4, we applied the paint. While each of the above phases took anywhere from thirty minutes to a couple of hours, this last phase took five solid hours of painting and two gallons of paint. My husband, who has been known to bale me out of some my hair brained schemes, had to come to the rescue with cantaloupe and water after I rather stupidly dehydrated myself three hours in. I had forgotten my water at home but thinking that the day was overcast (it was still the hottest day of the year) and I would be in the shade, I didn’t bother to go back and get it. Thankfully, my condition wasn’t too serious and after replenishing myself over about a thirty minute period I was able to go back to work. Thankfully, he continued to paint while I rested and stayed to help me until I finished.
Now, after a little tweaking to our patch job, some re-touching of the paint, as well as painting where the bases will make contact with the ground, these jumps will be as weather proof and sturdy as I can make them and ready to make their way to my arena. You can really see the changes and the progress that we made in this final photograph. Coming in at just over a $50 investment for paint, we already had on hand the tools and screws we used for patching, these jumps look great.
They are really going to look nice in my arena and be a huge benefit to my at home training program. To get an idea as to the money we saved, I recently saw a single set of brand new schooling standards similar to some of the ones photographed advertised for $200 not including shipping. I’m really thankful to my friend for gifting them to me and to my husband for all of his help.