Chelsea Frediani isn't horsing around. The Paonia teacher and riding instructor is confident that this spring she can begin construction of an indoor riding arena and horse stables on her 28-acre Bone Mesa farm.
Frediani has submitted an application for Trailhead Stables, a minor specific development proposed at the intersection of 4050 and L75 roads in unincorporated Delta County. The facility will include paddocks and an outdoor pen, hay sheds, and a 12,000 square foot indoor riding arena. An existing barn will include stalls, hay storage, and a manure composting area.
Frediani's parents, who live in Napa Valley, are co-investors in the business. The application has already been given a nod by the Upper North Fork Area Planning Commission, which met for the first time in more than a year to review the application.
A neighborhood meeting was held March 10, and feedback was both positive and helpful, said Frediani. The Bone Mesa Domestic Water District, which supplies water to the property, has also given a thumbs up to the proposal.
Frediani, a credentialed teacher, has deep roots in the Napa Valley. Five years ago she was looking for a place to move after quitting her teaching job. Not more than an hour after resigning she learned about a small farm for sale near Paonia. Since moving here, she has taught at Vision School and gives riding lessons through Helen Denison with the North Fork Riding School.
The facility would provide riding instructions and stabling of horses through membership fees. Denison and other riding instructors have already expressed an interest in the facility.
While Frediani has experience in jumping and basic dressage, opening stables wasn't in her original plans. With Denison's school having as many as 25 students enrolled in classes, she sees the facility as filling a need within the community. "Horses are really expensive, so we can make them more accessible," said Frediani.
In addition, the indoor arena, where winter temperatures will generally run 15-20 degrees higher than outside temperatures, will allow more year-round instruction opportunities. She also sees therapy services, including hippotherapy, in the future equation.
As part of the application process, Frediani had to prove she can deal with all the horse manure, which will be composted in a designated area. "It's not a problem for the neighbors," she said. They've already promised to haul it away.
Her hope is that the facility will serve the entire community. During construction, she plans to use local businesses and labor wherever possible, and if the business grows, she will hire locals. "That's really the goal, to help provide some jobs," she said. "I want this to be a blessing to the people."
The application is expected to come before the Delta County Planning Commission tonight, March 23. The application is scheduled to come before the Board of County Commissioners on April 4.