Nellie Gail Ranch Wood Trail Fencing Colors and Meanings

As you walk or drive through Nellie Gail Ranch, you may notice some of the wood fencing materials along the trail system have different colors. All of Nellie Gail Ranch’s trail fencing, which totals approximately 11 miles, is made of pressure treated pine lumber. Pressure treated wood is widely used for outdoor construction projects because of how well it resists the elements. The lumber is treated under high vacuum pressure that forces chemical wood preservatives into the fibers of the wood. The color of pressure treated lumber depends on the chemical that was used during the pressure treatment process.

GREEN (Discontinued Product)
Chemical used – Chromated Copper Arsenate
The most common preservative used to pressure-treat lumber when Nellie Gail Ranch was first developed was chromated copper arsenate. However, due to its harsh chemical properties, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of this type of lumber for residential use in 2004. Nellie Gail Ranch stopped purchasing this type of treated wood six years earlier around 1998.

BROWN (Currently Used)
Chemical used – Copper Azole
Copper azole mixtures, which combine copper with a fungicide from the -azole (nitrogen ring-based) chemical group, are considered a safe and effective replacement for chromated copper arsenate. Wood treated with copper azole mixtures is light brown when new, but its color fades to a silver-gray as the wood ages.

In this photo taken on one of our trails, you can see the lighter green (almost white) board which is an old piece of fencing that was used as a patch. The brown boards pictured are new treated lumber patches and the predominant color you see, dark brown/silver-gray is the aged brown treated wood. In a few years, the newer brown patches will match the older fencing color as it fades.

To efficiently use Nellie Gail Ranch resources we try to balance when we should replace full sections of fencing and when repairs should be performed to extend the overall life of the fencing. This does result in some fence color variations that take some time to fade together.

Equestrian Center Clubhouse Construction Update

Work continues at the Equestrian Center Clubhouse to replace the patio cover, railings, stairways and sliding glass door. Components of the project include extending of the deck to meet disability access code compliance and installation of bar seating viewing area. Work scheduled for next week include deck footings and framing work. These are reserve projects funded 100% by boarding fees with no homeowner assessment contribution. Work is anticipated to be completed by mid-May.

Equestrian Center Clubhouse 

Work has commenced at the Equestrian Center Clubhouse to replace the patio cover, railings, stairways and sliding glass door. Components of the project will include extending of the deck to meet disability access code compliance and installation of bar seating viewing area. These are reserve projects funded 100% by boarding fees with no homeowner assessment contribution. Completion of these projects will result in improved Equestrian Center Clubhouse functionality and aesthetics. Work is anticipated to be completed by the end of April.

Arena Lighting

We have completed the replacement of inefficient Equestrian Center Dressage Arena lighting with new LED lighting.  The new lighting casts more efficient directional lighting at the arena footing while using half the amount of energy as the old fixtures.  The fixtures are also guaranteed for ten years saving on future replacement costs.

Fiddleneck – Poisonous Plant Toxic to Horses  

While this time of year brings lush green hills to the Nellie Gail Ranch community and Equestrian Center, please be aware of the potentially toxic plants that are often lurking among the tall grass. Fiddleneck is one of the many plants that can be toxic to horses and has been seen throughout the hills behind the Equestrian Center and around the community.

Nellie Gail Ranch open space is maintained in a natural state other than annual efforts to perform weed abatement late spring. Horses and pets should not be permitted to graze on Association trails or slopes. Homeowners will also want to monitor what is growing on their open space private property as well.

Please take a minute to select the below link from ucdavis.edu and read the article about Fiddleneck and inspect any areas before you allow your horse to graze to avoid ingestion.

Fiddleneck Information

Trail Grading / Rain Maintenance

It’s a very busy time for our trail maintenance vendor Boulder Earthwork. Following each rain, they clear mud and debris from the street that has washed off the trails. Then they evaluate the sandbags and replace or adjust as necessary. After that the v-ditches and catch basins are cleared to be ready for the next rain. Then after the sun returns and the trails dry, the weeds begin to grow and Boulder grades the ruts and weeds out of the trails. This cycle repeats throughout our 25 miles of trails each rain event throughout winter and spring.

Thank you for your patience, it does take time to get to all the trails, especially when it rains weekly as it has so far this year. Boulder has a route of priority areas that we know to look for right after heavy rains but if you are out and about on the trails and see anything that needs to be addressed, please text a photo and location to us at 949-933-8546 and we will be sure to inspect and address as needed.

Sand Footing Available

In order to continue to provide the best footing possible in our Equestrian Center arenas, we are happy to announce that we have removed and replaced the sand footing in the Lower Arena Dressage Court!

Please contact us if you would like to have some or all of the footing we removed for your home arena. We are giving the sand away and only ask that you arrange transport. We have approximately 80 yards available on a first come, first serve basis. If you are interested in taking some, please contact Equestrian Center Manager Charee Jones at 949-371-1595 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday 7 am-12 pm.

Pony Club Horsemasters

The South OC Pony Club is open to Nellie Gail Ranch homeowners and Nellie Gail Ranch Equestrian Center Boarders. The South OC Pony Club is excited to announce adult horse lovers can become a Horsemaster member in Pony Club here at the Nellie Gail Ranch Equestrian Center!

If you are over the age of 18, come out and enjoy the fun and excitement of learning new horse sports such as Eventing, Dressage, Show Jumping, Hunter Seat Equitation, and Western. While some Horsemasters choose to work towards and gain certification, others simply enjoy the opportunity to learn while they enjoy riding with fellow equestrians. No prior horse experience is necessary! If you don’t currently own a horse, you may still participate in non-mounted meetings to learn about how to properly care for a horse.

Please HERE for more information on youth and adult programming.

Stinging Nettle & Weed Control on Trails

Stinging Nettle is one of the prevalent weeds being battled at this time by our trail crews. Weed control on the trails is occurring now through summer on the trails throughout Nellie Gail Ranch. Horses and dogs don’t usually eat stinging nettle, however, if they brush up against it while walking or lie down or roll on the plant, glassy hairs from the plant’s leaves and stems cause a skin reaction and an intensely painful stinging sensation that may last 24 hours or more. The standard practice for our trail crews is to grade the trails and spray herbicide on the nettle and other weeds along the two sides of the trail to limit regrowth.

This year we have stopped using Roundup and are using a non-toxic herbicide so we will be evaluating effectiveness this year. If you see specific areas of concern you may text a photo and location to 949-933-8546.

Equines and pets using trails should not be permitted to eat the stinging nettle or grasses or weeds in close proximity to them. Enjoy your time on the trails.

Trails Open

Trails are open but use care as we continue to correct minor grading issues caused by the rain and subsequent use following rains. Despite the cold temperatures, the days have been beautiful, and it is a great time to get some exercise and keep those New Year’s resolutions. Please help us protect your trails by keeping in mind all vehicles require a trail permit prior to accessing trails. This is particularly important for service vehicles in the winter season as we oftentimes know of certain trails that are excessively wet that may be damaged by heavy vehicles.  Permits are available from the Association office.