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Construction students put skills to work at Pelham stable

Over the next two weeks, a dozen students in the heavy equipment trade will be clearing out about 30 acres behind Rockin N Stables. / Mary Green

Rockin N Stables has been getting Southwest Georgians in the saddle the past three years.

"We do trail rides, birthday parties, riding lessons, camp for kids," owner Cecilia Navarro.

But when the Jan. 2017 storms his, they not only took down trees behind the stable but kept Navarro from expanding her trails.

"Georgia woods are really, really thick, so it's not easy just to come out here and make new trails and clean things up," she said.

Lucky for her, a group that stopped by last year for a ride came from Albany's Turner Job Corps.

"Our wonderful recreation team kind of found this place, and our students who were from different areas of the state and different parts of the country wanted to ride horses," Turner Job Corps' Business Community Liaison Melvin Drake said.

Now some of those students are back, and over the next two weeks, a dozen students in the heavy equipment trade will be clearing out about 30 acres.

"They're using saws, backhoes, a lot of the excavation equipment that we have here today to go ahead and clear out the way so the horses can have a nice trail to run on," Drake said.

"When they get done cutting new trails, hopefully we'll have enough to do a good hour, hour and a half, maybe two-hour trail ride," Navarro added.

This is work Navarro wouldn't have been able to do on her own.

"Being a small business, it's hard to have those resources to widen the trails and make additional trails, so we're very, very thankful that they came out," she said.

But for the students, this work means valuable experience and some more fun in the future.

"It's a win-win situation," Drake said. "They're able to come out and have a good time."

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