Quarter Moon Acres Equine Therapy with Greatmats stall mats

Wisconsin Horses and Volunteers Turning Disabilities into Abilities

Quarter Moon Acres Equine Assisted Therapy Center

Quarter Moon Acres Equine Therapy with Greatmats stall matsPolk County Wisconsin’s first-ever Equine Assisted Therapy Center didn’t just come together by chance. Two of the three founders had been contemplating the idea for many years. For one, it was a childhood dream, and for another, her own experience using horses to cope with disorders led them to help others turn disabilities into abilities.

“Horses helped me through the years,” said Quarter Moon Acres Equine Therapy Center co-founder Patti Andersen. “I have ADD myself. I have massive depression, and the horses themselves have helped me through that.”

Greatmats Interlocking Stall Mat Kits Horse Hooves and Cowboy BootsFellow co-founder Kristi Hart and a childhood friend had worked out plans for a future equine therapy center as pre-teens. That friend passed away far too early, but Kristi never forgot their plan to help others through horses.

In 2014, Patti, who had served as a second mother for Kristi through her teenage years, approached Kristi about opening an equine therapy center on Patti’s farm in rural Amery, Wisconsin. Kristi jumped on the opportunity, moved back to the area, and the duo quickly asked Karole Lee, a boarder at Patti’s farm, to join in the venture.

With all three still working full time jobs, they began offering therapy sessions one day per week in the Spring of 2015 with a crew made entirely of volunteers.

“Our clients range from 6 to 86 and everywhere in between,” Patti said. “Some clients with dementia are the 86 group. And the young ones – many times it’s not an anxiety disorder that they have, it could be just social skills – even at that age – or no core strength, which equine therapy helps with that too.”

The Need for Quality Stall Mats

Greatmats Interlocking Stall Mat Kits Horse Hooves and Cowboy BootsWith the average age of Quarter Moon Acres’ therapy horses being about 17, maintaining their comfort is essential to keeping them ready to serve.

“They’re in stall for quite a bit of the day,” Patti said. “They need some cushion on their feet and under their legs. Without stall mats, we would not be able to do what we do because – No legs on a horse, no feet. No horse, no therapy.”

Kristi pointed out that not all horse stall mats work the same, noting that some of the mats they’ve used have had a tendency to curl, exposing seams, creating a tripping hazard for the horses and making the mucking process more labor intensive than necessary.

“When God created horses, he did not make them the most graceful animals, so if there’s something to get caught on, they will get caught on it,” Patti said.

“We have to have sound horses,” Karole added. “If they aren’t sound, we can’t have them out in the program at all…. They’re not going to be sound if they trip over uneven mats.”

“These horses are our life,” Patti said. “With the mats from Greatmats, they are standing straight and tall.”

Greatmats Rubber Interlocking Stall Mat Kits installedWith Greatmats stall mats, Kristi says they are able to keep their therapy horses comfortable and they’re stalls dry and clean much easier, saving the volunteer QMA staff a lot of time, effort and frustration.

Each rider requires at least three volunteers to help them through each therapy session, so its important for the staff to be able to spend as much of its time as possible focusing on the riders.

The three founders thoroughly enjoy watching the progress their Greatmats Rubber Interlocking Stall Mat Kits installationclients have made over the past three years as well as the reaction on the faces of the clients and their parents as they discover new things about the horses and confidence within themselves.

“Seeing the clients and parents is awesome, but I also think that watching the volunteers that come out here and support us is awesome,” Karole said. “We can’t do this program without them.”

“We’ve seen what horses can do for us, or the people that are close to us, not only physically, but emotionally as well, and we’re lucky enough to have this right at our fingertips,” Kristi said. “So to be able to take what we have and can use every day, and share it with people who don’t … is amazing!”

Patti Andersen, Kristi Hart, Karole Lee
Quarter Moon Acres Equine Therapy Center
Amery WI 54001
For more on this topic please review our Horse Stall Mats product page.
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Customer Profile: Autobody Specialist Mark Lund

Kicking Cancer and Taking Frames – The Mark Lund Story

By Brett Hart

A cancer diagnosis brought a lifelong career of auto-body and collision repair work into extreme focus for 66-year-old Mark Lund of Eleva, Wisconsin.

In June of 2013 Lund was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and was forced to undergo chemo and radiation treatment as well as a surgery to remove his esophagus and part of his stomach. Providing him comfort and purpose in his time of recovery was his friend Zeldaa, the disassembled remains of a 1967 Mustang 289 Automatic Fastback he had purchased six years earlier.

Zeldaa was essentially a pile of rusted out, non-functional parts, but she ”urged” Mark to rebuild her into the crown jewel of Mustangs. By 2016, Lund had replaced or custom built nearly every part of Zeldaa, who he had equipped with vented fenders, an exhaust through rocker panel, 4-link rear suspension and a 427 Tri-power engine.

Why Zeldaa?

1967 Ford Mustang Shelby 427 Fastback Greatmats Diamond Garage Floor Tiles”I wanted a name to differentiate my car from the famous ‘Eleanor,’ from the movie ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’. My car may look somewhat like Eleanor, but she is a one-of-a-kind.”

Wanting his fellow car buffs to see what he had done for his baby, he decided to start showing Zeldaa at local and regional car shows. Garnering 5 best of shows in local Chippewa Valley car shows, Zeldaa began to draw a lot of attention.

So under strong suggestion by other car enthusiasts, Mark upped his game and entered five larger shows in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. Each time, Zeldaa turned heads and claimed Best of Show honors.

In addition to Best of Show, Zeldaa was also snatching up trophies for Designated Class, Best Paint and Participants’ Choice.

Judges were amazed by the workmanship of the car, saying they ”have never seen a perfect 500-point car before.”

Coupe Car Greatmats Garage Floor Tiles CheckerboardMark and his wife, Candy, who recently retired from education, found attending the car shows a perfect getaway, and Candy decided to show another of Mark’s projects alongside Zeldaa, a 1932 Ford Coupe. The ’32 5-window coupe held its own at the shows as well, winning awards for Best Antique, 1st in Class, People’s Choice and Best Rendition.

The couple recently traveled as far away as Sevierville, Tennessee, to enter Zeldaa in the ”2017 Ponies in the Smokies” where she took on 280 other Mustangs and emerged with another Best of Show performance.

Greatmats Diamond Garage Floor Tiles Truck in GarageIn addition to his vehicles, Mark has begun upping his display game as well, starting with 2017 Invitational Custom Auto Show in La Crosse, Wisc., – Zeldaa’s first indoor car show.

”At indoor shows, convention center types of shows, the display is critical,” Mark said. ”Some people have as much money into their display as they have in their car.”

Mark and Candy borrowed a worn out black and white checkered dance floor which just may have had a similar history as Zeldaa. After hours of cleaning, they got the floor in reasonable shape for use in his display and earned ”Best Display” award in both class and show – in addition to the usual Best of Show, 1st Place in Designated Class, Best Paint in Class and Best Interior in Class awards.

Always a perfectionist, Mark was frustrated by the bulkiness and clumsiness of the dance floor, but felt he was on the right track for look. He knew he didn’t want to use the carpet or linoleum rolls he had seen others use because they leave distracting dirty, rolled up or raw edges.

Mark Lund installing Greatmats Garage Floor Tiles CheckerboardThat’s when he discovered Greatmats Garage Floor Tiles with a diamond patterned top. The snap together modular tiles are lightweight, fast and easy to assemble and easy to create the design he wanted in his display floor.

They also provide the professional look he wanted to accompany Zeldaa.

”I’m sure glad I found this floor,” Mark said. ”I know what the heck to do now when I go to these indoor shows. By golly, this is going to be slick. … I’ll have the perfect floor. Easy – the wife and I can put this up this up in 5 minutes – put it away. … This is the cat’s meow.”

Family Legacy

Greatmats Diamond Garage Floor Tiles Car in GarageMark has been in the auto body and collision repair industry for 50 years, following in the footsteps of his father, who owned a machinery/truck and car sales/salvage yard. Mark has worked his entire life with painting and building vehicles, including pickups and motorcycles.
Combine those skills with an artistic mind, and Mark is the perfect weapon against ”same old, same old” rebuilt cars.

While he hasn’t kept track of just how many vehicles he’s rebuilt or restored, he knows of at least 25 he’s made for himself or to sell – most of which are Mustangs from the 60s and 70s. Mark estimates each a complete restoration takes him about 2,000 hours (or 2 years).

When not diving into his passion for Fords, Mark has also worked on a number of Corvettes, Camaros and Chevelles in addition to building custom Harley Davidson motorcycles which have been featured in numerous magazines.

Red Motorcycle with Greatmats Garage Floor Tile Diamond TopAmong his motorcycle show awards are Best in Show and 1st Place finishes in the:
– Harley Davidson 100th Anniversary Celebration,
– Chicago’s World’s Largest Bike Show, and
– Sturgis SD

He’s also passed along the family legacy to a third generation – in his son, Andy, who runs his own custom motorcycle shop and parts business just down the road from Mark.

”I’m still waiting for inspiration to get here,” Mark jokes as he continues to travel the country purchasing damaged vehicles for restoration.

Candy said, ”He just knows what looks good and is able to transform that with his talents of using his hands.”

Mark Lund
Self Employed
Eleva WI 54738
For more on this topic please review our Garage Flooring Tiles product page.
Related Product: Garage Floor Tile Diamond
Greatmats Sterling Rooftop Deck Rubber Tile

Customer Profile: Jews For Jesus Rooftop Deck Tile

Greatmats’ Sterling Rubber Rooftop Tile

By Brett Hart

Greatmats Sterling Rooftop Deck Rubber TileWhen Melanie Rose was tasked with finding a replacement for curled and tattered 3/8 inch thick EPDM roof protection mats at Jews for Jesus in Skokie, Ill., protecting the roofing membrane under their rooftop deck/patio was her primary concern. She researched nearly a dozen different kinds of roof mats and tiles before deciding on Sterling Roof Top Tiles from Greatmats.

After experiencing severe curling with the previous mats, the Chicago-area non-profit facility was looking for a material that would first and foremost protect the roofing membrane. As the thickest and longest lasting option, Sterling Roof Top Tiles were a clear favorite for Melanie and her Chief Administrative Officer at the San Francisco headquarters.

Among the factors that came into play were customer service, price and durability against foot traffic, furniture and weather conditions.

The eight-year-old roof protection mats to be replaced not only failed to protect the roof membrane after they began curling, but also became hazardous to walk on and left black carbon on the feet and clothing of children playing on its surface.

Greatmats Sterling Rooftop Tile Before and After Installation

All 11 of the mats considered for the new surface were interlocking mats, but the 2” Sterling Roof Top Tiles were the only ones with more than a 1” thickness. Melanie spoke at length with sales representatives from each company and was impressed with the knowledge and professionalism of her Greatmats representative who confidently pointed her in the right direction and sent her a free sample. She eventually narrowed her field of options to the Sterling Roof Top Tiles, Jamboree Playground Tiles and Puzzle-Lock Rubber Interlocking Mats, which she presented to her CAO to make the final decision.

While the Sterling Roof Top Tiles were more expensive than the rest of the options, she and her CAO felt the benefits outweighed the difference in price. What most impressed Melanie was the fact that the tiles were well made, dense, thick and had excellent drainage. They also wouldn’t fade, freeze or curl under the stresses of full sun exposure, extreme temperatures or snow that is so common in the area. To top it off, the tile comes with a 10 year limited warranty.

Once the tiles were ordered, Jews for Jesus, hired a local handyman and his partner to install the flooring, which took them two days to complete the project. Melanie’s opinion of the product after installation only got better.

Greatmats Sterling Rubber Rooftop Tile Terra Cotta Color”I was surprised at how beautiful it looked!” Melanie said. ”Even though the pictures on the website are nice, the real thing was more beautiful. … To see and walk on the entire deck of them was impressive.”

The newly resurfaced space is used as a deck/patio for a pair of apartments above an office.

”People are always coming and going and we have events on the deck,” Melanie added. ”The seams fit tightly together. It’s very, very durable. It’s comfortable to walk on. And we have the confidence that the roofing membrane underneath is fully protected.”

Melanie Rose
Jews For Jesus
Skokie Illinois 60076
For more on this topic please review our Roof and Deck Tiles product page.

Gracie Shepherd – Barrel Racer

Portable Horse Stall Mats keep horse healthy for weekly competitions

By Brett Hart

Having ridden horses as long as she’s been able to walk, 16-year-old Virginia barrel racer Gracie Shepherd got her competitive start showing halter horses.

Gracie Shepherd barrel racing horse Greatmats

”I’ve only been barrel racing a year and that’s a completely different ball game for sure,” Shepherd said. ”I’ve always wanted to barrel race.”

So she jumped in head first and drove 17 hours to Texas to purchase a 4-year-old barrel horse named Rosie.

”A ton of people thought I was crazy for not only going that far, but buying such a young horse,” Shepherd said. ”People always said ‘don’t buy a green horse for a green rider,’ but I’m stubborn and did it anyways. I wanted a horse I could grow and learn with.”

Gracie Shepherd Barrel Racing competition Greatmats”I took matters in my own hands and with God, my horse, and my family I made that dream my reality.”

Now Shepherd competes in a barrel race or rodeo virtually every weekend – sometimes as many as 4 shows in a weekend.

”There are very few weekends that Rosie and I are at home,” Shepherd said.

In her short barrel racing career, Shepherd has gotten the biggest thrills from competing in the Forth Worth Stockyards Championship Rodeo and two trips to the AQHYA Youth Worlds.

”Rosie actually wasn’t far off of placing against the big dogs,” Shepherd said of the Fort Worth Rodeo.

She’s also made the finals a few times at No Bull Barrel Races.

”My biggest accomplishment really is just being where we are within a such short amount of time,” Shepherd said. ”I would’ve never thought we would be where we are in a year.” Gracie Shepherd Barrel Racing Greatmats

Greatmats Portable Horse Stall Mats
With all over her and Rosie’s time on the road, Shepherd discovered found pulling big, heavy stall mats out of her trailer to put in the stalls to be a major inconvenience.

”That was not very easy at all,” she said. ”Those suckers are heavy. I really wanted something just easier to get to her stalls with lots of comfort. A lot of the shows are pavement stalls, so it can make her pretty sore.”

When Rosie was sore, Shepherd she would be stiff in her hind end and wouldn’t perform well.

”Pavement stalls can do that to a horse,” she said.

Then, while looking for stall mats to take to the AQHYA World Show, she came across Greatmats’ Portable Horse Stall Mats.

Gracie Shepherd barrel racing horse on Greatmats Portable Horse Stall Mats

”I love how portable and easy they are to set up.” Shepherd said. ”They don’t take up a lot of space in my trailer. And they are light and easy to get to my stalls at shows.”

Rosie has been happy with the new Greatmats Portable Horse Stall Mats as well.

”She definitely never feels stiff since we’ve used Greatmats, and she performs better since she’s not stiff,” she said.

Pleased with the progress she and Rosie have made with the help of Greatmats, Gracie Shepherd plans to continue chasing her dream.

”We are nowhere near finished yet,” she said. ”I really want to make it to pro rodeo one day and win the AQHYA Youth World.”

”I’d like to personally thank Greatmats for joining Rosie and my journey,” Shepherd said. ”Traveling down the roads wouldn’t be as good if we didn’t have them!”

Gracie Shepherd barrel racer with Greatmats Portable Horse Stall Mats
Gracie Shepherd
Glade Spring VA 24340
For more on this topic please review our Horse Stall Mats product page.
Related Product: Portable Horse Stall Mats

Minnesota Spring Conditions No Match For Ground Protection Mats

Industrial By Products Delivers with Ground Protection Mats

By Brett Hart

Greatmats Ground Protection Mats in Muddy FieldFor 42-year old soil testing and trucking expert Jason Williams, who owns Industrial By Products, LLC in Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota, spring ground conditions used to cause significant delays for his business. That is until he discovered 3×8 foot ground protection mats on Greatmats.com.

”I figured they would be ideal size and weight for what do,” Williams said.

Industrial By Products, has been in business for 4 years. As part of its service, it delivers low-cost fertilizer to farmers and spreads lime and ash. This requires accessing farm field’s with loaded semis.

Greatmats Ground Protection MatsTo keep his mats evenly spaced to match up with his semi tires, Williams and his crew customized some half-inch rebar for links.

Williams said the rebar ”seems to work pretty darn great. I think the smooth one like you guys have wood be better though.”

”The great mats (ground protection mats) have allowed us to continue delivering material even in the spring of the year with the soft ground conditions,” Williams added. ”They have been wonderful!”

Jason Williams
Industrial By Products LLC
Sturgeon Lake MN
For more on this topic please review our Ground Protection Mats product page.

Jack’s Ultra Sports Creates Fun and Safe Rooms with Rubber Flooring

Rolled Rubber Flooring Offers and Easy to Clean Non-Slip Surface

Jack's Ultra Sports Indoor Paintball Lasertag with Greatmats Rubber FlooringWhen Fun Creator and Entertainer Andy Hill decided to open Jacks Ultra Sports in Conway, Arkansas, he knew that he needed to make the front entrance, party rooms and check-in areas of his 28,000 square foot warehouse fun and safe. And a big part of that process was converting the polished concrete floors into surfaces that would both look nice without being slippery.

Jack's Ultra Sports Indoor Paintball Lasertag Party Room with Greatmats Rubber FlooringWhile searching Google for just the right surface, the 28-year-old discovered Greatmats.com and found not only the product he wanted, but the best price and best customer feedback. Hill decided on 1/4 inch thick Rubber Flooring Rolls with 10 percent confetti color. He was also able to save money by installing the flooring himself.

”You have to have some knowledge and experience with making the cuts and applying glue, but overall, it was fairly easy,” Hill said.

Jack's Ultra Sports Indoor Paintball Lasertag with Greatmats Rubber FlooringHill, who’s been in the industry for nine years, said, ”Central Arkansas has long needed a fun, friendly and clean environment for people to play paintball, anytime, regardless of weather condition.”

That’s how the idea for Jack’s Ultra Sports was born.

Conveniently located off I-40 in Conway, Jacks offers 2 paintball playing fields for low impact only.

Jack's Ultra Sports Indoor Paintball Party Room with Greatmats Rubber Flooring”No bruises. No Pros. Just fun,” Hill said. ”Almost anyone can play on our brand new astro-turfed fields. We also have an arcade, which we are constantly adding new games to.”

After a few months of using his Greatmats rubber floor, Hill said, ”The confetti rubber flooring we went with does an amazing job of being a slip free surface that is easy to clean and is also appealing to the eye. … We vacuum the dirt off and then mop at the end of each weekend. It looks good as new. … Lots of people have asked about it.”

Jack’s, also has plans to open state-of-the-art ULTRA-3D laser tag this fall.

”The paintball and entertainment industry are ever changing,” Hill said. ”You’ve got to keep up with what people want or you’ll be closed in no time. Innovation is the key.”

Happy with his Greatmats rubber flooring, the innovative entertainment professional said he plans to use Greatmats ”for our rubber flooring needs when we open the next Jack’s Ultra Sports.”

jacks-party-room-3
Andy Hill
Jack’s Ultra Sports
Conway AR 72032
For more on this topic please review our Rubber Flooring Rolls product page.
sparring at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament with Greatmats Martial Arts Mats

Infinity Martial Arts – Mike Welch – National Championships

Infinity Martial Arts equips Schools and Tournaments With Greatmats

By Brett Hart

Infinity Martial Arts founder Mike Welch first discovered tricking while competing in tournaments as an American Tae Kwon Do practitioner. Now, a fifth-degree blackbelt, he is one of the nation’s premiere instructors in the sport. Greatmats Martial Arts Mats at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament Mike Welch and Orlowski

”That’s a really American style. I fell in love with it and then that’s what I started teaching,” Welch said. ”Now Infinity has six schools and it’s part of our programs. Kids can… learn the extreme stuff – the flashy weapons, the tricking and kicking – and again when we go to a tournament, and they’re throwing back flips and doubles and B twists and the tricks, it’s clutch. It’s better than slamming our feet on a wood floor.”

Recently Welch was approached by a good friend, and parent of one of his students, about starting his own tournament.

Infinity National Championships

sparring at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament with Greatmats Martial Arts Mats”We have the schools, so we have the judges and the competitors,” Welch said. ”Infinity is well known around the area through tournaments. It was kind of a perfect storm. We found the Kalahari and everything just… fit well like lego pieces.”

In 2016, Infinity Martial Arts hosted it inaugural Infinity National Championships, which drew approximately 300 competitors.

”A shout out to Jeff Orlowski and his wife Michelle Orlowski – my co-promoter,” Welch said. ”They put the details together. Everything you don’t see that’s behind the scenes, those details set us apart.”

The tournament featured eight competition rings and a stage equipped with Greatmats interlocking martial arts mats.

Greatmats Martial Arts Mats at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament”Mats are always a plus for a tournament,” Welch said. ”The Greatmats are nice because of how easy they are to put together and take apart. They lock in. They don’t bubble. They don’t stretch or anything like that. Our schools are using Greatmats, so it’s where we get some of the rings from.”

Before its second annual national championship tournament, which hosted competitors from 10 states and two countries, the tournament invested in more new mats from Greatmats.

demonstration on Greatmats Martial Arts Mats at Infinity Martial Arts Tournament”Again another Lego piece that just fit,” Welch said. The Infinity National Championships which host competitors of all ages utilizes three different 1×1 meter Greatmats interlocking Martial Arts Mats – Pro Martial Arts Mats Sport 20 mm, Martial Arts Karate Mat Premium 1 inch, and Grappling MMA Mats 1 5/8 Inch.

”The thicker ones come from the schools,” Welch said. ”We spend a little bit more money so that the schools have the thicker mats. It’s a nicer product. The thinner ones are easier to buy in bulk, but they work fantastic. None of the competitors are complaining about them. They’re not slipping. The mats aren’t sliding. They’re not coming apart, so even the thin mats – they’re perfect for our venue.”

Infinity Martial Arts

flipping on Greatmats Martial Arts Mats at Infinity Martial Arts TournamentAfter more than a quarter century of training in martial arts, Welch is now adding jiu jitsu to his arsenal, but says, ”Punching and kicking – That’s my pastime.”

While tricking is a relatively new form of martial arts, the Infinity Martial Arts’ program is especially unique in the upper Midwest, and it has grown to include six Wisconsin-based schools – located in Middleton, Sun Prairie, Waunakee, Oregon, Fitchburg/Verona and Evansville.

”All of our instructors are competitors,” Welch said. ”They’ve been national and world champions. Our team is coming right out of our schools so that definitely sets us apart. We’re elite when it comes to that side of the sport.”

”Greatmats was a great addition to our tournaments, to our schools.”

Mike Welch
Infinity Martial Arts
Middleton WI 53562
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.