Welcome to part 3 of the equestrian career series! Today’s featured post will be all about equestrian architecture. For this field I have contacted Blackburn Architects for a special interview! In this exciting post, Founder and Senior Principal John Blackburn has graciously answered a few questions that I asked about the world of equestrian architecture!


What does a day in the life look like for an equestrian architect?

“Probably not a lot different than the day in the life of most architects.  However, in my practice we tend to have a lot more travel to see clients and their property because we are involved in master planning the entire property with clients all over the country.  That could include just a few acres to thousands of acres.” John Blackburn, Founder and Senior Principal of Blackburn Architects

What are some necessary skills you need for your job?

“First, you need to be an Architect. Second, you need to have a passion and love for what you do; you need to  appreciate and understand the needs of the horses, the owners and the environment in which these farms are located.”

What education is required or will help with being an equestrian architect?

“Earn a degree in architecture to develop an understanding and knowledge of design.  Have an understanding of, and appreciation for, horses and their specific needs.”

What is your favorite thing about your job?

“Having a specialty in an area of architecture that takes me to all areas of the country where I get to meet many interesting people, see different environments and then creating farms that balance the needs of the horse and the demands of their environment.”

What is your least favorite thing about your job?

“Having to find a way to design a project for a client whose "wish list" is larger than their budget.  I always want happy clients. I want to please myself with the design and create a safe and healthy environment for horses.  Sometimes, finding that balance is difficult and frustrating for me and the client.  Also, it bothers me to see the way in which many horses are housed when often just plain common sense could improve the situation without that much cost.”

What is some advice you would give to someone looking to pursue equestrian architecture?

“Focus first on getting your degree and learning design. Some equestrian designers feel because they have been riding their whole life that they can be an equestrian architect.  It takes more than that -  a lot more.  But knowing and appreciating horses is a good start.  I had experience with horses when I was young but found a way to merge my interest in horses, my interest in environmental design, my desire to build and to always look for what else is out there so that I can learn and improve my craft and service to my clients.” John Blackburn, Founder and Senior Principal of Blackburn Architects.


I hope you were able to take a lot away from this wonderful article, I know I sure did! There are so many career opportunities in the equestrian world, all you have to do is look for them. Blackburn has designed hundreds of breath taking facilities that improve horse‘s quality of life! You could do that too!

You can find Blackburn at @Blackburn_architects on Instagram or their website here!

Best wishes!