Well, I finally decided to give Facebook a try. I’m not sure I can keep up with it, to be honest. But mainly I hope to get a nice “fan page” started for Blackburn Architects so that people who are interested in equestrian design—or just architecture and design in general—can meet, collaborate, and ask questions.
Do you think this has value? If so, I’d love to have you as a friend and a fan on Facebook.
At the Blackburn office, we’ve been busy developing Blackburn Greenbarns®, a line of pre-designed barns that are sustainable, provide a healthy and safe atmosphere for horses, and are more affordable than custom design. We first introduced this line of barns last April, but the overall construction costs for the barns were a little higher than we would have liked. So, we decided to go back to the drawing board (literally) in an attempt to streamline the process without compromising our values. We are almost ready to relaunch Blackburn Greenbarns® (with a new and improved website on its way!) with a “kit barn” option, but I would really love to hear from you as far as what’s most important to you when building a new barn.
I know that cost is a huge factor—as it should be—for most barn owners. However, I also know that being a horse owner is quite an investment in and of itself—and that most owners just want a facility that protects their horses when they are in the barn, knowing full well that the horses would rather be lazing about in the paddocks.
What is the most important factor when building a new barn? Affordability? What about the style or look of the barn? Are you interested in sustainable products or incorporating green design?
I hope you’ll comment on this post and share your thoughts. Maybe there’s something that all the barn builders (or architects) forget to include/consider and it drives you nuts? Or maybe there’s a particular service (like site planning) that you’d find valuable but aren’t sure you can afford or truly need and would like to know more about it.
Hope to hear from you! More on what we’ve been up to soon.
Blackburn Architects’ work at Sagamore Farm in Glyndon, Maryland is a part of Kathryn Masson’s new book called Stables: Beautiful Paddocks, Horse Barns, and Tack Rooms from Rizzoli Publications. With gorgeous photography by Paul Rocheleau, the book is available through Rizzoli, Amazon, and major book retailers. Read a review from The Classicist for more information about this collection of beautiful equestrian architecture.
A few days ago, I came across Tammy La Gorce’s article about how equestrian vaulting–“gymnastics on horseback”–is gaining popularity in areas across New York. The article follows one particularly determined performer named Miranda Marcantuno, 11, who has been riding since she was six.
I thought the multimedia slide show was fun to look through to see the young riders practicing stunts on cantering horses that you might expect from circus performers. You can read the article here.
Also, check out the American Vaulting Association for more details about the sport.
I thought I’d share a relatively new blog by the talented writer Jennifer Sergent. I first got to know Jennifer’s work through the now defunct Washington Spaces Magazine. Spaces closed its doors in January, which is a shame not just for Jennifer, but for architects and designers in the DC Metro Region. The magazine was beautifully produced and showed off some of the best interior design and residential architecture in the District and surrounding areas. (I’m proud to report that one of our projects–an old bank barn converted into a party barn–graced the cover.)
However, Jennifer’s new blog–DC by Design–helps fill that void by continuing to bring light to great design in our area. She’s also had recent pieces in the Washington Post and the Examiner. Whether you live in Washington or are just a fan of all things design, I think you will find DC by Design a blog worth bookmarking.
I received the following press release today and thought I’d pass along the information.
For Immediate Release: March 15, 2010
Contact: Bridget Patrick, 517-241-2669 or email@example.com
State Veterinarian Urges Pet and Livestock Owners to Vaccinate Against Rabies
Rabid horse identified in Lapeer County is state’s third rabies case this year
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) State Veterinarian Dr. Steven Halstead today urged Michigan citizens to be pro-active and have their pets and livestock vaccinated against rabies and other diseases after confirmation that a horse in Lapeer County tested positive for rabies.
“It is essential pet and livestock owners take steps to vaccinate against rabies and other diseases because of the possibility human exposure to the disease from interaction with infected horses, cattle, dogs, and cats,” Dr. Halstead said. “By working with their veterinarian, owners can take significant steps toward providing a safe and healthy environment for their families and animals.”
A quarantine was issued on the Lapeer County horse farm and will be monitored by county animal control officers. Feral cats and any pet cat on the premises showing clinical signs consistent with rabies or with a history of biting someone within the previous 10 days will be tested.
Six people, including the owner, trainer, and veterinarian, that may have been exposed to the rabid horse are receiving a series of preventative rabies shots. No other humans or animals are known to have been exposed at this time.
This is the third case of rabies in Michigan thus far in 2010 – a skunk was found to be rabid in St. Clair County and a bat was found to be rabid in Kent County.
A standard vaccination program for pets and livestock includes vaccinations required by law, along with vaccinations for diseases commonly found throughout the state. Licensed vaccines are also available for horses, cows, sheep and goats.
“It is important to make sure animals attending fairs or exhibitions, field trials or shows receive additional vaccinations to protect against diseases they may be exposed to in group housing or stressful situations. Owners should consult their private veterinarian to develop an appropriate vaccination program specific for their animals,” Halstead said.
State law requires ferrets and dogs be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. It is also important to make sure that cats kept indoors also be vaccinated as bats frequently get into homes exposing the cats.
Dr. Halstead also recommends the following vaccinations:
- All horses against rabies, Eastern/Western Equine Encephalitis, Tetanus, and West Nile Virus.
- Having dogs checked for heartworm and intestinal parasites, along with vaccinations against canine distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus.
- Having cats checked for heartworm and internal parasites and vaccinations for cats include rabies, herpes virus, calicivirus, and panleukopenia.
Blackburn Architects’ work at Ketchen Place Farm is featured in the Spring 2010 issue of Architecture DC Magazine. Created by the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the AIA, Architecture DC provides local architects and members of the trade with news and information within the architectural and design industry.
HBO has signed on Dustin Hoffman to star in Luck, an upcoming drama about horse racing culture. The show is slated to begin filming in spring. For more information, check out the blurb in Thoroughbred Times.
We haven’t received our copy of the March 2010 issue of Dressage Today yet (the DC blizzard last week made it nearly impossible for mail delivery in the District). If you have the March issue handy, please take a minute to read my response in the Ask the Experts section of the magazine and let me know how I did. The question I was presented with: What difference does a green barn make to a horse? What are the most important elements to consider when designing sustainably?
That question came from Diane Barber, owner of the Los Angeles-based firm Equestrian Designery – Interior Design for Equestrians, which specializes in—you guessed it—equestrian-style interior design. Diane is also an avid equestrian and author of several articles about her equestrian experiences for publications like Dressage Today. Some of her work may be viewed on her Web site here.
Anyway, I’m not sure if this particular Q & A will make it to the Equisearch Web site, home of magazines like Dressage Today and Practical Horseman, but they do maintain an online compilation of Ask the Experts that you may be interested in reading.
My wife pointed an article out to me a few weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to post it, although I’m sure many of you have seen it by now. It’s an article in the New York Times about Ann Leary, a writer and the wife of the actor and comedian Denis Leary. Ann is a horse lover—actually, an animal lover in general—and has written a couple of books and maintains a pretty amusing blog. Some of her blog entries are about her horses, others are about life on the farm she shares with her family in Connecticut, and others still are just about life in general. All in all, a good read you might want to keep bookmarked. Definitely check out the New York Times article if you haven’t already, if only to look at the photos of her family’s beautiful horses and their 1850s farmhouse.