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Profile On: Tom Croce, Stable Architecture

I stumbled across Thomas L. Croce Architects not too long ago and was absolutely blown away by the gorgeous designs of stables and other equestrian facilities. Tom kindly took the time to answer some questions about this line of work and for those interested, how you may go about getting into designing such facilities.

Have you always been interested in horses and when starting out in architectural design, was this horse related or something that developed later?
I got started in horses as an Adult. I had graduated from architectural school and was practicing when I started to ride, as I became more involved in riding dressage, and jumping I decided to try and combine the two.

Barn designed by Tom Croce

How much of your day/week is related to horses?
My work day is spent on the design of equestrian facilities, I have two horses that I care for and ride, so the majority of my time is spent on horse related items.

In the architecture field – focusing on horse related designs, is it possible for someone to be a full time professional, earning a livable income?
Yes. For the past couple of years the majority of my work has been in the equestrian design field, and as the number of horses in this country continues to increase, and as horse owners continue to become more educated about the care of the animals, I believe the demand for facilities that meet the needs of the animals will continue to increase.

What are the general steps taken to be an architect of these sorts of projects?
There are no specific programs in equestrian design. The best advise I can give to someone interested in working in the field of equestrian facility design would be to focus on getting a strong background in design and construction, then try to work with someone who is already working in the field to obtain the specific experience.

Tom Croce designed stables

Any advice for those interested in pursuing a similar career?
Be patient, but persistent.

Is there anything else with horses you’d love to learn about or try?
I have always wanted to ride a cutting horse.

Favourite horse memory?
My first dressage show, I was riding my horse a hunt horse, we got to the corner where we were supposed to canter, but rather than canter he saw those white rails and thought “JUMP” and we exited over the arena.

Future goals?
Stay in the ring.
Continue to inform the horse owning public about the need and benefits of meeting both the physical and the physiological need of the animals

Best thing about your sport/profession?
Getting to spend time with such majestic animals and the feeling I can give something back to these animals who give so much to us.

“A horse in the barn is worth two in the pasture.”

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