Wynn-Smith Perfects Equestrian Landscaping

Equestrian Landscaping Rules the Day!

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San Diego–based landscape architect Tim Smith has a special niche. He creates spaces for horses and people, and is one of only a few landscape architects in the country who specializes in designing equestrian environments. Equestrian landscaping is something that goes back to Smith’s roots. “Equestrian work is something that I’ve always loved. I grew up in an equestrian family and lived part of my life on a horse farm in Kentucky.”

Smith gained practical experience while working at his father’s farm, Pegasus Stud, in Lexington, Kentucky—the renowned equestrian capital of the country. Add to that his experience working at the Keeneland and Fasig–Tipton auctions and studying the many farms for which his father, an equine veterinarian, worked, and you can understand Smith’s passion for the equestrian lifestyle and its landscape.

Today, Wynn–Smith Landscape Architecture, founded by Kelly Wynn and Tim Smith in 1993, keeps it in the family. Smith’s practical experience is compounded by advice from his brother Jeff Smith, a farm manager in Versailles, Kentucky, and his father, Dr. James D. Smith, a retired veterinarian of equine medicine at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.

While Smith was studying landscape architecture at the University of Arizona, it dawned on him that he had a unique skill. Understanding horses as well as he does, he knew he could provide special insight into the equestrian world that most landscape architects are missing. “And so I realized that I could work with horses, be around horses and also work as a landscape architect,” he said. And being a landscape architect gives Smith the opportunity to do what he loves: integrate his love of art, design, the environment and horses, all in a day’s work.

Peacefield Farm Wynn-Smith

“Horse farms are a wonderful opportunity because I get to do large–scale master planning, sometimes a thousand acres, and detailed design of the smaller spaces as well. I get large–scale site planning and the scale of residential all in one.”

Designing a horse farm is like designing a little community; you have to understand everything that happens on a horse farm. That usually includes a boarding facility, pastures, paddocks, corrals and roads to plan. Roads have to take into account the circulation of pedestrians, horses, cars, delivery trucks—people who may not always be paying attention. And then there are different types of barns and at least one residence, plus housing for employees on the larger farms.

There are also different scenarios you have to plan for depending on which type of horse is on the farm, as well as their purpose. Is it a boarding facility or a training facility? Is it a public or private boarding place? Is it for racing thoroughbreds or training Arabians? How do you hide some of those necessary, but unattractive, pieces while keeping them conveniently located? And don’t forget about the smell. And poisonous plants. And drinking water.

Wynn-Smith Perfects Equestrian Landscaping

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