American Saddlebred Museum
The leaders of the American Saddlebred Museum wanted to create an experience that would highlight “the horse America made” in a memorable way—one that would attract casual visitors as well as ambassadors for this elegant, athletic breed. We would design, fabricate and install the experience in the Museum’s History Wing, leveraging existing assets, such as a large open space, tall ceilings and collections, to maximize budget. In addition to expanding interest in Saddlebreds, the goal was to expand the use of the existing Museum in strategic ways—for example, opening up an existing retail area to create a flexible space that could be used for exhibits and also generate revenue when rented out for special events.
Our design is a collaboration between experience design, architecture and media programming. Through research and story workshops we realized the true theme of the experience was the emotional bond between Saddlebreds and people. Interpretive graphics and fun interactives explore the human/horse connection and Saddlebred traits and characteristics. Dynamic media pieces show the grace of the breed moving through the American landscape, “the horse you know” from TV shows and movies, and the thrill of competing in the World Championship Horse Show. The experiential retail area is doubled in size. A defined welcoming entry, expanses of storefront glass, and an outdoor deck give visitors and event attendees a stunning view of a paddock in the Kentucky Horse Park.
When the American Saddlebred Museum trots out these changes in 2019, the result promises to be as memorable and crowd-pleasing as the horse it promotes.