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Photo  courtesy of  Balfour Senior Living
Photo courtesy of Balfour Senior Living

by Brittany Bevis

Upon entrance to the main dining hall, visitors are greeted by a high arched interior flooded with light, supported by massive wood beams that give the feeling of a grand equestrian estate. As if there were any doubts as to the inspiration behind the design of this property, the vintage saddles, velvet hunt caps, and horse show ribbons that adorn the living spaces confirm a decidedly equestrian vibe.

The newest Balfour Senior Living center in Littleton, Colorado, is the brainchild of AQHA and APHA breeder and amateur exhibitor, Susan Juroe, and her husband, Michael. The planning for this new location began four years ago and is their ninth project to date. Susan and Michael are the co-founders of Balfour Senior Living, a luxury senior housing company they built from the ground up. They strive to provide an experience that cultivates a better quality of life than a traditional retirement home. “We’re passionate about each project we do at Balfour and design it as if we were going to move in ourselves,” Susan says. “We don’t believe that aging means you like plastic furniture covers or bad architecture.”

Certainly not. Balfour’s newest center at Littleton features stunning interiors that have been impeccably designed with thoughtful equestrian details at every turn. The journey begins with an enormous spur sculpture that greets visitors out front. Susan explains how this larger than life replica came to fruition.

“While riding in the back seat of the truck with my trainers, Tim and Shannon Gillespie, in Gainesville, Texas, I asked them if they knew of any place where I could get a giant sculpture of an everyday object, like a pitchfork. They didn’t, but literally a second later I looked up and saw a giant pair of rusted western spurs in front of Rod Teuscher’s studio. I went there the next day and commissioned a pair of gigantic, English spurs, which I sort of had to talk him into since it’s not a core business line of his. Each time I returned to Texas, I visited to see his progress. He drove the finished work up to Colorado in his truck, and we had to hire a specialty company who used a crane to install it. His craftsmanship is amazing, and he’s an incredible artist and human being.”

Once visitors pass by the spur sculpture and step inside the Littleton facility, they are greeted by fox hunting prints, horse racing memorabilia, and framed horse show ribbons that adorn the common areas. Susan explains that the process for sourcing and collecting these objects took considerable time and effort. “Collecting objects for Balfour at Littleton involved visiting museums, tack shops, and antique stores, as well as engaging friends and family in my quest to assemble an interesting collection of equestrian art, found objects, books, and tack.”

This article originally appeared in The Equine Chronicle and this excerpt is published with permission. Read the entire article HERE. All images courtesy of Balfour Senior Living. Find other interesting stories in our section on Recreation & Lifestyle.

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