Equestrian Michele Letica Shares Her Custom Tack Room

The Highland Township resident rides her horses five days a week
Highland Township resident Michele Letica pictured above in her custom tack room.

One day, when Michele Letica was a young girl, her father came home and said, “I bought a horse!” This surprised the family, as they didn’t know where they’d keep the animal. “He saw a sign, ‘Horse for Sale,’” she recalls. “I was 9 or 10. We were living in Bloomfield Hills on 5 acres of land and thought, ‘OK, we’ll put a barn behind the house.’ But barns weren’t allowed, so we built a potting shed and put the horse there. She was a great horse.” 

A few years later, Letica became the owner of another horse after the family moved to Metamora (considered “horse country” by many). After getting married, Letica and her husband, Kurt Schroeder, bought a farm in Chelsea (a historic coach stop) and renovated the home and old barn for their horses.  chele 

Today, the couple live in Highland Township, enjoying both a beautiful home and an elegant horse barn that has several spaces within, including 10 stalls, a tack (equestrian equipment) room, and an arena, all built by Milford’s M.J. Whelan Construction. “The stalls keep the horses happy,” Letica says. “They’re well-sized and have windows, and the horses enjoy hanging their heads out the windows.” And it’s not just the horses who appreciate the stalls. In fact, the barn’s stall space captured first place in the Specialty Room category in the 2021 Detroit Design Awards.

Letica started keeping and training her horses at the barn in the winter of 2019. The couple now have six of them: Cali (“sweet, with allergies”), Binky (“I bred him on my farm in Chelsea — he’s getting old and is great to learn how to ride on”), Boogie, Noveno, Sorprese (“my upper-level dressage horse”), and BZ, “who’s working hard to catch up to Sorprese.” 

Dressage, incidentally, is the art of riding and training a horse to develop obedience, flexibility, and balance, among other attributes. Letica rides her horses five days a week and calls dressage — her preferred riding style — a “full-body workout.”

Letica lives for her horses and says they’re affectionate animals. “My favorite part is cuddling them, scratching them, and just interacting with them. I adore my barn and put a lot of work into designing it, along with the team at Whelan. It’s a big building, and we wanted it to be a bit industrial but also warm.” 

Here, she shares what makes the tack room her favorite space. 

A Look at Michele Letica’s Tack Room

Light bright

“Edison ‘spider’ lights work out well here,” Letica says. (When each bulb is hung at a different height, the bulbs and cords resemble a spider.) “I didn’t want can lights in there, and I needed a lot of light around the room. I really like the Edisons because you can move them around.”

Up above it

The ceiling is made of wood. “We did that to give the space that barn feel.” 

Get comfy

Two red sofas welcome tired riders. “The color adds a pop. And the leather one is easy to wipe clean.”

In the saddle

Wall racks hold saddles. A floor rack is for cleaning saddles.   

Tack room with a view

“From the tack room, you can see the indoor riding arena as well as out toward the pastures. It’s homey and makes cleaning equipment more enjoyable,” Letica says. The arena, she adds, is where the magic happens. “Or not, depending on how horse or rider is feeling that day.”

Decorative touches

One of Letica’s favorite decorative pieces is an old-style iron horse hitch that was a gift from her sister-in-law.

Coffee break

A coffee table features an iron and wood mix for rustic appeal. “It goes with the somewhat industrial look we have.”

Under foot

The flooring is tile that looks like wood. “You’re walking in and out all the time and you have dirt on your boots, or gritty sand from the arena. This floor is perfect for easy cleanup.”

Tack room with a view

“From the tack room, you can see the indoor riding arena as well as out toward the pastures. It’s homey and makes cleaning equipment more enjoyable,” Letica says. The arena, she adds, is where the magic happens. “Or not, depending on how horse or rider is feeling that day.”


This story is featured in the September 2021 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more stories in our digital editionAnd click here to see more metro Detroit interiors. 

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