A bay horse named Cool Mountain won Rolex 2010. Some hoped he would win from the start and maybe others hoped for an American. We’ve put our hearts and souls (and a whole lot of time) into following our favorite riders. So what do we do now? We need to stay connected to each other and that’s where a dappled grey wins. Dappled Grey, the blog, that is.
Dappled Grey is the place to get connected to the latest style, finds for kids, travel ideas, and to stay involved with this equestrian community we all love so much. I can add, with a sigh of relief, that it’s also tremendously easy to navigate making it a pleasure to window shop your way through the discoveries including a home stay in New Zealand with reknowned showjumper Greg Best, supporting the LA inner city group The Compton Junior Posse, or learning your dressage tests with the help of the FEI iPhone app. The brain behind the blog, Molly, talks to you about where the idea came from and how it helps you!
Q. How does Dappled Grey connect us equestrians to each other in a community?
A. It connects equestrians in several ways. Many of the posts feature equestrians who are pursuing their dream of a life with horses in various unique ways from US team rider Ashlee Bond’s athletic underwear line to a para-dressage rider’s road to the World Equestrian Games to the founder of a horse show-based doggie daycare to the first ever gay polo league. All very different, but united by the equestrian way of life.
Q. How did the idea come to you to start a blog that delivers information about the english equestrian lifestyle from kid’s stuff to travel to style?
A. Well, I’ve always been a sort of “early adopter” of technology and had been blogging for a while. In my previous professional life, I was a researcher and I’ve ALWAYS been an equestrian, so Dappled Grey is just sort of bringing the three together. I read and subscribe to similar niche guides in other (non-equine) areas and just thought, “Why isn’t anyone doing this for the equestrian world?”
Q. Which horse sports do you follow yourself?
A. I am most closely connected to the hunter/jumper world, as it is the discipline I grew up riding in. I tend to be kind of encyclopedic about things I’m interested in, and I’ve been a student of showjumping and US hunters and hunt seat equitation since I was a child. My heart will always be there, but recently I’ve started my young horse in dressage and am becoming more closely connected to that discipline. My grandfather raised Quarter Horses, I love watching polo, and I have a lot of friends who are eventers. I follow the English disciplines most closely but will pay attention to anything equestrian that crosses my path.
Q. ”English Equestrian” includes a wide variety of sports including hunter, dressage, and eventing. How does Dappled Grey cater to all of us?
A. I think the different categories on Dappled Grey allow me to publish a fair amount of content that is relevant across disciplines. The Style and Equipment sections may sometimes feature posts that are discipline-specific. But content in the Travel, Kids, Culture, and Community sections usually is not. Since I have personal experience in the Hunter Jumpers and Dressage, I’m always looking at style and equipment for those disciplines. Most of those can be relevant to eventers too and I’ve got a couple of tack store owner friends who event and will tip me off to cool new things.
Q. Dappled Grey is a guide to the english equestrian lifestyle. What are your hopes for Dappled Grey as far as contributing to the life of equestrians? What does it offer that we don’t already have?
A. Well, I tend to think of what Dappled Grey “isn’t.” It’s not a how-to site and it’s not about reporting show results. There are other websites and publications that already do that very well. I really am motivated by my conviction that being an equestrian is a LIFESTYLE . It influences what we wear, where we travel to, what we’re reading, who our friends are, how we decorate our home…. it goes on and on. And we are blessed to live that lifestyle. I think Dappled Grey celebrates the lifestyle aspect of being an equestrian and offers people a place to be inspired and maybe learn about something they need or would really enjoy but hadn’t heard of.
Q. What are some of your favorite posts?
A. That is such a great question! I love the original “iPhone Applications for the Sport Horse Industry” post - it has been very popular and also been a way for app developers to get feedback on their products. I loved sharing the Compton Junior Posse, a riding program for inner city kids in Los Angeles, and JustWorld International with our audience. I was truly inspired by my interview with Para Dressage rider Erin Alberda and have stayed connected with her along her journey. It was fun to write about the book “Happy Horsemanship,” an all-around classic that was my favorite as a child. The recent post about KIWI boot polish was inspired by my dad, who is a KILLER boot polisher. Every post I write feels inspired and I love writing them and then sharing with readers.
Q. Dappled Grey is an incredible source of information from fascinating equestrian travel adventures to heart warming community stories. How do you find all this great and relevant info to share with your readers?
A. My radar is ALWAYS on. Barn, show, on the web, magazines, catalogs, tack store friends…. I always know when I’ve just scored a great find!
Q. After all that life requires in time, what gives you the drive to spend time writing Dappled Grey?
A. It sounds trite, but my horse, Fitch, really motivates me. I have an incredibly supportive husband and family and our life centers around our horse. We all love the lifestyle that riding and being a horse owner provides. Researching and writing for Dappled Grey is a lot of work, but it honestly feels very seamless with my day to day life. I’m sitting here answering your questions after returning from a ride and am still wearing my new breeches and hoodie that you will probably read about on Dappled Grey sometime soon. It’s just part of the lifestyle!
On the heels of Rolex when we’re hungering all the more for all things equine let the best of the english equestrian life come right to your own front door. Or, at least, your inbox. Thanks, Dappled Grey, for keeping us all up to speed and totally hip while we’re at it.