Alli Addison doesn’t remember the first time she was on a horse. The second generation equestrian knows that she had her first experience as a baby… and credits that instant to her lifelong passion. “The horse lover in me would say that the obsession kicked in at that very infantile moment,” Addison says.
The multi-hyphenate infuses all areas of her life—think branding for cool startups, interior design for gorgeous homes, and her personal style—with a little bit of equestrian flair. You can see it all (and feel majorly inspired) on her gorgeous instagram @miltonmenasco, including her recent shoot with her favorite Free x Rein pieces. Read our interview below, then head on over to our Instagram to see what a typical day in the life with Addison is like. You'll come away inspired, we promise.
Free x Rein: How has riding influenced your professional life?
Alli Addison: I think a lifetime spent around and on horses has influenced my adult life tremendously. As a child it instilled an unparalleled level of respect, dedication and perseverance that followed me through my adolescence, in and out of college and certainly into adulthood. In the workplace, the sport and passion has taught me to accept failure, learn from it, rise above, and get back in the saddle. "Adulting" and professional life is met with some major bumps, often unexpected. And it doesn’t matter how “prepared” or “practiced" you think you are. You’re gonna get bucked off a few times.
“It doesn’t matter how “prepared” or “practiced" you think you are. You’re gonna get bucked off a few times.” - Alli Addison
F x R: How did you integrate your love of horses with your career/photography and design?
AA: When people ask me what I do today, I own several businesses. One of which is a construction and design company. And the other, my personal marketing consulting practice. And being the weird horse chick that I am, you can bet equestrianism finds its way into every project I seem to get involved in. Especially for my design projects. I'm a huge sucker for horse art, and I don’t think I’ve had a single client that I haven’t suggested some form of equestrian art options to. Equestrian style is classic style. It works superbly in just about every space, and there is some major longevity to it. In fact, my own private space is covered nearly wall to wall in horsey art in a variety of mediums and styles. My husband likes to joke that we are being overrun by it.
Vogue just released a stunning video with Gigi Hadid that was dreamy enough to convince every human to run away to a pastoral farm and cuddle with some horses. This type of content is so appealing, all while being so beneficial to elevating and highlighting equestrian sport. So naturally for me, I do see equestrianisms weaving their way into my moodboards, brand directions, graphics and such. And I can’t get enough of it.
F x R: What do you like about the Free x Rein pieces?
AA: Fit and comfort! Without a doubt. Everything is so expertly made, the quality of material is top notch, the comfort level is good enough to warrant a lazy Sunday spent surfing the couch, and the styling high brow enough for a night out on the town. But to choose a single one, when you love an entire collection so much, that would be like asking a parent who their favorite child is. Ok, well maybe not quite the same. So, I guess I can tell you I’ve been really reaching for my Signature Ponte Riding Pants lately. Oh, and my black Henley Bodysuit. That thing fits like a glove.
Shop Alli's Favorite Riding Pant: The Signature Ponte Riding Pant
F x R: What would you tell young women who are trying to follow their passion in the workforce/keeping horses as a part of the job when your not a professional equestrian?
AA: Be yourself. Be genuine. Be kind. Be authentic. There are plenty of sectors and industries that can keep you connected to the equestrian world, outside of just being a professional rider. Make as many contacts and relationships as possible. And keep them thriving. Your career trajectory can and will possibly change over the course, and you will want to have that little black book of equestrian folks at your fingertips for when that time comes. Much like the social shift occurring in humanity and among women, that same shift is happening right here in our little niche equestrian world: horse people are really discovering the value in supporting their fellow horse people. And by doing so, WITH KINDNESS AND RESPECT, together we are all raising the bar.
Shop Alli's Favorite Riding Shirt: The Short-Sleeve Henley Bodysuit
F x R: What's your favorite lesson riding has taught you?
AA: That you will fall off. And you have to get back on. And that this is not the definition of insanity! Ha. Unless, of course, your mount is truly just insane.