Riding With Style

“I never intended to have an equestrian home,” says Sylvia Everroad of her Palos Verdes horse-themed home. However, passion often shows up when least expected. As a medical group administrator for Kaiser Permanente, Sylvia has a demanding and successful career, one made more laudable as a single working mother. It was her daughter’s passion for […]

“I never intended to have an equestrian home,” says Sylvia Everroad of her Palos Verdes horse-themed home. However, passion often shows up when least expected. As a medical group administrator for Kaiser Permanente, Sylvia has a demanding and successful career, one made more laudable as a single working mother. It was her daughter’s passion for horses and Sylvia’s devotion as a mother that determined their equestrian life.  

After moving from San Diego to Palos Verdes in 2000, Sylvia enrolled her then-10-year-old gymnast daughter, Allison, into a pony camp with a local trainer. In the horse profession, the age of 10 is considered too late for a rider to become a serious competitor. However, not only did Allison succeed as a rider, she went on to become rated as one of the top 10 riders nationally in multiple disciplines. 

Soon Sylvia’s house was taken over by ribbons and trophies, while her vacations were consumed with horse shows. “We went to eight to 10 horse shows each year, so the equestrian lifestyle defined us,” says Sylvia. Eventually, the menagerie of the equestrian life extended to a barn of horses and a house populated by dogs born in the stables. 

Sylvia was challenged with what to do with her newfound life, so she called Diane Barber, a fellow equestrian as well as an interior designer. Diane is a lifelong rider with a devotion to horses and the equestrian lifestyle. While she specializes in “equestrian designery,” a term she trademarked, she also practices interior design for many styles of homes. Sylvia said that Diane “understood immediately, and we had a shared vision.” 

Soon after their meeting, Sylvia’s home was designed and remodeled. In addition to Allison’s trophies, the house is now decorated with horse art, photographs and collectibles. Whether after a long day at the office or an extensive road trip to a horse show, Sylvia finds her home comforting.  

The equestrian lifestyle has defined and strengthened the bond between Sylvia and her daughter. “Although Allison is grown, we spend every Saturday and Sunday together with the horses, and our vacations are still spent together going to horse shows,” says Sylvia. Additionally, she has continued to add to her equestrian-themed home by collecting paintings of horses. 

Although Sylvia is not a competitive rider, her devotion to her daughter’s passion has translated into her own love for horses and the people and lifestyle that surround the equestrian life. Sometimes love blossoms in places one never expects. For Sylvia Everroad, that place is in her home in Palos Verdes, with her daughter and with their horses.  

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