Each week I interview the people behind some of the most interesting and popular equestrian accounts on Instagram. This week I’m chatting with the lovely Laragh Osman, Irish international dressage rider. Read on to learn more about the woman behind the @laraghosman.dressage Instagram account where she shares her days of juggling dressage dreams with family and life
Tell us a little about you and your horses
I live in Hertfordshire with my husband Simon, two children Lucas (14) and Cassie (12) …and our two dogs, Welly and Bruno. I have ridden for most of my life, across several disciplines, including BS, BE, a little Polo etc! I took up dressage more seriously around 10 years ago. I have ridden internationally at Small Tour for Ireland as I was born there and only have an Irish passport!
My advanced horse is AD Ratino, with whom I did my first Internationals at Small Tour in 2018. He was unfortunately off injured in 2019 but in 2020 we did our first two Inter 2’s, once of which scored 70%!
Intergalactic Aimbry is my 7 yr old by Rousseau. He is quirky but adorable and so talented. He has placed in the Young Horse classes through the levels, was 4th in the 2020 Elementary Gold Regionals and is qualified for the Winter Regionals at Medium. We are now competing Advanced Medium.
We bred our first foal this year from our retired mare. She is called Bewitched and is by Baron. She was awarded Premium status at the foal grading so is extremely exciting for the future.
I also ride my mother’s Lusitano Fritz. We came Reserve Champion at the MCI National Champs at PSG / Inter 1 level in September.
My son is all about cricket and rugby, like my husband! However, my daughter is an active Pony Club member with her 14.2 ‘Dave’.
How did your horses come into your life?
My mum rode, growing up on the Irish hunting field. So she had me on ponies as a young child, but around 11 I started going to my local riding school to help out and was there every waking hour for years and years…grooming, cleaning, leading, working, then teaching as I got older…. it was also a livery and show jumping yard, so I graduated to that side of things, riding the young ones, and doing dressage with lots of them. My first own dressage horses were thus unsurprisingly showjumpers!
How long have you been riding?
The earliest photos are when I was around 4 maybe, but full on since I was 11. I got my first pony at 13.
When and where do you ride?
I keep my horses at Dan Sherriff’s yard in Hertford. I also train with him. It’s about 25 minutes from home. I ride 5 or 6 days a week. I juggle the horses around family life and now also pony club. I definitely spend too much time in the car!
How did you start riding?
My mum rode so it was a natural thing for her to introduce me to it but really it was at the riding school that I took it up properly.
What you and your horses currently working on?
Ratti is rehabbing again but we were competing Inter 2 and training GP at home and hope to resume that but we’ll see how he does. Red has started competing AM so we are working on developing confidence with the changes.
What do you love about riding?
I love horses, full stop. The smell of them…the bond, the quiet moments. But also, I really enjoy the sport, the challenges, the training, the thrill of learning, and I do love competing. It fulfils me on so many levels.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
Grand Prix for Ireland is the dream. And the goal. Ideally with Red (Intergalactic Aimbry)
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
Yes, but I think everyone does on some level.
How do you did you/do you deal with them?
Mind over matter for me. I usually know WHAT I need to do, it’s a case of actually just doing it!!
There are different types of nerves – the really sharp horse on a windy day type, where you’d like to just get off but you know you need to ride forward positively, put them to work, and pretend to be brave.…though frankly the odd time, I do get off and decide that tomorrow is another day!
Then there are the competition nerves, which is more about wanting to do my best /do the horse justice. I’ve always been too happy to play it safe. I am trying to let the handbrake off more now and ‘go for it’. It’s a work in progress!!
Your Top Tip
Work hard with a trainer you trust, and be true to your own instincts. Also, be prepared to be open minded and to learn from every horse you ride.
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Red is my dream horse! But aside from him, maybe…
Trying to be not too obvious here…Atterupguards Cassidy looks wonderful to ride…
Who is your equestrian rider hero?
I don’t really have one per se but I really respect the likes of Carl Hester & Debbie McDonald for their extraordinary dressage wisdom… Ingrid Klimke is pretty amazing too.
In a different way, I think what Louise Bell has achieved is pretty awesome …. switching disciplines and reaching Grand Prix, successfully, with her Working Hunter Champion ‘Into the Blue’. I remember reading the article in Horse and Horse where it all began with a lesson with Michael Eilberg! The top riders are fabulous but there are many inspiring stories all across the sport.
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
It would take me forever to come up with that…pass! There are so many ‘categories’ of people!!!
Favourite colour horse?
A rich chestnut probably
Favourite horse event
Hickstead /Aachen / Burghley / Badminton …again lots for different reasons!