Each week I interview the people behind some of the most interesting and popular equestrian accounts on Instagram. This week I’m thrilled to be chatting with the lovely Sam Rahmatalla, British International dressage rider based in Wiltshire. Read on to learn more about the hard-working and very talented lady behind the super @srdressage Instagram account.
Tell us a little about you and your horse
I have been a professional Dressage rider and trainer for over 20 years. Based in Chippenham, Wiltshire. I own two horses, my current international small tour horse Hawtins Falerno (Doodles), and a two-year-old filly by For Romance called Forget Me Not, (Dottie).
How did your horses come into your life?
I bought Doodles as a two-year-old from Hawtins Stud. I saw him in a herd in the field and we brought him in to the indoor school to have a look at him. He walked so cool and calmly away leaving his friends for the first time, I liked his attitude, and then I saw him move!
I bought Dottie as a foal from Northcliffe Stud, she is very closely bred to Doodles and I’m looking forward to starting her next year
How long have you been riding?
Since I was 8 years old. I left home at 16 to work in a yard and became head rider within weeks.
When and where do you ride?
Every day all day!! I’m based at a lovely yard in the village of Tytherton Lucas, Chippenham, and also travel to Lacock for one of my competition rides
How did you start riding?
My friend and I were looking for something to fill our time with
What you and your horses currently working on?
I have two horses competing at Small tour level, a horse at medium, training advanced medium and a six-year-old who has been competing novice and needed time to mature
What do you love about riding?
The feeling you get from training is very satisfying to me, achieving softness and suppleness is what I’m addicted to
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I’m living my dream and have been since I left home! I wouldn’t change anything in the future, just continuing to train horses to Grand Prix and representing GB
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
If I think about an important competition too much, I get anxious. I think I’ve struggled more as I’ve got older!
How do you deal with them?
I’m pretty strong mentally so I keep my focus on what is going on with the horse underneath me at the time, and distract myself by being busy in the lead up to a big competition
Your Top Tip
Treat every horse as an individual and spend time with them on the floor to build your bond and understand their personality
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
I would have loved to have a sit on Farouche, to feel what she felt like
Who is your equestrian hero?
Anyone who has worked their way up from scratch, it’s hard!
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
My best friends, I rarely spend free time with them!