Rim Alattar

Meet Rim Alattar, we talk about what it’s like balancing her time between school, the gym, hanging out with friends, and of course riding. Her journey towards becoming a rider, and getting to where she is today. We also talk about her instagram account @rimsriding, and how the purpose of having that account has changed.

What is your main thing you do on a daily basis?


– School, riding and the gym. I am in my first year of highschool, I study the natural science program, it’s a bit hard but it works. In the gym I really love leg day. I’d rather work out on my own than go to classes, then it feels like all focus is on working out. I go to a riding school now, and I’m currently looking for a horse to ride a few days a week. But it’s hard, I want to match with the horse, I’ve really matched with the horses I’ve ridden before. For example, I don’t like slow horses, I’d rather do half halts than to need to put on leg all the time.

How do you have time to do everything that you do?


– People say that the natural science program is really hard, but if you just listen in class, participate. And read through it one more time when you get home, maybe just have a quick look at it, it’s not that hard. The days when I’m at the stable, I don’t go to the gym, riding is still a workout, I mean, you get a bit sweaty. I try to squeeze in hanging out with friends after the gym for example. My closest friend, Ajla also rides, so we usually hang out at the stable. It’s easier for us to meet because we share the same interest. On the weekends, we have sleepovers. My other friends who are not interested in horses, we grab a coffee sometimes, you can make that work as long as you plan for it.

“When I look back at it, wow, I started from nothing, and now I really can ride, It’s such a big difference”

How did you start riding? Tell us about your journey to where you are today.


– I think it was in 2016, my sister wanted to try horseback riding, I was really scared, I didn’t even want to go near the horses. My mom had heels on, so she couldn’t walk in the paddock. So it ended up being me that had to lead the horse. Once I did that, I was so pumped, and was like; “look mom, I did it, I’m gonna pet every horse in the stable”. Then it was my turn to try out riding. I saw that I got the biggest police horse, I was so scared. Then afterwards when I jumped off, I was so proud, I had sort of an adrenaline rush, and thought wow, this is really cool. Then I just kept on riding. At first I only did walk and trot, for about 1,5 years. Then I started taking lessons, and moved up at a higher and higher level. Now I go to jumping lessons, the hardest level and I go to the group with adults..

“When you ask me now “what sports do you do? “I’m like  yeah, I ride, I say it really proudly”

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How would you describe your style from street to stable?

Street:

– I don't know if I would describe my style as classy or comfortable, sometimes I wear really nice clothes, but on the other hand I can wear leggings, a pair of Nike sneakers and a big knitted sweater, it depends from day to day. 

Stable:

– But in the stable I like to wear matching clothes, a pair of nice breeches, and a nice sweater, it makes me feel like a pro, and it makes me ride better. 

Was there anyone in your family that was interested in horses before you?

– No, it was something new to them, at first when we got to the stable, they were like “Rim it smells like poop, what did you do? And I was like uum, I was mucking. That's the sort of catastrophic comments I’ve gotten, she says and laughs.

“There are so many things to do in the stable, that you eventually forget the bad stuff when you ride. It solves your problems, it’s like an unwritten rule” 

Do you have a big event that happened in your life, where you feel that your connection to horses helped you?

– I started to ride, because I had a hard time in school for a while, there was a lot going on with my hijab, I sort of was a scapegoat, and I didn’t like that. I don't like putting it that way, that it had to do with my hijab, but that’s the way it was if you really think about it. That was the reason people looked at me in a different way. During one period of time, I felt down because I didn’t have any friends, because I hadn’t started riding yet. I met Ajla in the stable, she’s my safe point 120% for sure. If you don’t want to talk to anyone, you can just go to your horse, it solves the entire problem, that’s just the way it is. 

 

The equestrian world is still pretty traditional, has that affected you in any way?

– We were at Falsterbo Horse Show, I noticed people looking at me funny, my friend noticed it too. I wanted to buy a saddle pad, the man who worked there told me “Do you know that these are for horses?” the only thing I said back was “Yeah, I know”. It was at that time when I couldn’t stand up for myself, now it would’ve been a different thing.

Your instagram account, how come you started it? Was it for a reason, or just for fun?

– I actually started the account for a school horse at first, I posted as if it was the horse that had the account [laughs]. Then I started to post when I rode that horse named Wish, and then when I rode other horses as well. People from my riding school started to follow me. Then I did an interview for a horse magazine called Hippson, that also gave me more followers. Then other magazines and companies started to get back to me and wanted to write articles about me. Since then my account has just grown. I also have a TikTok account, where I posted a video; “When people say my hijab doesn’t go well with me riding” That video gave me many more followers and likes. I was in shock, I didn’t find my video that special, but it was something new that people wanted to see, and they wanted to hear my story. 

What do you want to express in your channels?

– I want to talk about diversity and make it something super normal for other girls. People get back to me and say “It’s great that you stand for immigration and diversity, when I grew up there was no one who inspired me in that matter”. That makes me so happy, and it feels like I’m doing the right thing, riding should be about the horses, and not about where you come from.