“I am an ordinary rider – I just do everything without equipment”

7 min.

By the look of it she is a very ordinary rider. At least from her own perspective – Danish equestrian Lene Olesen’s. However, she has become extremely popular on Instagram with her pony Irish. They show the world how it is possible to jump and ride a beautiful dressage without the use of any equipment.  

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Irish is everything and so much more  

The beautiful Connemara Pony Irish (full name: Skærgårdens Irish Love) is something very special. Lene has never doubted that. The horse can go from being full of extreme energy and to suddenly calming down and almost getting lazy.  

“She has a huge personality. She can be wild, crazy and full of temper. Sometimes she is all worked up and then two minutes later she calms down and I can kiss and hug her. She is the whole packet,” Lene Olesen explains.  

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Becoming part of the family 

It is 2009 and Lene’s mother, who is also interested in horses buys the pony. Irish therefore enters a family who has always worked and loved every minute with the large animals. 

“When I was born the first place my parents took me was to the stable to say hello to the horses,” Lene says. 

Today, almost every day, Lene bicycles to the stable to ride and look after Irish.  


Lene started out as a classical showjumper, as she describes it, but when her mother suddenly brought home a cordeo, Lene could not resist trying it out.  

“I just got up on Irish without any expectations – except I hoped not to die, Lene laughs and continues: “Irish just listened in a completely different way. It was a new way of communicating. Irish understood the cordeo very quickly, and now we almost only ride like this,” she says. 

This was the beginning for a new way of riding for the two. As time goes by Irish becomes more and more comfortable with the cordeo. Actually so much that she does not like equipment that much anymore. Lene starts to do videos of their achievements and do show jumping, also without equipment.  

Lene Olesen på sin pony, Irish
Most of the time Lene rides without equipment. Photo: Private 

Lene Olesens pony, Irish
Lene and Irsh also do tricks together. One of the most popular one is when Irish is smiling. Photo: Private 


The only time Irish is accepting equipment is at cross-country. They have done a few competitions but one day it all went terrible wrong at a ditch. Irish did not get over properly and ended up on her back and neck. The result is that Irish has a broken cervical vertebra. Luckly, nothing happend to Lene, but from that day they no longer dig cross-country. 

It took about a year and a half before Irish was ready to be ridden again, and there is still very much focus on her well-being today. During her recocery, she was very depressed – not at all the same, happy pony, but slowly this changed. Irish and Lene started focussing on dressage because it suited Irish better after her accident.  

More than 95.000 followers on Instagram 

Especially dressage is a big part of the profile on Instagram. Partly because the two had to change their training but also because they both enjoy it very much. They are actually so good at it that more than 95.000 people enjoy following them on Instagram. 

“I actually think it is kind of unreal that so many people are following us,” Lene says. 

Lene enjoys showing her love for horses on social media and hope that people have a good time watching them.  

“I also think that people find it interesting that we do so many different things together in all disciplines. We do dressage, a little jumping, groundwork and of course most of it without equipment.” 

The pony Irish 

Irish is a 15-year-old Connemara Pony. Her full name is Skærgårdens Irish Love, and she is the color dun. 


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