Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Hobby Horsing


Posted: February 9, 2024

Updated: February 9, 2024

Hobby horsing is a global sport where riders create and use stick horses to perform intricate dressage and show jumping routines. It's actually similar to riding real horses, but without the huge cost or commitment. It's a fun and creative activity that promotes athleticism, community, and artistic expression.

The Finnish phenomenon of hobby horsing isn’t just a revival of the stick horse; it’s a complete reinvention. Gone are the simple toys of yesteryears; in their place stand elaborate, handcrafted hobby horses surrounded by a culture of skill, sport, and online presence. While hobby horsing has been around for some time, its popularity surged around 2010, with a burgeoning community of Finnish youth passionately designing and crafting their hobby horses.

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The Evolution Of Hobby Horsing

What began as a pastime evolved into a fully-fledged equestrian craze, albeit one without live horses. Instead, it’s all about the hobby horses. Competitions emerged, featuring dressage and show jumping events where riders showcase their meticulously crafted companions. Despite initial perceptions, hobbyhorsing isn’t confined to one gender—it’s an inclusive sport. Girls, in particular, excel in various disciplines such as show jumping and dressage, where precision, personal style, and executed manoeuvres are meticulously evaluated.

In Finland, the epicentre of hobby horsing, the sport is officially recognized, with national championships held annually. The Helsinki Equestrian Festival in late May draws thousands, with over 5000 enthusiasts participating in the thrilling hobby horse riding competitions. Thanks to documentaries highlighting this unique sport, Finland boasts the largest membership base for hobby horsing, underscoring its enduring appeal and cultural significance. In truth, we’ve waiting to see if hobby horsing events will eventually be covered by the top online sportsbook sites in the UK, like Bet365 Sportsbook. Hopefully, it’s just a matter of time. 

No Grown-Ups Needed For Hobby Horsing

The growth of hobby horsing has been organic, largely driven by teenagers who have fostered a vibrant community both online and offline. Within this community, hobby horse stables are established, entering riders and their trusty steeds into various competitions, notably the annual Finnish Hobby Horse Championship, while meticulously documenting their progress.

hobby horsing
Picture Source: Flickr

Interestingly, about half of the participants in these events also have experience in traditional horseback riding, lending a familiar air to these gatherings reminiscent of equestrian events.

Hobby Horsing And Inclusiveness

At its core, the hobby horse phenomenon embodies qualities such as imagination, innovation, and independent thinking—values deeply cherished in Finland and highly esteemed in today’s society. This cultural movement naturally embraces inclusivity, whether through the constant stream of photos flooding Instagram feeds or at competitions, where dedicated athletes showcase their skills before stern-faced judges who evaluate their performances. These events also attract entrepreneurs offering a plethora of hobby horse-related products, from finely crafted thoroughbred hobby horses to bridles and other accessories.

Becoming More Popular Around The World

Hobby horsing is gaining well-deserved attention, not only within Finland but also abroad. According to online gambling news in the UK, its popularity is spreading globally, reaching countries such as Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, the US, Russia, and across Asia and Australia. Anticipation mounts for its expansion into other nations with a passion for horses, including Brazil and Argentina.

hobby horsing
Picture Source: Flickr

The dissemination of hobby horsing occurs primarily through online channels, fueled by word-of-mouth and captivating videos. The 2017 release of the Finnish documentary “Hobby Horse Revolution” further propelled its visibility, chronicling the journeys of several pioneers within the hobby horse community.

Are You Courageous Enough To Ride?

Embarking on the hobby horse journey comes in various forms. Some enthusiasts focus on specific disciplines, while others embrace the entirety of the hobby. Many Fins collaborates with seasoned hobbyhorse aficionados to develop a comprehensive Hobby Horse Toolbox, simplifying the initiation process regardless of one’s location. For athletes and event organisers, our instructional videos cover show jumping, dressage, and trail riding techniques. Additionally, our experts highlight the seven most enticing aspects of hobby horsing.

A Developing Hobby Horse Culture

Behind the scenes, crafting hobby horses entails an artful blend of creativity and craftsmanship. Our video guides walk you through the intricacies of horse-making and bridle construction, revealing the magic behind these beloved companions. Online, Instagram serves as a vibrant hub for countless hobbyhorse owners, offering a platform to showcase personal creations and celebrate the achievements of others.

Finnish people champion the bold and unapologetic spirit of hobby horse enthusiasts with an exclusive line of urban fashion, crafted by esteemed Finnish designers. This limited edition collection features the season’s most unique T-shirts, dresses, and jackets—a tangible display of solidarity with hobby horse enthusiasts, who remain unfazed by external opinions of their passion.

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Reasons To Start Hobby Horsing

Those who enjoy hobby horsing can point to many reasons why it’s a sport that should be taken seriously. Below we’ve listed some of these so that our readers can have a better understanding of this activity. 

Hobby Horsing Is Cost-Effective

Competitive hobby horsing offers a significantly more budget-friendly option compared to traditional horseback riding. The initial investment can be as low as $20 for your “horse,” which conveniently resides in your home—no costly stabling fees required. Moreover, there’s no need for specialised attire; regular gym clothes suffice. We even suggest opting for Nikes over pricey leather boots. Additional expenses are minimal, limited to gas money for transportation and snacks for road trips.

Hobby Horsing Is Safer

While all sports entail some level of risk, hobby horsing presents a considerably safer alternative to traditional horseback riding. While we adore our equine friends at TIEC, mounting a 1500-pound animal and coaxing it to leap several feet into the air carries inherent risks. With hobby horsing, occasional minor scrapes or bruises may occur, but overall, it’s undeniably safer than its real-life counterpart.

It Provides Excellent Exercise

Consider the physical demands: children sprinting at full speed, leaping over hurdles with gusto—all while balancing a hobby horse between their legs. It’s akin to track and field, albeit with an added challenge.

hobby horsing
Picture Source: Public Domain Pictures

While we’re not suggesting it’ll debut at the next Olympic Games, hobby horsing offers a commendable workout. Certainly beats lounging on the couch glued to the TV or indulging in iPad games.

Hobbyhorsing Instills Valuable Life Skills

Beyond the fun, hobby horsing imparts essential life lessons such as teamwork and dedication. Children immerse themselves in the competitive aspect, some even dedicating hours of daily practice (trust us, just look it up on YouTube). In regions where the sport has gained traction, children enroll in lessons, undergo rigorous training, and collaborate to overcome obstacles—both literal and figurative.

Encouraging Creativity And Hands-On Skills

In an era dominated by online convenience and machine-made products, traditional craftsmanship is often overlooked, particularly among the younger generation. Amidst this trend, competitive hobby horse enthusiasts stand out by embracing the art of manual labor. While one could easily purchase pre-made hobby horses online, many riders opt to cultivate their skills by designing and constructing their own equine companions as engaging craft projects. For inspiration, a visit to Etsy.com reveals a plethora of unique examples.

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Fostering Imagination With Hobby Horsing

Despite the physical rigour of running, jumping, and competing, navigating a hobby horse course requires a vivid imagination. Riders must envision not only themselves in action but also imbue their hobby horses with imagined personalities and athletic prowess. Engaging in this imaginative exercise stimulates creativity, far surpassing the experience of simply observing pixelated images on a screen.

A Diverse World Of Hobby Horsing

While crafting your own hobby horse can be a rewarding endeavour (valuable insights can be found at www.thehobbyhorse.fi), Finland boasts a thriving community of artisans, companies, and organisations dedicated to producing elaborate hobby horses and related paraphernalia. Many of these creations are showcased and sold through their Instagram accounts, offering enthusiasts a treasure trove of inspiration and options.

Now the age of competitors is gradually rising, expect to see sportsbooks getting on board. Afterall, there are a lot more stranger things you can bet on presently. Here at Gamingzion.com we can imagine a day when hobby horsing is pretty mainstream and sportsbooks like Bet365 Sportsbook offer any number of hobby horsing betting markets, wagers, and odds

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