How to get one

26 Apr 2018

The hobby horses are here!

Last year as Finland had it’s 100th independence day the media world wide wrote a lot about us. 
The top 4 topics were education, Finland’s basic income experiment, Finnish culture in general 
and - hobby horses!

For hundreds of years children have had hobby horses. Boys had their wars and 
adventures, girls were riding their hobby horses and took care of them. For some reason 
in the end of 1990 a play with a toy turned into a more serious hobby here. At the moment 
there are over 10 000 hobbiests, or should we say "hobby horsiests" all over the country. 
The youngest ones can hardly walk yet, the eldest ones are grown ups to whom hobby 
horsing is an exercise in a more funny way. The biggiest group probably is, of course, 
the girls between 7 and 14.

Hobby horsiests meet in the Internet and with the help of the social media the hobby 
has spread around and it´s well known among the commoners as well. 
"Suomen keppihevosharrastajat ry" (Hobby Horse Society) was and registered in 2016. 
You can visit their home page and read more HERE 

So, what do you do with a hobby horse? 
Everything you do with a real one! You can ride in a forest or a field. You can go to 
riding lessons, do dressage and show jumping or just hang around and groom the horses. 
One mother told that when her daughter goes away for a weekend she leaves strict 
instructions about feeding and walking her hobby horse while she is away. This 
mother says that she can´t help it: she goes to the "stables" as instructed and does 
what she was told to do. "I know how much that horse means to her. Although I feel 
a bit stupid, I do it anyway and for some miraculous reason, I feel good about it. 
And when she comes home, I don´t have to lie to her: the horse is well kept".

You can make one by yourself or buy one. There are different personalities and breeds.

TampereHevoset (Horses) -fair is one of the highlights of the year: hobbiests get together
and participate the Finnish Championships in the hobby horse show in jumping and dressage.
In the other hall there are the big, real horses and their riders, and in the other one hobby
horsing goes on for two days from the early morning til the evening.

Two generations of equestrian ladies

Ring 1

The judging goes exactly the same way as with real horses, only that it´s human 
movements that are judged: how you carry yourself, stretch your ankles, keep the 
rhythm etc. In the dressage a cource must be done correctly, in the show jumping 
should not be any knockdowns and a cource should be jumped in a maximum speed. 

The etiquette is also the same than in "the real world": it all begins greeting the jury 
and ends, if you are good enough, with the lap of honour.

Some show jumpers need a little help

Show office

You can borrow one

So it´s not just playing. Children learn to take care of horses, they can practise 
horsemanship and rules of riding together and in competitions. Most of them take real 
riding lessons as well, but hobby horses are available at home, every day. There is no 
right or wrong way to take an interest in hobby horsing, you don´t need money 
for doing it and you can do it anywhere. 

You can also practise shopping... There is everything available for the hobby horses!
If you don´t get it from the shop, you make it... "The iconic, traditional Early's of Witney horse blanket."

Photo booth and beauty salon

Hobby horse tattoo

Lookalikes of Power Park´s Nordic King 2017 Champions

And probably the best of all: it´s really good exercise, better than sitting at the lap top... 

If you don´t believe, try! The easiest and the most traditional way to start hobby horsing 
is to make a hobby horse by yourself. All you need is an old stocking, some yarn 
and a broom stick.

Photo yhteishyvä.fi

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