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Hobbyhorse: In Scandinavia horse riding is without horse

Skill, elegance, coordination: from subculture in Northern Europe, the hobbyhorse is turning into an increasingly popular discipline.
Have you always thought that to go horseback riding it was necessary to have a horse? It is likely that you have never been to Scandinavia. At least, it is likely that you have not been there recently.
Among younger girls in Northern Europe, it is an increasing trend, and there are many of them who have no doubt that it is a sport to all intents and purposes: it is called Hobbyhorse and it would not be wrong to call it Horse-riding-but-without-horse. True, horses are there, but they are fake and do not have the privilege of owning a body.

Have we confused your ideas a little bit? It could be like this: think of dressage, remove the horse and replace it with a puppet.

Just a moment, dressage? An equestrian discipline in which horse and rider perform geometric movements, creating figures predetermined by national and international federations for horseback sports, in an attempt to impress judges and the public.


But then, what is the Hobbyhorse?

It is a mostly female sport that consists of performing choreographies and jumping obstacles across a broom handle from the equine head.

This activity has already won over 10000 practitioners in Finland alone.
And it seems that a real subculture around the Hobbyhorse is emerging. The athletes take care of their horses as if they were true: they decorate and comb them, give them a name, determine their race, cover them with a blanket when they sleep; and together with the increasing number of enthusiasts they have built a particularly close-knit community.

The community is one of the most appreciated factors for those who have chosen to devote themselves to the hobbyhorse as an athlete or spectator. Even those who stop riding often remain attached to the community, paying more attention to the "Crafts" aspect of this hobby by building their own horses.
Importantly, it is the sense of belonging, which remains and is strengthened.

Hobbyhorse Revolution

Selma Vilhunen, an Oscar-winning Finnish director in 2013 for the short film "Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?" has made a documentary about this discipline, following the life of three girls linked by the same passion.

The release of the film, entitled "Hobbyhorse Revolution", was also an opportunity to launch the social campaign #kepparitkunniaan, translated into "Respect the Hobbyhorse" aimed at condemning the prejudices surrounding this sport. The film is a further demonstration of how the Hobbyhorse is a daring and welcoming community, a secure space that allows young girls to talk about bullying, confrontation, protection and support each other. Practicing sport.


A sport like everyone else

Those who practice it have no doubts: the Hobbyhorse helps to develop coordination in movements, proving to be very useful especially for those who want to practice dressage.

And it is also a way of approaching the world of horse riding sports for some people who would otherwise not be able to. There is already an association and national competitions for the sport, such as the Annual Hobbyhorse Championships, held in April in Vantaa, Finland, where those who are competing definitely deserve the nickname of "athlete".

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