Finnish hobby horsing

“Hobby horsing” is a gymnastic hobby which uses mostly fabric self-made hobby horses. A hobby horse is a more sophisticated version of the stick horse toy made for children. It is a stuffed horse head made of fabric, yarn, and cotton stuffing. They differ from stick horses because they’re always handmade. The participants prance around an indoor set up doing movement sequences similar to those in horse show jumping or dressage are partly simulated in the courses. “The hobby horse sport means community, both in-person and on social media platforms. I feel that hobby horsing brings people together because of creativity and, of course, a love for horses! said one girl rider.  The hobby horse sport originated in Finland, where kids and teens compete with their hobby horses in a variety of disciplines. Hobby horsing is slowly starting to make its way into the U.S., and the group  tries to find ways to get kids and teens excited about riding. Even though the most common competition disciplines on a hobby horse are dressage (following a scripted pattern of movements) and show jumping. In modern dressage competition, successful training at the various levels is demonstrated through the performance of “tests,” prescribed series of movements ridden within a standard arena. Judges evaluate each movement on the basis of a standard appropriate to the level of the test and assign each movement a score from zero to ten.

In Finland, the country of origin of the sport, an annual national championship is held in addition to regional competitions and is gaining popularity beyond the other Nordic countries in other parts of Europe. This sport, which can be classified as a fun and trend hobby, is particularly popular with girls and young women between the ages of 12 and 18 years. While the sport may be perceived more as a childish pastime by “real riders,” Fred Sundwall, secretary general of the Finnish Equestrian Federation, views it positively: “We think it’s just wonderful that hobby horsing has become a phenomenon and so popular.” “It gives kids and teenagers who don’t have horses a chance to interact with them outside of stables and riding schools. Today, there are not just practitioners but coaches, competitions, judges. Enthusiasts assign their horses names, breeds and genders, and along the usual displays of cantering, trotting and galloping, meetings will cover everything from in-depth discussions of grooming, bloodlines, temperament, and, on at least one occasion, a two-part dressage routine choreographed to a song by the rapper Nelly.  “I think the (Hobby Horse) society starts to shape girls into a certain kind of quietness once they reach puberty. As antiquated as it might initially appear, there is indeed something powerful and pleasing about this community. It is not some cutesy affectation. Rather, it is a physically uninhibited, imaginatively rousing activity – qualities of play to be encouraged, particularly for young women and girls, according to one instructor. Long may they gallop.

Horseback Jokes

To ride a horse or not to ride a horse…
That is equestrian.

I went horseback riding and nearly died
It was a night mare.

What do you call a horse with the horn?
A unicorn.
What do you call a horse without the horn?
A eunuchorn.

What’s a horse’s primary concern when voting?
A stable economy.

July 2nd Birthdays

1991 – Margot Robby,  1986 – Asley Tisdale, 1986 – Lindsay Lohan, 1976 – Elizabeth Reaser

1937 – Richard Petty, 1948 – Larry David, 1908 – Thurgood Marshall, 1932 – Dave Thomas

Morning Motivator: