Hobby Horses date back to the middle ages so maybe this is the moment the Hobby Horse industry has been anticipating for the last eight hundred years.
Teenage girls are literally prancing around on Hobby Horses, engaging in dressage and in general taking it all very seriously. That is what has been happening in Finland for a while now and it appears to be spreading. I learned about this thanks to a New York Times article by Ellan Barry entitled "Finland's Hobbyhorse Girls, Once a Secret Society, Now Prance in Public".
To me, it is actually a bit like Quidditch, the game made popular by the Harry Potter books and movies. I don't know about your town, but I have while walking through Central Park, seen serious adults, running around with broomsticks between their legs, playing Quidditch and competing to win.
In that sense, Hobby Horse appears to be a sport and one that seems to attract primarily girls. That is no surprise as it checks off a lot of the right boxes in its connection to horses, fashion and physical activity.
Here is a wonderful quote from the article that illustrates the sheer, surreal joy of the experience:
- The judge put them through their paces — walk, trot, canter — and then asked them for a three-step rein-back, that classic test of a dressage horse’s training and obedience. The judge looked on gravely, occasionally taking notes.
- If anyone thought it strange that the girls were riding sticks, no one let on. The make-believe world of the hobbyhorse girls extended as far as the eye could see.
Hobby Horses date back to the middle ages so maybe this is the moment the Hobby Horse industry has been anticipating for the last eight hundred years. In fact, look at the below image and tell me if you see much of a difference between what was going on in Medieval times and today.
So, there seems to me to be a real opportunity here for hobby horse companies who are willing to promote competition both on the ground and over the Internet. If you are in the Hobby Horse business or are thinking of diving in let us know what you think.
Go to the next page for some more images.