Hobby Horse Riding Is Now an Actual Sport and Tons of People Are Saddling up and Getting on Board

You might look up to stars like Tom Brady, who brings a whole new meaning of success to American football, or LeBron James for making basketball games such a highly-anticipated event. In recent times, it looks like there’s a new craze taking over the sporting world, and we’ve got to admit, it’s probably not what anyone was expecting to see.

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Image: People | HowStuffWorks

If you’re not keen on the way horses are treated at the races, this one is most definitely for you! You see, hobby horsing incorporates all of the fun from the equestrian sport, it’s just missing one key element: real horses! This brand new sports trend is quickly rising in popularity, following the huge championship tournament that went down earlier this year, in Finland.

What the New Sporting Craze is All About

Over in Finland, young girls aged from 10-18 years are hopping on board the hobby horse trend. Competitors of the sport run around the circuit, galloping, and cantering as they ride the horses on a stick. While to some this may seem like a mere form of child’s play that shouldn’t be regarded as a genuine sport, the new trend actually has its fair share of health benefits.

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Image: Evening Standard

Of course, the main distinction between genuine horse riding and hobby horsing is the emission of a real-life, four-legged moving animal. For these reasons, it’s all down to the competitors to speed around the tracks; there’s no four-legged animal doing the work for you.

To keep full control of your hobby horse during the laps, riders must use their skills in athletics and gymnastics to get their horse-on-a-stick jumping over high obstacles. Admit it, this sounds like a sport that requires a lot of practice to perfect.

A Whole Lot Cheaper Than the Original

We wonder, why do people choose hobby horsing in the first place? Not only have the public begun questioning the validity of this sport, but many of us may wonder why anybody would choose hobby horsing over the original sport with real-life horses. We’re here to set the record straight for you! Financial reasons play a big part in the popularity of this cool, new sport.

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Image: CNN

Obviously, it’s a whole lot cheaper to get yourself a toy horse and attach a wooden stick onto it, than purchasing a genuine animal. You don’t need to be super-wealthy to take part in this competitive sport, just a desire to do well and some killer athletic abilities. It really is as simple as that.

The Beautiful Start of a New Sporting Family

If you’re any good at a particular sport, the chances are you’ve competed with others to test out those skills! Despite hobby horsing being a relatively new sporting trend to take over the globe, it’s working hard to get the respect it deserves. Every weekend, hobby horse competitors attend training camps, where they get kitted out in everything possible to help them out in the sport, prior to a big contest.

Each weekend, competitors meet up with fellow hobby horse riders and share useful tips with one another in how to nail their dressage moves. This may be a competitive sport, but it still makes for one big, friendly, horse-on-a-stick-loving community.

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Image: Technogym

The benefits of this competitive sport are endless. Not only does the racing element train the rider’s athleticism, but fans have expressed the belief that getting involved in hobby horsing can improve their mental wellbeing dramatically. Meeting likeminded riders every weekend equips them with a sense of discipline and community. So, the next time you try and question the legitimacy of this sport, think again.

Where Things Get a Little Competitive

So, here comes the grand event we’ve all been waiting for. Just earlier this year, approximately 200 athletic participants showed up in Seinajoki, a city in Western Finland. During the event, competitors tested their physical stamina as they glided around the track with their horses on a stick, competing for a spot in the first place.

The show racked up quite the following, with 2,500 spectators making an appearance, keen to get a good sight of the intense hobby horsing action. The show followed the traditional routine of a usual equestrian event, so you best believe audiences were met by showjumping and dressing at every corner!

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Image: Mirror

In case you weren’t sure just how successful this show became, it was recently classified as “The biggest hobby horsing event in the world,” so only the best of the best got a spot to compete! Speaking of the best of the best, crowds couldn’t hold back their cheers once Finland’s Marie Karkkainen broke the country’s hobby horsing high jumping record, by leaping over 1.47 meter-high bar. Now, that’s impressive!