Why Hobby Horsing is the Greatest Sport of All Time

A deep dive into the equestrian inspired sport that’s taking the world by storm.



Last weekend, a friend and I were on instagram and saw a girl riding a stick horse and jumping over obstacles. Intrigued and amused, we promptly fell down the rabbit hole of hobby horsing. This research was far one of the funniest things I’ve encountered on the internet and senior, Millie Curtis, remarked “I can’t believe this is real and I’m so glad I don’t live in Denmark.” Apparently this is a legitimate sport with competitions, rankings, and craziest of all, participants. These athletic hobby horsers will train to trot and jump over rails. Now while this may seem like a joke to you, hobby horsing has become very popular in Finland, and is quickly gaining traction in other parts of Europe, so I am here to tell you why hobby horsing is the greatest sport of all time.

I can’t believe this is real and I’m so glad I don’t live in Denmark.

— Millie Curtis


What is Hobby Horsing

Wikipedia defines hobby horsing as “a sport or hobby with gymnastic elements which uses hobby horses, also known as stick horses.” It is similar to equestrian show jumping or dressage, but substitutes the real horse with a stick horse. Participants mostly use self-made hobby horses. The sport originated in Finland and the country continues to host the annual national championship. That’s right there is an annual national championship along with regional competitions. The 2023 championships are set for early June, so book those plane tickets if you want a chance to see the greatest sport in the world. 


Who are the Athletes 

Hobby Horsing is particularly popular among girls between the ages of 12 and 18. That means that most of you are in the perfect age range so this could be the sport for you. In fact, I would not be surprised if a hobby horsing club popped up at Academic Magnet very soon. Now in order to compete in hobby horsing, intense training is required, on instagram some of the athletes can jump over four feet with a stick horse between their legs. This is more difficult than it sounds, and I can confirm as I tried this with a broom. While my overall impression of the sport is pretty humorous, I am actually impressed with some of the high jumps completed by the hobby horsers. 


What are the Horses

As previously mentioned, the majority of the horses are sewn by hand and made to look semi realistic. They range in prices with some as cheap as 20 dollars and some as expensive as $200. It’s hard to imagine someone spending 200 dollars on a fabric horse head on a stick but seriously hobby horsers will make the investment. If you get a horse, it’s crucial you name it and give it a personality. All the hobby horsers online appear to not only give their horses names and unique traits, they also create back stories. It’s clear that these equestrians have a very close and personal relationship with their horse heads on sticks. 


The Controversy 

With a sport as prolific as hobby horsing there is bound to be some controversy. Many “real” equestrians dislike hobby horsing and think it’s disrespectful to those who participate in riding real horses. However, Fred Sundwall, the secretary general for the Finnish Equestrian Federation has said “We think it’s just wonderful that Hobby Horsing has become a phenomenon and so popular.” He’s excited that “It gives kids and teenagers who don’t have horses a chance to interact with them outside of stables and riding schools.” I agree with Sundwall, it’s an activity that seems to bring a lot of people joy and gives them a chance the affordably ride “horses”, even if it seems a bit bizarre.


The Future of Hobby Horsing

Hobby horsing is a phenomenon growing everyday with more and more participants each year. Last years hobbyhorse championship drew hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators. In fact, hobby horsing was proposed for the inclusion of the Paris 2024 Olympics. Whether we will see these sticked horses take the field is up in the air but fingers crossed!


Why You Should Hobby Horse 

Hobby horsing is definitely an inclusive sport for all and that includes you! All you need is a stick horse and some passion. While the sport is not as big in America, you can help it grow on the North American continent. Now I fully understand that this sport might not be for everyone, but even if you never touch a hobby horse in your life, next time you’re feeling down or are just bored, look up hobby horsing on Instagram or Tik-Tok for a good laugh.