What is hobbyhorsing?

Hobbyhorsing, an unusual trend-turned-competitive sport, has sparked a mix of fascination and derision on TikTok and beyond. Originating in Finland in 2002, this sport involves individuals, often children and teens, mimicking traditional equestrian events using stick horses instead of real animals. Despite its innocent origins and genuine enthusiasm among participants, hobbyhorsing has faced its fair share of ridicule and skepticism online.

For those unfamiliar, hobbyhorsing competitions mirror the structure of real equestrian tournaments. Participants engage in activities such as jumping over barriers, navigating obstacle courses, and demonstrating dressage routines. These events take place in school gyms, open fields, and even makeshift stadiums, offering a platform for enthusiasts who lack access to actual horses but still crave the thrill of competition.


Despite the dedication and athleticism required to excel in hobbyhorsing, it remains a target of mockery online. TikTok, in particular, has become a battleground of sorts where hobbyhorse enthusiasts showcase their skills and face criticism from viewers who view the sport as childish or absurd. Videos depicting participants completing grueling routines, often ending exhausted and dizzy, have drawn sarcastic comments and ridicule, highlighting the gap between hobbyhorsing enthusiasts and the broader internet culture.

Critics argue that hobbyhorsing lacks the legitimacy of traditional sports and may seem outlandish to those unfamiliar with its intricacies. The sport’s participants, predominantly girls and women, demonstrate agility and determination comparable to athletes in more mainstream sports, yet they face dismissive attitudes and jokes about their chosen pastime.

Nevertheless, for those involved, hobbyhorsing represents more than just a quirky hobby—it’s a passion that fosters physical fitness, camaraderie, and personal growth. Participants emphasize the joy and sense of accomplishment they derive from mastering challenging routines and competing against peers who share their passion. Despite its unconventional nature, hobbyhorsing provides an outlet for creativity and athleticism, challenging stereotypes about what constitutes a legitimate sport.

Ultimately, while hobbyhorsing may not appeal to everyone, its participants deserve respect for their dedication and courage to pursue what brings them happiness. As societal norms evolve, hobbies once considered eccentric may find broader acceptance, and the athletes who champion them may pave the way for greater inclusivity in sports and leisure activities alike. So, while the internet may continue to mock, for hobbyhorse enthusiasts, the joy of competition and the thrill of achievement remain unwavering motivators in their pursuit of excellence.