A once-underground movement of Finnish girls who conduct elaborate dressage routines with toy hobbyhorses has gone mainstream, with coaches, competitions and trainers, and is spreading abroad.
The subculture came together through quiet internet message boards that attracted girls and young women who traded tips on routines, making their own hobbyhorses, and created an informal network of competitions and routines.
The girls come from a variety of backgrounds: some are the popular kids, some are outcasts, but they are united by a form of intense shared fantasy and athleticism.
The practice has become more widely known thanks to Selma Vilhunen's 2017 documentary Hobbyhorse Revolution (Vilhunen stumbled on the scene through internet message boards in 2012).
Alisa Aarniomaki is the hobbyhorse scene's "unofficial spokesperson" and has traveled around Europe giving hobbyhorse demonstrations, kicking off local scenes in the Netherlands, Russia and Sweden. There's an annual championship every year in Finland.
It sounds like an incredibly good time: playful and inventive and creative all at once, imaginative and physical at the same time.
On a recent afternoon, the two girls trudged home through the wet snow.
Then Maisa brought over Tarzan — “He is a very gentle horse, he learns fast, and he really loves to jump” — and the two girls set out into the cold.
They broke into a run, pounding the slush with their boots. Then they cut into the forest into deep snow.
They galloped through stands of straggly pines until their cheeks burned. They knew the terrain by heart, running along pathways that were invisible under the snow.
They ran for an hour, laughing all the way, and were ready to go on much farther into the forest. They would have, if their mothers hadn’t called them home.
Finland’s Hobbyhorse Girls, Once a Secret Society, Now Prance in Public [Ellen Barry/New York Times]
(via Super Punch)
Back in 2016, Naomi Kritzer won the Hugo award for her brilliant, endearing story Cat Pictures Please, in which an AI with an insatiable craving for cat pictures explains its view on the world and the way that it makes humans' lives better; now Kritzer has adapted the story into her new novel, the equally […]
Cecil Castellucci (previously) is a polymath artist: YA novelist, comics writer, librettist, rock star; her latest book, Girl on Film, is an extraordinary memoir of her life in the arts, attending New York's School for the Performing Arts (AKA "The Fame School") and being raised by her parents, who are accomplished scientists.
From the 1950s until the 1980s, Randy and Dotti Smith supplied a line of fantastic cast sculptures sold in Disney theme-park gift shops, especially a line of skulls sold in shops associated with the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean rides; these Randotti skulls haven't been sold in decades, you can still find used ones (at high prices) online, as Boing Boing pal and fabulous illustrator Coop discovered when he sourced an impressive collection of Randotti sculpts.
Vinyl is officially back. People are hearing the proof behind the initial “retro” excitement: that records really do have a richer sound. And if you haven’t switched to old-school records for serious listening, it’s a new golden age. Why? Because quality turntables like the Altec Lansing ALT-500 are finally available to a market other than […]
Between all of our apps, streaming devices, Bluetooth speakers, and energy-sucking decorations, paying for utilities each month can be…brutal. In fact, the average household spends roughly $70 a month on the water bill alone. That number might not seem terribly significant, but when you add it up, that’s $840 a year — a pretty significant […]
Seems like no matter what kind of wireless earbud you buy, you’re sacrificing something: Sound for longevity, battery life for durability, the list goes on. Finally, it seems like the tech is starting to come together for the full package in a few newer models. Case in point: These PaMu Slide Bluetooth 5 In-Ear Headphones. […]