After getting a boost in the public eye from a 2017 documentary, the subculture of hobbyhorsing is still going strong in 2023. Recently, the championships were held in the Finnish city of Seinäjoki and, from the looks of it, a good time was had by all.
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).