Summer is coming, which means young people on horseback will soon compete in barrel racing and show jumping at county fairs around the Tri-State, but a new trend in Scandinavia would leave some of those riders scratching their heads.
The Wall Street Journal reports that thousands of young Finnish competitors are participating in equestrian jumping and dressage events minus one key element: the horse.
Hobbyhorse enthusiasts, typically teenage girls, saddle up a traditional stick pony and frolic around an arena hoping to wow the judges with their fancy footwork and trick skills.
The unusual avocation grabbed the attention of Finnish filmmaker Selma Vilhunen, whose documentary Hobbyhorse Revolution debuted Friday in Finland. The film showcases young girls bonding and gaining a sense of community from their shared love for stick pony tricks.
Watch the trailer to Hobbyhorse Revolution in the video player below.
"Life has its ups and downs," says 14-year-old Mariam Njie. "This is not the easiest time in my life. But I gotta just jump over it."
Finland's best riders are set to compete for the national title at the annual Hobbyhorse Championships in Helsinki on April 23, according to the New Zealand Herald.