Riding without a horse is now a popular leisure activity. The whole thing is called hobby horsing. Marie-Louise Zirzlaff and Tom Ehrenteit show how it's done in Berlin's Wuhlheide. They set up the jumping course for the upcoming training; everything here is actually reminiscent of horse riding. The only difference: Instead of sitting on a real horse, the children jump over the obstacles with their hobby horse, or more precisely their hobby horse.
In the trend sport, elements from equestrian sports, for example dressage or show jumping, are recreated with a hobby horse. When it comes to jumping, “it’s a mixture of show jumping, equestrian sports and athletics,” explains Zirzlaff.
The sport originally comes from Finland. Hobby horsing competitions have been held there for many years. In recent years, the horsing hobby has spread to Germany via social media such as Instagram and YouTube. In mid-September, a separate association was founded for this purpose, it is called the German Hobby Horsing Association.
“The children already knew it, even though there were no courses for it yet,” says Zirzlaff, who has been offering Hobby Horsing together with Ehrenteit since August 2020. They both came across the new trend sport through a report on television. A hobby horse like this can cost up to 300 euros, says Zirzlaff. “But we also have a lot of children who come with sock horses that they made themselves.” Zirzlaff and Ehrenteit currently offer courses every two weeks. On average, 10 to 15 children aged six to twelve come, almost all of them girls. The sport is becoming more popular. “We notice that more and more inquiries are coming in,” says Zirzlaff.