The classic Steckenpferd is experiencing a massive comeback: It’s now not just used as a plaything but, like a real sport horse. Hannah from Erbach (Alb-Donau-Kreis) and her little sister Marie, both aged 11, reiten hobby horsing pferde – not just at home but also professionally in their club and on tournaments.
Hobby horsing is an exciting trendsport, which was invented in Finland and has gained enormous popularity in recent years. It’s a fun and creative way to get children moving, while also immersing them in the theme of the Pferd. For parents, pedagogy specialists and teachers, it offers the chance to integrate the subject of the Pferd into everyday life. And, above all, it’s a very social activity, in which children work together to create their personal Steckenpferd and then ride him or her along an obstacle course.
A sturdily constructed and decorated Steckenpferd is the key to success for hobby horsing. A variety of different coloured and shaped tack, harnesses, tails and manes are available. Children also build their own saddles, which they mount onto the tack and then use to guide their hobby horsing pferd through the course.
The aim is to complete a course that consists of obstacles, such as hoops and hurdles, while demonstrating coordination, endurance and stamina. In order to do so, the children, who ride their own self-bastelt Steckenpferds, follow a series of markers that they have placed on the ground. As they pass each marker, the children must jump or gallop over the corresponding obstacles – and, of course, listen to the umpire, who is in charge of judging the performance of each child. The first team to finish the course wins.
Hobby horsing is an extremely accessible sport, as the tack and equipment are not expensive. In addition, it is suitable for all ages, as there are no age restrictions. It is even possible for people with physical disabilities to take part in the sport, provided that they are able to mount their own hobby horse and ride it. In addition, a variety of tutorials and guides are available online, covering all aspects of hobby horsing: From the construction of your own Steckenpferd to riding him or her on an obstacle course.