10 Questions: Alisa Aarniomäki
- What’s your unmissable breakfast item?
Most likely coffee. I always like to have a cup of coffee with breakfast before doing anything else.
- How did you first get into hobby horsing?
I have been quite crazy about actual, living horses all my life. As a kid, I often played different kinds of horse-related games with my friends and at the age 11, I stumbled across a picture of a hobbyhorse. I read more about it online and I managed to find a small hobbyhorse discussion forum of less than 100 people. Soon enough, there was an overwhelming need to get one for myself. It attracted me a lot that all kind of horse-related activities and change to ride as much as I wanted were within the bounds of possibility.
- In Finland, we are proud of our Finnhorses. What is your favourite breed?
Finnhorses are nice, but I prefer more slender ones. For example, warmblood and Spanish dressage horses are close to my heart.
- Would you like to have a professional career related to horses or hobbyhorses?
At least not for now. Certainly, hobbyhorses have built up my vision and plans for the future, but at the moment I am studying bioanalytics and working in the film industry. In particular, my enthusiasm for movies as well as filming and editing originates from making hobbyhorse videos. Horses will remain as a hobby and when it comes to hobby horsing, time will tell.
- How would you describe the Finnish hobbyhorse scene?
It is a close community and somewhat hidden from the rest of the world. We really stick together and we can take the whole hobby with humour, yet we might compete seriously on a national level or train hard. It is a very versatile hobby with a very diverse fan base.
- Whom do you admire?
It is difficult to quickly come up with someone whom I look up to, maybe my boyfriend. He has a great attitude to do what he wants to do. I have learned from him to not be afraid of other people’s reactions, considering, for example, the wide visibility of hobby horsing.
- How do you feel about the worldwide publicity hobby horsing has received lately?
I am happily surprised how much positive attention this hobby of ours has achieved. I wish that someday this would be seen as an ordinary thing, so I keep my hopes up. Negative attention does not touch me much. It is just fascinating and strikes me funny, how 20-year-old girl and a bunch of a fabric on top of a stick can drive some unknown people mad.
- What are the best things about Finnish nature? Why?
Its abundance: the more forests and biodiversity, the better. Walking deep in the woods on narrow paths is truly therapeutic.
- How do you relax?
Referring to the previous answer, by walking in the woods or by kicking back at a cottage. Currently, I am traveling spontaneously around Finland and I only decide my next destination and place to sleep when I get in the car. The fact that I don’t plan much in advance reboots my head well, and once I have returned home, it is easy to work long hours again.
- What is your number one tip for someone who would like to try hobby horsing?
Make the most out of it: laugh, fool around and perhaps try some dressage moves!