August 10, 2017

10 Questions: Alisa Aarniomäki

Alisa Aarniomäki is a Finnish hobbyhorse enthusiast, whose beloved hobby has become an international phenomenon.

  1. What’s your unmissable breakfast item?

Most likely coffee. I always like to have a cup of coffee with breakfast before doing anything else.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

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