Photo by Stephen and Helen Jones via Flickr
A really weird sport has gone viral.
Vegan horse riding is also known as ‘hobby horsing,’ and basically, people (mostly girls) hop around with sticks between their legs, and on the ends of those sticks, there are fabric horse heads.
They trot, they gallop, they basically do everything an actual horseback rider would, just without a real horse.
If you’re wondering what the word ‘vegan’ has to do with anything, some animal advocates argue that you can’t be vegan if you ride horses, because it’s cruel.
“…horse riding isn’t vegan – it’s a form of animal exploitation. To use any animal for our own entertainment is exploitation, and therefore not vegan,” argues Phil Davis of Vegan Food & Living.
Anyway, the sport originated in Finland, and there’s an annual world championship organized by The Finnish Hobbyhorse Association. There were about 10,000 attendees at the last one.
Most people who do this, according to this organization, are females between 12-25. But they also have quite a few adults who “started when they were young and just never stopped.” And then there are those who picked up the hobby later in life.
The sport has been met with mixed reactions from people on the internet. Some find it hilarious while others criticize it for not involving actual horses.
It’s also spread to other countries, including the United States.