I’ve noted that other people I know also have at least one hobbyhorse, and that some are more skilful riders than others. Which led me to muse…
Given that most forms of human endeavour are recognised and celebrated, why not hobbyhorse-personship? There could be tournaments, modelled perhaps on Olympic Three-Day Eventing, with different categories, such as dressage, show-jumping and cross-country disciplines. There could also be best of breed distinctions for hobby horses, with “breeds” in this context comprising such things as sport, politics, punctuation, economics, food production systems and even motoring. Best of Breed winners could then go head-to-head with each other, with a supreme champion emerging as Best in Show. A Crufts for hobbyhorses, if you will.
Watching the replays could be a bit wearing for some, but those Dear Hearts who find themselves constantly in the thrall of a hobbyhorser should be untroubled by such a challenge. Reality television viewers should also be comfortably attuned to what could harshly be seen as a plethora of banal repetition.
Best of Breed and Best in Show champions could then be persuaded to give something back to their craft by coaching master classes for the next generation of hobbyhorse riders. Hobbyhorse whisperers, if you will. Expert guidance provided by sympathetic listeners. Oh the irony.
The more patient champions could also lend support to the hobbyhorse version of riding for the disabled, leading around quieter souls astride the equivalent of docile Shetland ponies. Those quieter souls, under the compassionate tutelage of their heroes and role models, could then aspire to represent their nation in the Hobbyhorse Olympics. Imagine the pride of receiving the gold medal for hobbyhorse cross-country with the chords of one’s national anthem ringing in one’s ears! Also imagine the pride that would be shared by the grandfathers of the winners, many of whom would have filled a valuable mentoring role during the winner’s development.
Such contests, whether at regional, national or international levels, would require some organisation. However this, and the necessary sponsorship shouldn’t be hard to find. Newstalk ZB is one contender that springs to mind.
I hear the impatient snuffling of one of my hobbyhorse charges from behind its stable door. I had better take it to the dressage ring for a bit of practice before it becomes distressed.