• Worldwide shipping!
  • Worldwide shipping!
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Customer photo

About Eponi Hobbyhorses

Eponi hobbyhorses have been handcrafted since 2016 by the Finnish hobbyhorse artist Paula Kutvonen, with commitment to making the finest hobbyhorses in the world.

Far removed from mere playthings, these horses feel almost real.

There are now Eponi owners all over the world, including United States, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Australia and South Africa. Many have returned to get a second, third... The biggest Eponi collections have more than 20 hobbyhorses.

Many Eponi horses have become beloved companions. They are training and competition partners, travel buddies (including family trips overseas!), even a source of comfort.

Unlike mass-produced toys, Eponi hobbyhorses are made to last a lifetime. Their owners can expect years of adventures together, and eventually see their own children ride with them. All horses have been sewn with extra strong thread usually used on footwear and furniture. The fabric has been covered non-toxic and eco-friendly fabric protector. Sticks have a non-toxic varnish/wax finish to protect it from wear and moisture. Thick backing fabric helps prevent sagging.

Each Eponi hobbyhorse is a unique piece of art never to be replicated. All hobbyhorse come with a Certificate of Authenticity, and every one has a name, birthday, and registry id you can see in the public Eponi Hobbyhorse Registry. Owners can also change and add information on their horses' records!

All hobbyhorses are delivered ready to use, stuffed and with the stick attached. The stick can be removed and replaced if necessary. Hobbyhorse sizes vary a great deal, see "Choosing the Right Hobbyhorse" for more information. Tack is not included unless specified.

Eponi hobbyhorses are artist crafts made for dedicated hobbyists and collectors, they are not toys. Even though they are made for active use, they may include long manes, buckles and other parts that might present a choking hazard if chewed on, and should be kept away from pets and small children.

Do you want an Eponi of your own? See the "How To Buy" page for more info. If you have questions, don't hesitate to send email at paula@eponi.fi

Who is Eponi?

That is me! Hello! My name is Paula Kutvonen, also known by my artist name Eponi. I am one of the few people in the world who work as a full-time hobbyhorse artisan.

My journey into becoming a hobbyhorse maker began before I was born. My grandmother was a seamstress, and she passed on her love for handcrafts to my mother. My mother in turn bought me my first sewing machine when she found out she was expecting a baby girl.

In my childhood, I spent countless hours, and discarded pieces of cloth, making my own dolls and animal toys. I didn't grow out of the soft toy phase either; sewing clothes didn't have much appeal for me. It was the creation of three-dimensional characters out of fabric that did! After I stopped playing with toys, I kept on sewing toys for relatives and family members. Eventually I had to stop after I had given a plush animal to every friend and close relative. A hand made teddy bear is a nice gift, a dozen of them... maybe not so much.

My other grandmother had artistic talent, though she never had the chance to use it. But she did pass on her artistic inclination to all of her children and grandchildren. My father was an amateur painter while he was younger, and watching him paint is one of my earliest childhood memories. The smell of oil paint still gives me a rush of happy, warm feelings. I caught the art bug myself, and filled every available piece of paper with my doodles. Especially with my favorite subject: horses. I was a passionate horse girl!

Everyone around me expected me to get into a creative profession, but instead I became a librarian. For the biggest portion of my career, I worked on library services for the disabled. Eventually, though, I found myself with a disability of my own. It started with a sharp pain in my hand after working on a computer for a while. The pain became difficult to manage on my job, and I went through several doctors until I was finally diagnosed after two years: I had Thoracic outlet syndrome, a nerve and artery compression that caused me pain after repetitive use of my hands. I went though physical therapy as well as surgery, which did help manage the symptoms, but not enough for me to work full hours without pain. It became clear to me that working regular office hours was going to be difficult, and using a computer for several hours a day was no longer an option.

Although I didn't know it at the time, my next venture began when my niece told me about something new she was into: hobbyhorsing. She knew I used to make plush animals, and asked if I would help on on making a hobbyhorse. Of course I would! After one horse I was addicted to sewing all over again, but this time it was worse. Combining plush making with horses was the perfect storm. In fact, I couldn't stop. What else could I do but to make a business out of it?

I had only two problems: one was that I wasn't any good in making hobbyhorses. I hadn't sewn anything for years. I also didn't know anything about running a business. It was all in all a desperately foolish gambit, but I figured I had nothing to lose. If I failed, I would simply be where I had started. So I decided that if this was really what I was going to do, then I might as well be the best hobbyhorse maker I could possibly be. Not just the most beautiful horses, but the best quality in every way. If my professional life was going be a challenge, why not choose the challenge that would be the most interesting one?

It has been many years since then, and I'm still on the same journey. I'm still finding out how good my best is, and I think I still have ways to go before I have found the answer. It finally feels like all the pieces have fallen into place, and I've never felt happier and more fulfilled. Sometimes I feel like my grandmothers are looking at me, and what I have been doing with the gifts that they gave me. I hope they feel proud.

With much love,

Paula Kutvonen


Eponi Links

Interview: Why Finland is Going Crazy Over Hobbyhorsing




Customer unboxing video

Customer testimonials

These testimonials are not edited for grammar, but some have been edited for length or to protect the customer's identity.

"Exquisite!! Beautiful pieces of artwork!!"

"Everything is perfect. I love your work and I really like my wonderful hobbyhorse"

"Your horses look amazing and the quality is perfect!"

"Your Ponys are all very Special . They all have a soul!"

"Your things are AMAZING! Keep doing what you do<3"

"I love the horses you make. They are made for a lifetime. My horse still looks perfect after 1,5 year. They are really light what I didn’t expect. I always wanted one since early 2019. Everything you make is perfect 🥰 (sorry if my English is not that good I’m from Germany😅)"

"I just want to say that I am very happy with the hobbyhorse I bought. I also liked the way it was wrappped. And the letter and gift I got with it. "

"We are thrilled with your horses. They are the one and only of the most beautiful horses."

"I own two Eponi horses, and I absolutely ADORE them both! I spent over a year saving up and trying to find the right one, and then a little while later I was lucky enough to get another! Eponi's horses are so well made, so realistic, beautiful, soft, and light."

"Both of my babies are dapple grays, and the dapples are so so realistic-- it's like looking at a real horse 🤩"

"Eponi inspires me so much and her horses are really almost alive. These horses are very special, and totally worth their price--for the time, energy and love Paula puts in to making the horse, (and then all the extras, etc. in the box)! Her passion and dedication to perfecting each detail shows completely from the moment you first glimpse your Eponi Hobbyhorse."

"Thank you Paula for my two perfect horsies, I'll treasure them forever ❤️"