Over the past year, we've seen our fair share of horse trends, from Horse_ebooks to dressage to a topic explored in the Wall Street Journal today: horseless horse shows. Horses aren't the new LOLcats—or, it's still way too early to tell. But yes, horses in their equine glory have become a spirit animal of trend stories lately, making appearances in the world of politics, tech, social media, nerd culture, and pop music.
In an attempt to sort these horses out—and keep you hip and trendy—we've gathered and deciphered the latest "horse trends," no matter how silly or how serious they may be.
Horseless Horse Show:
What They Say It Is: "Ms. Pasquantonio was competing in a 'horseless horse show,' an event that allows two-legged participants to gallop over a course of miniature jumps, imitating the 1,000-pound animals and top riders they idolize," writes the Wall Street Journal's Alexandra Wexler today in an article complete with photos of children performing jumps on horse-jumping apparatuses. "It is hardly horseplay. Horseless jumping events are galloping their way onto the major horse-show circuit, landing on programs of important equestrian events. They are also roping in some serious young riders. Even a few Olympians," she adds.
What We Think It Is: Playing? Kids jumping over things. Kids being kids.
Saturation Point: Probably just beginning, a least in terms of media coverage. Ask someone with kids.
Perfect for: Kids. Kids who probably won't be playing contact sports. Someone who can't afford own a horse or participate in equestrian jumping. Someone whose children have not yet found out about Facebook, the new FIFA 2013 game, or World of Warcraft.
Invisible Horse Dancing a.ka. "Gangnam Style"
What They Say It Is: Critics are split on what this invisible horse-dance trend means. While some think the reason PSY's dancing is so successful is because it's cultural satire on K-Pop, others say it's popular because of a Western fondness for a tired, clownish Asian stereotype. The American public says it's the most-liked video on YouTube, where it has more than 414 million views:
What We Think It Is: A chubby, fancy Korean man dancing like everyone's watching.
Saturation Point: At its highest. Get on this trend now, and you risk becoming considered "Cool Mom"or "That Guy."
Perfect for: Anyone with the burning urge to become a YouTube superstar, but hurry.
Actual Horse Dancing a.k.a. Dressage
What They Say It Is: "Although it is celebrating its 100th year as an Olympic sport, dressage, also known as horse ballet, was until recently relatively unknown in the U.S. Not anymore," wrote ABC News's Shushannah Walshe in August. "The attention the Romneys have brought to the sport even had satirist Stephen Colbert calling it the 'sport of the summer.' The equestrian discipline gained more attention than any of its enthusiasts could have anticipated when Rafalca made the Olympics cut in June," she adds.
If you ask some Democrats and their attack ads, it was indicative of the Romneys: silly, frivolous, and only something really rich people liked.
What We Think It Is: Silly horse dancing.
Saturation Point: Ironic enough to like right now.
Perfect for: Someone who want to put down Olympian on their resume.
What They Say It Is: "Horse_ebooks is a Twitter spam bot originally set up to promote horse-ebooks.com, an online store of horse-themed ebooks with a retro design equal parts GeoCities and MySpace," wrote Gawker's Adrien Chen in February. As of today, the strange Twitter account has just over 115,000 followers and a cult-like following.
What We Think It Is: The Internet is a weird and magical place.
Saturation Point: Trending downward.
Perfect for: Someone who has time to goof around at work.
What They Say It Is: "Teenage and adult men who are fans of the animated TV series, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic," wrote The Huffington Post when they sent their team to BronyCon back in January. This video of Bronies is much better than anything anyone could ever convey through text:
What We Think It Is: Trekkies, but different.
Saturation Point: Relatively dormant, but New York Comic-Con is coming.
Perfect for: Guys who like My Little Pony. Someone who has feelings.