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2-Hobbyhorses-art - 6/29/08


"Two Ideas for Hobbyhorses" by Mistress Slaine ni Chiarain.


NOTE: See also the files: toys-msg, Toys-in-th-MA-art, horses-msg, children-msg, child-books-msg, dolls-msg, chd-actvites-msg, child-gam-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set

of files, called StefanŐs Florilegium.


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Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be

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                               Thank you,

                                    Mark S. Harris

                                    AKA:  Stefan li Rous

                                         stefan at florilegium.org



Two Ideas for Hobbyhorses

by Mistress Slaine ni Chiarain


For an imaginative child a plain old stick is a perfectly good horse but this missive will describe two slightly more elaborate hobbyhorses that I have made.

        I made my first hobbyhorse out of easy to find materials: a stick, a sock, duct tape, two buttons, yarn and a bit of felt for the ears. Basically, I stuffed a sock with something (it was probably polyfill but could have been other mismatched socks) and duct taped it to a stick. I sewed on the felt ears, yarn mane and buttons for eyes. His bridle and reigns are made from that upholstery trim that always seems to be on sale at Hancock's Fabrics. My horse has a rather ominous appearance the sock was black, the ears green, and the mane red so I named him Pooka after the demon horse of Irish Legend.


        One problem with Pooka was that when left corralled in the corner of my living room his stick would poke through the stuffing and make one button eye bulge out. While this added to his demonic appearance it made him a less safe toy.


        My next hobbyhorse was named Brunellus and is a very elegant beast although he is constructed a little like a polearm. I started with a stick of rattan, some cubes of resilient foam and, of course, duct tape. I build up the foam and tape to a shape vaguely resembling a flat horse's head. Then I traced the head onto some brown wool, cut out two horse head shapes, and connected them with a long narrow strip of the fabric. The exact dimensions will depend on how big you make your foam head.


        I made ears out of felt, folded them in half lengthwise, and sewed them into the seam so they would stick out the top. At the neck leave one seam open a few inches to you can pull the fabric head over the foam base (then handsew the neck closed). Any further horsy decorations are up to you. I embroidered the eyes and a line for the mouth and sewed on a mane of black yarn.


        Brunellus is a prideful beast so his bridle is made of scrapes of red brocade and his reigns have dagging. In period the materials used for hobbyhorses ranged from a simple stick to the elaborate and lifelike hobbyhorse of leather in the painting The Infante Don Diego by Alonso Sanches Coello. Bruegel's painting of Children's Games also includes an image of a hobbyhorse in use. In Toys and Games William Ketchum suggests that hobbyhorses may have helped teach the basics of horsemanship.


Bibliography -


Fritzsch, Karl and Manfred Bachmann. An Illustrated History of Toys. trans.  Ruth Michaelis-Jans.  London,  Abbey Library, 1965.


Ketchum, William C. Toys and Games. Smithsonian, 1981.


Lorne Campbell. Renaissance Portraits:  European Portrait Painting. Yale 1990


Roberts, Keith. Bruegel. Phaidon, 1972.



Copyright 2000 by Mary M. Haselbauer, <mary_m_haselbauer at yahoo.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in

the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also

appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being

reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org