The hobby horse is one of the oldest known toys. In its earliest form hobby horse was not a toy, instead it was used by a pre-historic tribal story-tellers. Throughout the history, hobby horse slowly became a play toy, and it was very popular among ancient Greek and Roman children, as well as in the middle Ages. The hobby horse was quite popular toy, while the horses played important role in people’s lives. With the invention of cars, the presence of horses rapidly decreased, and consequently the children become more interested in toys that resemble the cars.
Hobby horse consists of a straight stick and a horse head. Head is usually made of wood or stuffed fabric and it is attached on one end of the stick. On the other end there is usually nothing attached, but sometimes it can have a ball or wheels attached. Hobby horse is a very good toy, because it encourages children on physical activities by placing a hobby horse between their legs and run with it, thus simulating the horse riding. With this toy children can play outside or inside the house. But if you do not have enough large room in your household, than this toy is not suitable for your child, while it can easily break some things in the room. In that case, it is better for the child to play with the toy outside. And that is an advantage of this toy – allowing the children to be in the fresh air while playing. Hobby horse is usually made in a shape of a horse head, because the horse is a synonym for riding. But if you like, you can attach heads of the other animals or mythical beings on the end of the stick, like the dragon, bull, etc.
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The term hobby horse is not always associated with the toy. This term is also used by the folklorists to refer to the costumed characters that feature in some traditional seasonal customs.
When making the hobby horse, you have to pay attention on the weight and dimensions of the horse head. Heads made out of the stuffed fabric are quite light, but if you want to make it of wood, you will need to use some light wood, so the head would not be too heavy. Woods like Alder, aspen, basswood, yellow Buckeye, Butternut, Cedar, Hemlock, Cottonwood, eastern white pine, Poplar, Spruce, Black willow, American redwood and Balsam fir have relatively low density, so they are appropriate for this project.
Total length of the toy should be slightly smaller than the child’s height. Based on this way measured toy length determine the stick dimension. Although the stick has defined dimension in our plan, your task is to adjust the stick length to the height of your child.
In our hobby horse plan we presented two versions of this toy.
Hobby horse plan - Version 1
The first toy has wheels, and the head is decorated with the intarsia technique, which gives great degree of reality to the toy. Pattern of this intarsia is included in the Hobby horse plan, so you can use it for our hobby horse, but it also can be used for a completely different project.
Hobby horse plan - Version 1 - Parts list
Hobby horse plan - Version 1 - Assembly drawing
You can draw the pattern for the horse head intarsia using the following picture, or if you prefer the 2D CAD drawings, you can download it in DWG and SVG extension.
Hobby horse plan – Version 2
The other plan version is simplified, and instead of the wheel it has mounted a wooden ball at the end of stick. In this version, head is simply cut out in a shape of a horse silhouette. You can draw the horse face on it, and you can also glue a piece of artificial long hair fur as a horse mane.
Hobby horse plan - Version 2 - Assembly drawing and parts list
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