The hobby horse dates all the way back to medieval times – elaborate versions can still be seen of those originals in seasonal Morris Dances and Mummers Plays all over England. A hobby horse is only a horse’s head, made out of stuffed fabric or wood atop a long straight stick that the child straddles — the bottom of the stick that scrapes the ground may have small wheels or not. Reins that imitate actual riding tack may or may not hang from the horse head. Indeed, a hobby horse absolutely requires a lot of imagination.
A hobby horse can be as simple can be or as elaborate as possible. In centuries past, beautiful carved and painted hobby horses were often birthday or holiday presents to a child king or lord. A child today could be encouraged to imitate an ancient king in the same manner — that’s simply more imagination at work.
There are quite a few wonderful hobby horses available from all the major toy retailers. But with a bit of imagination, patience and skill, it is quite possible to make your own. Consider what you could do with a broom handle, stuffed sock and some extra material, or even straw for the mane. Lots of fun!