View Full Version : How do I make a horse for Yule?

Monday, December 18th, 2006, 07:14 PM
Can anyone give me directions on how to make one of the little horses for under the yule tree. My grandma has told me that there was one under her tree when she was little and i want to make one if I can.

Thank you for your help.

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007, 10:45 PM
Don't you mean goat? That's what we have here in Sweden anyway, called julbock (yule goat). It's made of straw and looks like this:


Cute, ain't it? ;)

Thursday, February 8th, 2007, 12:00 AM
Sorry, I didn't see this question untill now. To make a "corn mare" like the one in the pic you take a bundle of straw tie it around the middle with ribbon/yarn for the body and then divide the ends, bend them, and wrap them with ribbon to make the legs, head and tail. I've helped do big ones and have seen ornament size ones that are made the same.

Sunday, July 29th, 2007, 04:22 PM
Don't know where your grandmother came from but, as mentioned, could it be the Yule Goat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule_Goat)? (sv: halmbock, julbock, julebock)
Still fairly popular in Sweden (and, as I understand it, also the other Scandinavian countries).

Make one (http://www.halmenshus.com/sbock.asp?nr=0)
Get one (http://www.goingehalmslojd.se/)
Picture (http://www.hallekis.com/arkiv1/xx011111-jul6.jpg)

Monday, July 30th, 2007, 01:48 PM
That is neat. I have a Yule goat ornament I hang on the tree every year that my Mom brought back from a trip to Sweden. Perhaps the Yule horse is from another part of Scandenavia? Perhaps a representation of Woden's horse, Slepnir? I am sure the goat must be representetive of Thor. Thank you for this information. Now I want to make a big one to decorate for Yule this year!!

Monday, August 13th, 2007, 06:12 AM
I think what you are referring to is the Dala Horse of Sweden. My mom uses this in her Yule decorations each year. The following is an article about it which I found by doing a simple keyword search on google....I'm sure there is so much other great info out there...

The Dala Horse... From Folk Toy to Lindsborg Tradition
by Joyce Englund

One of the questions most often asked by visitors to Lindsborg has to do with the symbolism of the town's repeated use of the Dala (Daw'la) Horse. This gaily-colored horse appears in many forms throughout the city, having been adopted as the central motif in the official logo of the City of Lindsborg in the 1960's.

The original Dala Horse (Dalahäst) has been around for many centuries, and probably was created by Swedish woodcutters in the province of Dalarna near Mora. During the long winters, these lonely men would spend their evenings away from their families, and passed their time by carving little toys for their children. While these carved wooden toys, made from the scraps of the men's occupation, were mostly horses, some were also roosters or pigs. However, the most enduring of these little creatures remains the Dala Horse.

The bright, happy little animal as we now know the Dala Horse probably originated in the 1700's. The carving of the stocky little tailless horses had become a well-established tradition, but up until this time they had been unpainted and had just the natural grain of the wood for ornamentation.

In the winter of 1716, while King Charles XII of Sweden waged war throughout most of Europe, many soldiers were quartered in private homes in the Mora area of Sweden. Because of the severe winter and the war, all suffered from lack of food and warmth. Tradition has it that one such soldier, in his spare time, carved a Dala Horse from some scrap wood in the home where he was staying. Before presenting it to the child of the home as a gift, he painted it a bright red. This was a readily available color in this area, being produced from the copper mine at the nearby community of Falun.

He decorated the horse with kurbit painting for the harness and saddle. The use of kurbits as decorative motifs on the horse came from the soldier's deep religious background. It is the kurbit, or gourd, plant which grew up around Jonah as he sat outside the city of Ninevah, and protected him from the sun's devastating rays.

In return for this bright toy, the woman of the house gave the soldier a bowl of soup. He made another horse and received another bowl of soup. When word o his success in bartering for food reached the other soldiers, they too began carving and painting horses in exchange for food. Thus the Dala Horse is credited in part with the army's surviving the cruel winter.

Dala Horses traditionally were made during the long fall and winter evening hours when the weather prevented any outdoor work from being done. Although they are a natural outgrowth of the clock and furniture making industries common in the Dalarna Province, the Dala Horse has evolved into a symbol of all Swedish handicrafts. The traditional color of Dala Horses is a bright orange-red, but they are also to be found in natural wood, or painted white, blue, or black, all with brightly colored painted kurbit-type trim.

The village of Nusnäs, in Dalarna, is considered by some to be the home of the only authentic Swedish Dala Horses. Over 250,000 Dala Horses are produced there every year.

There is quite a bit of work required in the production of these decorative little toys. Most are made of pine, which is dried for three to four weeks after the initial carving. This prevents the horses from splitting after they are painted. The design is first drawn on the wood and sawed by machine. Then they are given to the carvers, who finish them using their own individual techniques. Each carver will normally choose horses of the size that is most comfortable to him to decorate, which means that the horses are available in many varying sizes. No two horses are ever truly identical.

In Lindsborg, the Dala Horse is to be seen in many different places - the City's letterhead, on City trucks, on storefronts, as decorative additions to many homes, and probably most commonly as bright welcoming emblems on local residences. Often the name of those living in the house is painted on the side of the horse, sometimes the street number of the house, and often a Swedish greeting (either "Välkommen" or "Kom Igen") as well.

Visitors to our community will be welcomed at the outskirts of town, and along nearby highways, by signs featuring the Dala Horse insignia.

Over the years increasing numbers of local craftsmen have learned to make these gaily colored horses. Thousands of Dala Horses are now produced annually in Lindsborg.

To visitors and old-timers alike, please look on our friendly, snub-nosed little horse as a token of our goodwill and a symbol of Swedish frugality and dexterity. It seems that the little scraps of wood left over from furniture and clock making have truly gained a rightful place in the annals of ethnic handicrafts.

Saturday, December 8th, 2007, 12:29 AM
Here are instructions I found at Asatru crafts for Kids on yahoo.
We just made a nice little wheat wreath and are going to attempt some goats. I want a pair for a little cart and one for her class.