I made a bunch of these last year and gave them away to the little kids in our family. The above photo is the prototype I made for my son. It was inspired by Poncho, a very gentle Shetland Pony that my son used to ride at REINS, a therapeutic horseback riding program for kids with special needs. (If you click on the horses link at the REINS web site, you can see a photo of Poncho — he’s the horse of choice for the toddler crowd.)
Materials: I used fabric remnants found in the clearance bin of my local Joann store and novelty yarn I had in my stash for the mane and tail. You can also cut thin fabric strips instead of yarn.
I drew an outline of a horse on a piece of paper (the simpler the better), cut it out and pinned it to the fabric (folded right sides together). Cut the fabric around the template, making sure to leave about a quarter inch or so for seams. Lay your yarn pieces as pictured in the photo below:
Carefully sew around beginning at the saddle area, leaving open about an inch and a half at the saddle area for stuffing. Make sure you leave some shape definition around the head. I also recommend double stitching over the mane and tail area to secure the yarn. Snip fabric where there are sharp curves, making sure not to clip into the seams. Turn inside out, stuff, whipstitch shut. Use pinking shears to cut a rectangular saddle with contrast fabric. Cover the whipstitched area with the saddle and use a decorative stitch, e.g. running stitch or blanket stitch to attach. Further embellish with sequins, bead, or ribbons if so desired.
This is my final installment of last-minute gift ideas. Merry Christmas!