The hobby horse as we know it has gone through quite a journey, over the centuries. You can see versions which look completely identical to the sort that children use today in use as far back as the 16th Century. Look back at old pictures such as Pieter Breugel’s “Children’s Games”, Coello’s “Portrait of the Infant Don Diego” and Dryander’s “Der ArzneyGemeinerInhalt”. Taking a look at them, you’ll notice that things really haven’t changed all that much in all that time. This comes despite the many generations which separate us with them, so it’s quite extraordinary that the design was really mastered all the way back then and didn’t need any real developments, to stand the test of time. However, that isn’t to say that it’s remained the same for the whole time and a few other varieties don’t exist. You can find more than just the standard single-stick version.
- Tourney. Taking influence from the medieval-styled horses adorned with long cloaks. While this isn’t really the sort of hobby horse that is used as a toy for young children, many may still wish to use them, in order to use it as a full horse costume for a variety of different uses. Think of the jousting tournaments which used to take place with these sorts of designs.
- Sieve. View this as a variation on the aforementioned, but done in a far less extravagant way. It’s still just as lively and can grab ones attention, but it’s far less of a show-off one than the tourney.
- Mast.These ones take on a style which you can link far more directly to the modern toy version of the hobby horses, and is achieved by stripping it right down to its fundamentals. It simply adds the few extra details to make it stand out from the crowd, and you’ve got a stylish horse which all the family can have fun with. What makes this one different is that the head is hung at the end of an extended stick, while the other is stuck into the ground.