Harvest Horse

I learned how to make a harvest horse from Mark Marino at Earthbound Farms in Carmel, California. The great thing about this project is that there are no set rules about how to do it and you can create a harvest horse on a scale to best suit your needs.

Here are some basic instructions that will get you started.


  • 2 x 4 lumber cut to desired size
    • (4) legs
    • (2) for the top or back of the horse
    • (1) for the neck
    • (3) to create a triangle for the head
    • (6) to act as braces, these should be cut at an angle
  • 20 or so bundles of cornstalks, cat tails or other organic material
  • twine
  • scissors and/or cutting tool for large items such as corn stalks
  • yarn for the tail
  • autumn garden items for decoration such as gourds, mums and corns of various colors
  • other decorating items include saddle, saddle blanket, harness and reins, hat, and ribbons
  • nails

Begin by building a basic sawhorse shape out of 2 x 4s. The top of the sawhorse should be (2) boards stacked on top of each other for added strength.

Add braces on the sides connecting the 4 legs to the top.

Add braces on connecting the 2 back legs. It will look something like an 'A'. Repeat the process on the front legs.

Next attach the neck and head.

Now you are ready to start adding your cornstalk bundles. Mark and I used about 10 stalks per bundle. Simply lay the bundle against the wood and wrap with twine. I like to use sisal twine because it won't stand out against the brown color of the cornstalks. You can pick it up at any home improvement store.

Starting with the legs, move around the horse tying on your bundles of cornstalks. Once you have the horse covered, step back and appraise the shape. You may need to trim here and there or add filler. And don't forget the tail! Mark and I used yarn braiding together.

Once you have the shape established you are ready to decorate by adding a horse blanket, saddle, harness or whatever you have on hand. Just use your imagination.

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