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Horse Costume for Pippsi or Spoiled Baloney Man scripts

by Jeannette Jaquish

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Costume includes head, hooves and clothing for body.

Get matching sweat pants and an oversize turtleneck. Shorten the front of the shirt and gather the rear hem. Add tail, saving yarn for the mane. The overly long sleeves will go over the dowels and be rubberbanded around the top edge of the peanut can front hooves. Spray paint spots if you like, but practice on something else first.
Here is the head made of thick cardstock or cardboard, or the pad that goes under carpet. Select your material carefully. Cardstock or construction paper is easy to work with, but one crunch and your costume head is ruined. For cardboard, fold along the corrugations, not across.
Cut the bill off a baseball-type cap (or wear it backwards) and sew-attach the head to the cap to help it stay on your actor's head. Attaching ties from the horse cheeks to tie under actor's chin works also, but the cap works better. Make the mane out of yarn or fringed cloth and tie-attach it to the cap, also concealing it.
enlarge this on a photocopier or sketch it larger, until the center line down the nose is 13 inches for a 5 year old, 15 inches for a 10 year old, or 17 inches for an adult. Place center line on the fold of a newspaper (you might have to tape two pieces of newspaper together to make it big enough), trace, cut and unfold it to make a symmetrical shape. Try it on your actor to be sure it is the right size, and to position the eye holes. Then cut it out of your material, cardstock, carboard, etc. Make the folds by pressing it against the edge of a table.
Under-carpet pad is much sturdier than cardstock and you could get a free scrap from a carpet store, but you will have to sew a zig zag along the fold to make it stay folded, maybe even cut away a tiny V-shaped trough of material along the inside of the fold, so it folds sharper. Then you'll have to paint the pad to match the costume. You can make the ears separately, give them a little fold for shape and attach them to the head. You can also make eyelashes by cutting a "fringe" in a rectangle of construction paper, then glueing on the upper edge of the eye. Ears and eyelashes really make the horse head look good.

Cut a length of dowel or broomstick so that your horse actor can most comfortably use it as a front leg extension and walk on all fours with it.
Slice the lid in a peanut can so that the dowel fits through snuggly.
Put one of those bicycle handlebar grips on the end of the dowel and put the black sock on the can, tied or rubber banded to the dowel. Put the other pair of black socks over the actor's shoes to match his/her front hooves.