Thank you for purchasing my horse head. Installation of the stick is easy.
I recommend a wooden dowel rod, 36” X 1” but a broom stick cut to your desired length will work just fine. Just remember that at least 12 inches will have to sit inside the head.
First, untie the bottom of the neck and remove the fiberfill until you reach the area just below the ears. The ears were stitched on after the head was stuffed so some of the fiberfill may be attached. This is fine, just leave it.
You will need to leave enough of the fiberfill between the eyes and ears to pad the end of the stick. About an inch or so is fine.
Now, the best way I’ve found to insert the stick is to sit in a chair, hold the stick between your knees, and fit the horse head over the end like a sock.
Make sure your stick is centered and resting against the padding of fiberfill between the eyes and ears, but don’t push it in so hard that you make a bump.
Now here’s the fun part. Hold stick and horse steady and re-stuff around the stick. Make sure you distribute the fiberfill firmly and evenly around the stick (breaking the fiberfill into smaller pieces makes it easier). Stop and look at your horse every once in a while to make sure it is not becoming lopsided or lumpy. Leave enough room at the bottom to gather the fabric around the stick, about an inch.
You may have a small amount of fiberfill left over as the stick displaces some of it. That’s okay.
When you are satisfied with how it looks, gather the fabric around the stick while pulling down gently but not so hard that there is a bump on its head. Prestart your zip tie around the stick and gathered fabric but DO NOT tighten it all the way yet. Gently pull the zip tie until it is snug but not completely tight (It might take another set of hands to attach the zip tie, but if you take your time, it can be done one handed ~ for pictures, go to: http://lils-garden.com/handmade-stick-horses/add-the-stick-tutorial/
Now gently pull the gathered fabric through the zip tie, until it makes an even little “skirt” around the stick. Then tighten the zip tie as tightly as you can get it.
Remove the excess tie by taking a pair of sturdy scissors or a clean pair of wire cutters (this works best) and snip close the square part of the tie. Be very careful you do not cut the fabric of the horse while doing this! Pointing the scissors or cutters away from the head is the best way, while holding the fabric out of the way.
There will be a rough spot left on the zip tie where it was cut. Take an emery board or a small piece of sand paper, and sand it smooth. You can put a drop or two of super glue here (optional).
You are now ready to ride! If you have any questions, feel free to email me for help.
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