Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?
(Oak Harbor, WA)
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I happened to be watching the animated film, Frozen, when it occurred to me that the reindeer, Sven, reminded me very much of my Appaloosa gelding, Spider. I had been contemplating what to do for this year's Halloween competitions and the idea unfolded.
The costume is completely designed and created by myself. I made a body sheet of brown fleece, cut out a mask of longer white fur that I trimmed with a clippers to a shorter nap around the face, and built up the higher withers out of upholstery foam which I then covered in long white fur. The hooves are made of felt. I was able to get a general shape for the part that covered his hooves by using a bell boot as a pattern piece. The antlers have a wire armature welded to a metal crown that is secured to his leather bridle, the armature is covered in quilt batting and a cover of muslin. My dress is adapted from a Burda sewing pattern. The colorful decorations on the skirt and bodice are appliqués of felt. I purchased the wig and Olaf stuffed animal to complete the look. Oh, and the googly eyes were purchased as well. Every costume is better with googly eyes!
As I have constructed this costume over the past three months, I don't have a solid total for the money spent creating it. All of the fabric was purchased on sale or with coupons. I estimate I invested about $150 to put this costume together. For me, constructing the costume is a great creative challenge and provides me with an escape from the stresses that every day life presents, so it is a good $150 spent.
We made our debut at the local Backcountry Horsemen's Halloween Trail ride. The costume was a great hit! We felt like movie stars being ambushed by paparazzi, everyone wanted to take our photo. My gelding was a true champion through it all and carried the antlers like they had grown out of his head. He is no stranger to Halloween contests and, just as previously, he took everything in stride. We won our class and my boy took home a new bridle for his wardrobe.