How to make an easy costume for your horse. This DIY Horse Costume is to make your black horse look like a Scottish Kelpie!
I went to Scotland for a training this year and came back with horrifying stories about kelpies. It apparently made a lasting impression on my 6 year old who asked us to make a kelpie section for our Halloween trail this year.
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What are Kelpies?
Kelpies are a Scottish myth that parents would tell their kids to keep them from getting too close to the lochs (lakes) and drowning. They are malevolent spirits that haunt bodies of water, generally in the form of a horse.
To children, they may appear as a pony, to an adult they may appear as a naked man or woman. If you try to ride or touch the kelpie, you can become stuck to the horse and it drags you into the water to drown you. Some versions of the myth state that the horse eats you and throws your entrails to the water’s edge. On a tour of Edinburgh, they mentioned that a lot of disposal (including body and body part disposal- from witch drownings and cutting off people’s hands due to theft, illness etc.) was done in the loch in the center of the city so this may be where that part of the story originated.
Typically the horse is black. If transformed as a person, they still have hooves, and if they’re a horse or person, they will have wet hair or kelp in their hair. Apparently the myths were also to keep young women from being seduced by naked men along the water ways.
Removing the kelpies bridle allowed you to have power over it, although there’s some differing opinions on if the kelpie would die if the bridle wasn’t returned.
Kelpie Costume for a Horse
- 12 PCS Artificial Seaweed Water Plants
- Natural Fish Net Party Decorations
- 1 Bombproof Black Horse
- Horse hair elastics
- Blue Solar Lights
- Bubble machines
Step 1: Groom your horse and brush her mane. Take the upper part of her mane and push it over to the opposite side of her neck.
Step 2: Take a horse hair elastic and make a pony tale with a small section of hair.
Step 3: Slide one of the seaweed artificial plants into the elastic. Repeat for several sections of mane, forelock and tail. You can either remove the attached rock or leave it. I found the rock needed to be removed for the tale, but I could hide it better under her mane… but my horse has a FULL mane.
Step 4: Give her some treats. What a good girl!
Step 5: Unroll the fishnet and drape it over your horse. You can tie it in place if you think they won’t be scared, but leave it loose if not. That way if they spook, it can simply drop to the ground vs. getting dragged behind them.
Step 6: Set up your horse with some blue lights in front of them or behind them to look like water. Add a bubble machines to add the ‘water’ look.
Step 7: If desired, add some hair spray (or simply water if it’s not too cold) to make the hair look wet.
My horse will be grazing in the selkie zone as we aren’t doing a Halloween parade or anything. Just a bunch of grass and either a strip of electric fence tape (not electrified, she’s pretty cooperative) or tied to a hitching post. The idea is to keep anything potentially dangerous out of her way.
If last night’s photo session is any indication, she will probably happily graze on a loose lead all night without issue.
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