It’s that time of year! The time of pumpkins, costumes, and spooky fun. The horse skeleton costume has always been really cool to me and now that we have a black horse I just could not help myself! Although, I didn’t enter my horse into any costume contests I did have a lot of fun and learned a lot. Therefore, I have some hints to pass along to you if you are wanting to turn your horse into a cool skeleton for Halloween!
Prerequisites for your horse
- Black coats look the best, but any dark colored horse will work and the skeleton look good on.
- Your horse needs be able to stand quietly for a long period of time.
- You horse must not be head shy. You need to be able to paint around your horse’s face for the complete skeleton look.
I realized at some point after I’d started that painting hair was not something I’d done before and it proved to be a little more difficult than I had imagined. The reason being is because it is difficult to get sharp lines with your paint. Partly because the coat this time is already starting to get thick. I just went with it and gave up on perfect lines because of time, but either way I think it looks good. Just be sure to paint with the hair meaning the direction the hair grows.
Using a diagram
I started out with a picture and quickly ended up doing my own thing. Once I was finished painting her and looked her over I realized where I could’ve done better. Therefore, my mistakes are your benefit; because I’ve drawn a diagram that is easier than the picture I was trying to work from. You can either print it or download it for your phone which I think is easier, but everyone is different.
Be sure to have enough paint
The third lesson I learned was that it took a lot more paint than I thought it would. I had bought one 16-ounce bottle of paint, but two would have been much better. I had to go over some spots a lot because it seemed like the hair was hard to cover. If you are going to do this you will want to buy two bottles of paint!
how long it will last
Lastly, I just want you to be advised that the paint wears off quickly so therefore the skeleton will only look good that first day. Raven went and rolled later that day and it still looked good, but I could tell it was a bit dull looking than before. Then, by the next day, a lot of the paint had worn off. If you choose you can simply wash your horse afterward.
- Non-Toxic Washable Paint – I used Colorations Tempera Paint. It has little to no odor which I liked. Linked at the bottom of this post. (2 – 16 oz. bottles)
- Paint Brushes. (1 inch and 2 inch)
- Paper plate to hold your paint
- A guide for the skeleton – see below my free downloadable image
steps in creating the horse skeleton
Gather your supplies
Maybe throw on an old t-shirt, grab your paint, your brushes, along with a paper plate to squeeze paint on. Once you have all that, then it’s time to catch your horse!
groom your Horse
Before you start painting be sure to brush as much dirt and debris from your horse as you can. This is an important step because not only will your horse look better, but the paint and dirt won’t gum up on your brush. We’d had a lot of rain where we live a few days before so Raven had a lot of mud on her which made it even more work.
Ready to paint your horse skeleton
Now that you’re ready to paint use your guide to get started. You can pretty much start wherever. I started on her front legs, but that was simply a preference.
If your horse gets antsy you could feed them some hay to keep them busy.
All in all, Raven stood very still for me, but I did find that she didn’t like her face painted so I didn’t make a big deal of it because I didn’t want to risk getting paint in her eye. Therefore, I simply worked quickly and came back to it a few times. She isn’t head shy at all I just think she didn’t like it.
Don’t skimp and only buy the 1-inch paintbrush- the 2 inch did help speed things up a bit. On some of the larger parts, you can outline with the smaller paintbrush and go back and fill in with the larger one.
Allow yourself at least one hour from start to finish. It could take longer, it depends on how fast you work, but I don’t see anyone getting done in under an hour.
- Horses have 7 neck vertebrae
- Horses have 18 pairs of ribs- making that 36 total.
Just for fun
Do you know the names of all the bones you are about to paint or have painted? Well, if you don’t I made a chart for you- just for fun.
Please enjoy this video of me painting Raven.
Best of luck to you and I hope you have fun! Oh, and Happy Halloween!
Please drop me a comment if you tried painting your horse into a skeleton for Halloween!
If you are on Facebook or Instagram you can follow The Narrow Trail and be sure to tag us in any pictures. I would love to see them!
Here is a link to the paint I used. Please be advised this is an affiliate link, which means I make a small commission when you purchase through it.