Published On: Thu, Sep 7th, 2017

Dunn’s wooden creation is quickly galloping into the hearts of area residents

COLERIDGE — A buckskin horse that is harnessed to a cart and standing along a resident’s driveway in Coleridge has been getting a lot of attention.
The life-size wooden horse, that measures close to 74 inches to the top of its ear, is the creation of Coleridge resident Greg Dunn.

Gregg Dunn stands in front of the wooden horse he crafted. The horse now greets passers-by as it stands in front of Dunn’s Coleridge home.

Constructing a life-size horse had just seemed like the obvious thing to do for Dunn, who has a history of working with wood.
“I had the cart and I thought I needed a horse. I couldn’t find anything I really liked,” Dunn said.
The cart, the horse is now harnessed to, had been sitting outside towards the back of Dunn’s residence.
“Someone seen it and they told me I needed a horse for my cart,” Dunn said. “so I built one.”
Several friends stepped in and helped Dunn with the construction of the life-size horse.
Dunn had originally got the cart from Cammie Metheny who had found it in a barn. Dunn liked the horse and had traded it for some labor he was doing for Metheny.
“The buggy was in pretty good shape. I had to make a new seat for the buggy otherwise it is all original,” Dunn said. “It is close to the way it was when she found it in the barn.”
Dunn had a pattern that he had previously used to make a rocking horse for his granddaughter although it had to be enlarged.
“The rocking horse I gave my granddaughter was 42 inches tall. She still has it, I think,” he said.
A friend, Gary Frerichs, helped by enlarging the plan for the construction of the horse.
Two by twelve pine wood was used for the construction of the horse. The head and body for the horse have five thickness of two inch wood. Each leg for the horse is made from two thicknesses of the wood.
When it was time to paint the horse, a decision was made for the horse to be a buckskin. Angie Peitz, from Hartington, another friend, painted the horse.
“It turned out good,” Dunn said. “She is very talented.”
Four coats of a poly finish were applied to the horse.
The horse’ mane and tail are made from haymow rope that was unraveled and spray-painted black.
Frerichs unraveled the rope, which took quite a bit of time. Spray-painting the rope was not an easy task and it took a while to do.
The unraveled, painted rope was pulled through thirty-six holes that were made down the back of the horses’ head.
Dunn did encounter a problem while he was working on the horse.
Dunn estimates the weight of the horse to be around 500 pounds.
“The construction of the horse did not require a lot of material but it was hard to move around so I could work on it,” Dunn said. “I had to have some of my friends help me move the horse each time.”
Time put in on the construction of the horse took right at 120 hours according to Dunn.
“I was happy when it was finished,” he said.
Another friend, Dennis Anderson, helped Dunn move the horse onto a small slab of cement out in his yard.
“We put the horse outside this last spring. People, that are going by, will still stop to look at it,” Dunn said.
The horse will be moved back inside of the shop this fall where it will stay until next spring.
Dunn’s horse has not only attracted a lot of attention it has provided a little humor from other folks in town.
“I have heard a few jokes about having a large animal in town,” Dunn said.
People have also made several suggestions, most of them are humorous, on signs that could be located near the horse.
Dunn doesn’t have any plans to make another horse but he does have several wood projects he has been working on for other people.
“I have enough to keep me busy for now,” he said.
It is hard for Dunn to remember a time when he wasn’t involved in some type of wood project.
“I have been making things with wood since I was a young age. I had uncles that built houses and I had helped them. There has always been some type of a project that I was working on,” he said. “I had a picture of me when I was still in diapers and I had a hammer in my hand.”