The Dala horse from Sweden has a great story and tradition. In the winter of 1716, while King Charles XII of Sweden waged war throughout most of Europe, many soldiers were quartered in private homes in the Mora area of Sweden. Because of the severe winter and the war, all suffered from the lack of food and warmth. Tradition has it that one soldier, in his spare time, carved a Dala horse from some scrap wood in the home he was staying. Before presenting it to the child of the home for a gift, he painted it bright red. This was the available color in this area, being a bi product of a copper mine. He decorated the horse with a kurbit painting for the harness and saddle. The use of kurbits as a decorative motifs on the horse came from the soldier's deep religious background. Today they are manufactured in Sweden in different colors and the saddles are painted by double loading the brush for the saddle. I carved two different sizes. The one 3 inches tall and 1 inch thick looked better to me. The other one was 4 inches tall and 1 1/2 inch thick. I wanted them to look more like the older Dala horses so they are not sanded and the paint job is simpler.