Irish handmade toys flood into our kitchen in the weeks approaching Christmas. Once they are ready for hand painting they make their way from the workshop to the kitchen where life gets a bit tricky cooking the family dinner with hobby horses drying left, right and centre!

Dans range of hand crafted hobby horses come in a wide range of colours. Choices include bright and vibrant colours to soft pastel shades. All the paints used are child friendly, toy safe and non-toxic. There is also the choice of traditional milk paints, used by the Quakers, which are a particularly eco-friendly option.

Hobby Horses currently are being painted and shipped out in time for Christmas. If you’d like to place an order there’s only a few days left. This year Dan has been making some beautiful Hobby Dragons to add to his collection. These are available to order and there’s also a limited number available at the Leitrim Design House in Carrick-on- Shannon. Merry Christmas.

It’s that time of year again when the orders start coming in for the Christmas season. Hand crafted traditional wooden toys make fantastic Christmas presents for both boys and girls. They are the heirlooms of tomorrow. It really helps avoid disappointment on your part and a last minute maniacal rush on Dan’s part if orders can be placed as early as possible. Pop on over to the website at to choose colours and sizes, then place your order.

Dan was featured in the November issue of Ireland’s Homes, Interiors and Living Magazine in an article very cleverly titled ‘The Mane Man’!

Wooden hobby horses aren’t the only equine exposure here on our smallholding. Any day now our first real horses, an Irish Gypsy cob and her foal, are due to arrive with us.

awaiting final touches

awaiting final touches

There once was a little girl in Scotland who made a birthday wish … she wished that she could have her very own dragon. Somebody heard her wish and asked a man in Ireland to sketch out a plan, which he did …


When the man in Ireland was happy with the drawing he choose a nice piece of wood, a piece of wood that spoke ‘dragon’ to him, and he started to cut, sand and sand some more. When the wood was the right shape and smooth to the touch he began to paint it, which brought it to life …


When he was finished he smiled with pride and hoped that the girl who had wished for a dragon would like it too ….


and she did.

Happy New Year from the Hobby Horse Toys workshop. The order books are now open again. At the end of 2007 we had to turn away a few customers as Dans order book was full. In these cases we encourage people to think about placing the order for a birthday instead. Placing orders in advance will ensure delivery in time for Christmas, ideally at least 3 months in advance.

Dan works alone on his hobby horses, he is a one many show. He loves the work that he does and he has no ambition for Hobby Horse Toys to grow any larger than it is now … small is beautiful, and enjoyable. He keeps order down to a level that leaves time for him to enjoy each and every creation, to take pride in his work. He never wants his Hobby Horses to become a production line item, or a chore to complete. This is part of the attraction of a Hobby Horse gift. If you think you may wish to order a gift for Christmas please email Dan at with an ‘expression of interest’, there is no obligation whatsoever to go ahead with an order, but it will help Dan to plan the year ahead in terms of when to close his order books. You would need to get back in touch to place a firm order two months in advance for the majority of the year, or 3 months for Christmas order. If you haven’t placed an order, still do get in touch, just in case we have one or two in stock.

Dan now works direct with customers and has decided not to sell via shops anymore. He will continue to supply two prestigious outlets who have been extremely supportive … The Leitrim Design House, and the Shaker Shop. To view hobby horses go to the Hobby Horse Toys website at

Here is the latest personalised horse sent out over the Christmas period.


Orders for the wooden hobby horses have been coming in from as far afield as Singapore, California and Australia. They have all been shipped off in time for Christmas. The Christmas order book has been full to the brim for some time now, but orders will be taken again in the New Year. Make sure you place an order a couple of months before you require your horse. Return to the main website to place an order at

Dan won’t be attending an Christmas Fairs this year with his horses as he has plenty of orders to keep him busy. There will be a limited supply taken by Leitrim Design for sale at the RDS Craft Show in December. There are an handful of Irish stockists also listed on the website.