Thursday, December 25, 2014

Door Decor Challenge

My cousin Diane came across a picture of a horse head made from greenery and used as a holiday door decoration.  It reminded her all the horse lovers in the family and she came up with an idea.

That idea started a chain reaction across the midwest.  From South Dakota, to Nebraska, to Missouri, to Colorado, the interest grew.

Horses were a big part of Uncle Johnny's life (Diane's dad), and since we lived right next door to each other in our early childhood, they were a part of our lives too.

We treated them like family, even bringing Rosebud into the kitchen one day when Mom was gone.

It was not just Uncle Johnny who got into the act.  Here we have Uncle Johnny on the left, Grandpa Riibe on the right and my mom, Beulah, seated with my brother, John on her lap.  Oh, and Spot and Champ, of course.

But, back to Diane's idea.  First she made one for herself and then she threw out a challenge to the rest of the family to make one too.

My niece, Stephanie, rallied to the call and came up with a festive horse that fit the season.

Here is Stephanie with Grandma Riibe and Ross making sure Caesar stood still for the picture.

Because when Sheila was in the saddle, Caesar was on the run.

My sister, Marg creatively incorporated a large pine cone and tassels into hers.  Rusty should have had such a fancy headdress in this next picture.

No, this is not an ancestor from long ago.  It is brother John on an average day in Nebraska.

John, still the horseman, just a few short years later.

I wanted the real horse bells for mine, but had to settle for these.

The first born, John, and the baby of the family, Sheila, were the biggest riders of the seven kids.

 John chose to think outside the box when he designed his door decoration. He cut his horse out of wood and hand painted it.  Then he added metal washers to the bridle and a wreath around the neck of the horse.

Even brother, Jim, got into the act when he wasn't working on his dune buggy.  Since he has lived in Hawaii for about 40 years, I don't think we will be getting an evergreen wreath from him to show here.

Leave it to Carol and Dan to see things in a new way.  They used pine cones, grasses for the mane, and a satellite dish to mount it all.  The textures make it look very realistic.

Dan got an early start caring for the horses.  It looks like they cared for him too.

When I decided to write this post I searched Pinterest for more examples.  Whoa!  There were way more than I expected.  Evidently horses are a big thing this year.

I wanted to showcase a few that I thought were nicely done.  I chose this one for the simplicity and the snow, and because it reminded me of Rosebud.

Here we have Sheila practicing her tricks with Rosebud.

The mane on this one reminded me of watching my grandpa braiding the manes and tails of Uncle Johnny's trick horses.

As I mentioned, horses were a big deal to much of my family.  These are my mother's parents, Veronica and Otto.

Otto loved being around horses.  And I bet they enjoyed pulling him around.

Again a simple but effective construction with the attention on the red halter.

My Dad did his fair share of riding horses and he loved getting the grandkids in the saddle.

I love this one. Very effective with just a beautiful silver star and chain to set it off.

Johnny had the fancy saddles and halters for his horses since they were show horses.  Sheila was happy with the basics.

I chose this one for the realistic eye and the use of red with the berries and the halter.  Reins were a nice idea but they get a little lost.  I think a thin leather strap would have taken this one to the top. It looks like it even has some little white lights.  I'd love to see it hanging on the barn door.

Even my kids got to know Caesar when we made trips back to Nebraska.  (Jodie and Scott)

Cousins, Scott and Ross, were ready for a little ride bareback or was it just a photo shoot?

Horses are fun to ride but sometimes watching them can be just as much fun.  Here we have Timmy Decker and Jodie..(probably clapping her hands in excitement)  I see the barrel in the pasture so most likely Sheila was putting on a show for her young audience.

And sometimes it was more fun for the guys to practice their bucking horse skills on this barrel rigged with large springs and mounted to large poles .

For those too young for the barrel horse, a cardboard cutout would have to do.
(Marg, John, Jim, Barb, Trish)
I don't know the occasion for this photo but notice that is a team of horses pulling the covered wagon and they are attached to a frame on casters, so it must have been  some kind of parade.

It doesn't seem to matter if the horses are cardboard, attached to springs, ponies, show horses, or door decorations, we all seem to find a way to keep them in our lives. (Jodie)

Thanks, Johnny, for fostering a love of horses in our family.

They are magnificent creatures.


  1. Well done, Tricia! Memories hold families together!

  2. Well done, Tricia! Memories hold families together! What a fun post!