The original DalaHorse (Dalahäst) has been around for many centuries, and probably was created by Swedish woodcutters in the province of Dalarna near Mora. During the long winters, these lonely men would spend their evenings away from their families, and passed their time by carving little toys for their children.
The bright, happy little animal as we now know the DalaHorse probably originated in the 1700's. The carving of the stocky little tailless horses had become a well-established tradition, but up until this time they had been unpainted and had just the natural grain of the wood for ornamentation.
DalaHorses traditionally were made during the long fall and winter evening hours when the weather prevented any outdoor work from being done. Although they are a natural outgrowth of the clock and furniture making industries common in the Dalarna Province, the DalaHorse has evolved into a symbol of all Swedish handicrafts. The traditional colour of DalaHorses is a bright orange-red, but they are also to be found in natural wood, or painted white, blue, or black, all with brightly coloured painted kurbit-type trim.