The bright, happy little animal as we now know the Dala horse 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. Dala horses 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 Dala horse has evolved into a symbol of all Swedish handicrafts. The traditional colour of Dala horses 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.