Draw Cartoon Horses - Step by Step

Learn to draw fun cartoon horses in the fun styles. Cartoon critters are easy to draw compared to realistic horses. You can make a cartoon do things that a real horse can’t and you can really exaggerate the character of the animal. No wonder they’re so fun to draw!

Cartooning is all about…..exaggeration.

Cartoon horses are fun!

Think of some of the great cartoon equines to grace the silver screen:

  • Mulan’s horse ….. Khan
  • Hercules' horse…. Pegasus
  • Wild Mustang…. Spirit
  • Bell’s horse…. Philippe
  • Cinderella’s horse….Major
  • Pecos Bill’s horse…. Widow Maker
  • Mickey Mouse’s horse …..Tanglefoot

What do they all have in common? They all have some feature or characteristic that is blown way out of proportion…

...huge feet, tiny feet, big muzzle, small muzzle, large nostrils, big round eyes, thick neck, skinny neck or crazy hair...and loads of attitude!

Start with picking a feature you would like to emphasize. How about a huge muzzle and a skinny neck? Cartoon horses like this were very popular in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Horses Tanglefoot and Widow Maker were from that era. So was Molly Moo Cow. Remember her?

Cartoons don’t have to be exact. Crazy proportions add character!

Draw Cartoon Horses in 3 Styles

In this example you will start with two circles. Notice the circle for the head is small and the one for the muzzle is huge. The ears, eye and mane are drawn in a very simplistic childlike fashion. Grab your pencil and give it a try!

Old style cartoon horse head

During the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s cartoon horses with big thick draft breed characteristics became popular. Major, Philippe (and Frou Frou from the Artisotcats…) were drawn like this. Big feet, big thick legs and a big horsey muzzle!

Notice the circles that make up the head are both fairly large. The rounded face gives this horse a sense of heaviness. There’s nothing small about this big guy. Try this example on for size!

Draft style cartoon horse head

In the 90’s and on through to today, a more refined stylized horse became popular. Pegasus and Khan are perfect examples of this style. As is Samson from Sleeping Beauty (he was before his time!)

In this example the muzzle is much smaller than the head. The features are sharper and finer. These cartoon horses are and wide-eyed and full of energy. Give it a whirl!

Arabian style cartoon horse head

Now that you've tried your hand at cartooning horses' heads, it’s time to draw the whole body. Here are our 3 cartoon characters again. This time shown from head to hoof. As you can see, the body styling is in keeping with the look of the head.

Changing the 'hairstyle' will give your horse a whole new look! 

You can free hand draw these cartoons or you can create a grid to use as a guide. Use a ruler to make a simple grid. Draw 5 vertical lines one inch apart and 5 horizontal lines one inch apart. Or use this ready made grid.

Tip: If you want your horse to be larger, space the lines 2,3 or even 4 inches apart!

This cartoon horse style was popular in the 30's
This cartoon horse style was popular in the 70's
This cartoon horse style is popular today.

Want to come up with your own cartoon horse? Here are some ideas:

  • Fat pony, short legs, tons of hair
  • Old horse, sway back, bony hips
  • Tiny war horse, huge feet, tall cropped mane
  • Feminine horse, curly main and tail, long eyelashes, dainty feet

Pick a theme. Play with different shapes. Focus on exaggerating parts of the body.

Silly and childlike, big and friendly or a high stepping ball of energy…no matter how you choose to draw them, stay relaxed and have fun with it. Cartoons are not meant to be taken seriously, it's fun!

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