Skip to content Skip to footer
TitleTangled TrotDesigned byNancy QuallsHooked byNancy QuallsDimensions36" x 54"Materialswool on linenCuts3 - 8Share

When sketching ideas for my next rug (initially a paisley-only horse) the zentangle craze caught my eye.  This form of drawing was far outside of my comfort zone, but I like a challenge.  I purchased a zentangle how-to drawing book and gave it a whirl.  But just drawing designs wasn’t for me.

HOWEVER, I began picturing zentangle elements adding visual impact, interest and allowing me to better express the awe & feeling of riding a dressage horse in extended trot.  So the drawing began and this rug was borne from this dressage rider’s imagination.  

  • I began with the horse’s heart because a horse “with heart” means your 1500 lb dance partner learns and performs willingly and happily. 
  • Behind the heart, his stomach is filled with his favorite treats, given in appreciation…sugar cubes from the saddle and lots of carrots afterwards.
  • The rib cage above the stomach is flanked with paisleys for the chest and rump. 
  • A series of wavy segments depict the feeling of the strong, trampoline of swinging back muscles that lift and spring each step.
  • Rays of neck muscles sweep up the neck to meet a series of gears, the largest deliberately grey for grey matter because the horse’s brain is more important than his natural talent. 
  • The other gears represent the head’s moving pieces – ears, eyes, jaw, nose, mouth, nostril.
  • His forelock and mane are braided traditionally with white tape.
  • His tail is one giant braid.
  • Legs: the two on the ground are strong metal structures with gears for joints with the hind attached to a red-hot coiled spring propelling the horse.  The two legs in flight have lightning bolts, the resulting exploding energy created by other parts working together.
  • Background: the lower arena segment is the same proportion as the regulation 20 x 60meter dressage arena. Mottled grey “footing” has typical geometric dressage patterns added – centerline, two 10meter circles, 3-loop serpentine, two full and half diagonals. 
  • The white line is the arena boundary. Faint grass transitions into sky, hooked in rays that all emanate from the same sugar cube.  
  • Binding is done in colors for each section including tiny segments that transition from green to blue sky.  Since this is a hanging, I did not add binding tape.

(Sidenote: I began this rug in Florida. Never in a million years would I have guessed I’d complete it as a NH resident!)