A long leg might be able to come out of one piece of wood and then thickened up on the sides, or for a larger animal, two long pieces of wood glued together. With sharply bent legs, you need to make two parts and attach them, usually at the knee. This can be done by making a cabinetmakers type joint, or by doweling a butt joint. A combination of both is best. On animals with sharply bent knees that are going to be ridden I always put in a steel reinforcement rod from the hoof (or paw) up to the main body. Later on paint, and possibly a sleeve, will make this disappear.

When making a horse's hoof, decide whether you're going to have a shoe on it or not. If so, will you carve the shoe or put on a steel horse shoe? When using a steel horse shoe (pony size is best) get the shoe fitted to the hoof before final carving. When done carving, attach the shoe with screws.
Side and top view, large model (thick) and small model (thin) shown, grain all in same direction.
Some designs must be reinforced to handle heavy use; I cover the exposed threads of this long lag bolt with a tight copper sleeve.
Knee joints with a large bend must be strengthened by dowels and side pads if possible.  Grain direction of the pads gets tricky here.
Scraps are great for rounding-out legs, widening knees, etc., grain same direction if at all possible, otherwise plan something else that will work.


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