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  1. Design & Illustration
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Drawing for Kids: Draw a Running Pony

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Recently we learned how to draw a pony, but it was only one, boring pose. Horses are famous for their speed, so we'll make our pony run in its full glory. This tutorial will be a bit different than the last one. You won't only repeat the steps—you'll also learn how to draw any running pose you like!

1. How a Pony Runs

Before we start drawing, you need to understand how a pony runs.

This is the "skeleton" of our pony. Do you remember what's there in the legs?

simple horse drawing

It's the best to compare the legs of a pony to your own legs and arms:

  1. The hoof is like the tip of your finger (horses step on one finger only!).
  2. Since the hoof is the tip of the finger, here is where the finger bends.
  3. This is the wrist at the top of very long hand.
  4. The back hoof is like the tip of your toe.
  5. This is where the toe bends.
  6. And this is the heel, at the top of very long foot.
simple horse anatomy

Let's simplify the skeleton for a while to understand it better.

horse legs drawing

Now, this is how running works for almost every animal:

  1. The animal bends the leg to lift it.
  2. Then it brings it as far ahead as possible.
  3. When the animal can't reach any farther, it hits the ground...
  4. ... and pushes it strongly behind.

Then the cycle goes on.

horse running theory
When you push something, it pushes you back!

This will make it clearer:

horse running theory animation
See how the arrow makes a circle during the cycle

You can guess where the hoof will be by drawing an arc from the first position. The more bent the leg, the higher the arc.

horse running legs bend

Legs are one thing, but they're attached to a body, and the body changes during a run, too. This is how our pony's body looks when it's standing:

horse running animation body change

When the legs move, the body moves, too:

horse running body arc shape
horse running legs shape

2. Prepare the Running Pose

All right, enough theory! Time to have some fun. I'm going to assume you've already done the previous part of this tutorial, but if you haven't, feel free to go back there any time you want.

Step 1

Draw a line showing the rhythm of the run. It can be straight or bent in any direction.

draw a pony spine arc

Step 2

Now adjust the body and the hips to this line.

draw a pony body chest hips

Step 3

Draw the ground level.

draw a pony ground

3. Draw the First Pair of Legs

Step 1

Go back to the first section and check which position of legs fits the body you've sketched. Use the arcs to get the right length.

draw a pony define run arc

Step 2

Now we're going to divide the legs in a normal way. First, find the halfway point...

draw a pony divide legs

Step 3

... then the halfway point of each half.

draw a pony legs joints

Step 4

Now you can define the widths of the parts:

draw a pony legs joints width

Step 5

Draw circles/ovals to define the parts of each leg.

draw a pony legs joints done

Step 6

Now you can simply outline the legs.

draw a pony legs done

4. Draw the Other Pair of Legs

Step 1

The other pair can be drawn in a similar way. This time we're going to draw bent ones, so the lines will be shorter.

draw a pony legs bent length

Step 2

Again, divide the lines into halves and more halves.

draw a pony legs bent divide

Step 3

Now bend the lines. You can bend them in each of the spots that we've described before. If you don't know how, look at your own body. How does your wrist bend? Or your toes?

draw a pony legs bend joints

Step 4

Just like before, define the widths...

draw a pony legs bend width

Step 5

... and outline them.

draw a pony legs bend joints done

Step 6

Last, outline the legs.

draw a pony legs bend done

5. Finish the Drawing

Step 1

Once the legs are done, you can add the other parts of the body. Remember to make it fit the rhythm of running you have chosen.

draw a pony finish sketch

Step 2

Just like the last time, outline the finished sketch with a dark ball-point pen or marker.

draw a pony prepare copy

Step 3

Put the sketch under a new sheet of paper and finish the drawing. Last thing: you can choose which leg should be closer to us by trying to do the same pose on all fours.

draw a pony finish drawing


You can use this instruction to draw running ponies in a lot of different poses. If you need ideas, check out the animations from my tutorial on drawing horses. There are so many poses to choose from!

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