A horse owner in Janesville, Wisconsin, has found a creative way to express her artistry and passion for horses: chainsaw wood carving. Jennifer Ruse took up the wood sculpting in 2018 at the age of 51. She’d never done it before, but her husband suggested she try carving a mushroom. Simple as that. And Ruse hasn’t looked back; she now owns three different chainsaws.
Ruse quickly expanded her sculpting skills beyond the mushroom, carving bears, alligators, turtles, and even sports mascots. But when her brother and sister passed away in 2019, she decided to create a grave marker from wood. “I carved an on-site piece for my oldest brother. I added an anchor with our lost brother’s name on it. That touched my oldest brother’s heart,” Ruse told U.S. news outlet The Leader Telegram, “Now, I do small pet markers I call Paws. I will be carving a labradoodle memorial with wings later this year.”
Word got around, and Ruse recently added a horse head carving to her repertoire for local horse couple Pat and Wayne Williams, who have been involved in the equestrian world for decades. The couple had to remove a maple tree from their property and asked the arborist to leave a tall stump. The thought then was that Pat would try her hand at carving. But then they met Ruse, who turned the stump into a gorgeous horse’s head.
Ruse intrinsically knows the intense connection people have with horses. She is the happy owner of two senior Mustang/Arab crosses ‒ Moose, 21, and Harley, 19. She’s owned the two full brothers since they were two years old. Ruse mostly trail rides and she’s fortunate that her 13-acre hobby farm backs onto a 206-acre parkland with bridle paths.
Check out her Road Side Saw Works Facebook page here.