Linkages can be used to change create all sorts of interesting movements. I had an idea to try and make a kicking horse atop a cork driven via a crank and linkage. This linkage, along with a lever inside the body will lift the legs as the body is moved up.
My first draft is made from 2mm EVA foam sheet cut out on the laser cutter.
Inside, a paperclip lever arm is pulled by a length of buttonhole thread as the horse lifts up.
I used contact adhesive to glue the layers of foam together. It sets immediately so you need to get the alignment right first time!
On my first draft, the weight of the foam was not enough to return the rear legs to the downward position so I added a couple of paper clip wire leg collars. These seem to do the job well.
Next step, connect the horse onto the top of a cork and add the crank.