I love the use of self-striping (I think) yarn and the "hairdo" - how did you do that?! Can I see a pic of it from the back, please?
I did use self-striping yarn for the accents. I sewed a looped mane instead of pom-poms (I made large loops by wrapping the yarn around a ruler to make the loops uniform and attached them with small stitches to anchor them, if that makes sense). It took a while to do but was worth it. You can see more pictures and pattern modifications on Ravelry.