The traditional rocking horse has been a mainstay of children’s rooms and nurseries for many years and is as popular today as ever. Thanks, in part, to modern production methods the opportunity of providing your child with his or her very own rocking horse is no longer the preserve of the well-off. Although a genuine hand crafted horse will usually cost £1,000 or more there are also many economical alternatives available to buy for much less.
History of the Rocking Horse
The history of the children’s play horse can be traced back as far as ancient Greek times although these bore little resemblance to the rocking horses we are familiar with today. In the middle Ages it was common for children to play act jousting tournaments and wheeled wooden horses were often crafted for this purpose.
Over the years these wooden toys have evolved from simple and crude designs to the lifelike, sophisticated and ornate creations that we know today.
The most common form of horse, on bow rockers, is thought to have been created to help young children develop a sense of balance which would be advantageous when starting to ride real horses. A later development was the safety-stand type horse which was an American development in the late nineteenth century to combat the problem of bow rockers moving around the floor when being ridden. This design became more popular for a while although the bow rocker is still favoured by many for its traditional look. billiga tavlor
In the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it became common to finish the horses by painting and traditionally they would be high gloss white with black spots or dappled grey. Although the type of finish achieved was very tactile and durable it was a very labour intensive process which involved a lot of sanding down and applying multiple coats of paint and lacquer. This, of course, meant that rocking horses were very expensive and only the privileged could afford to buy them. Less fortunate children had to make do with much less sophisticated alternatives, their young imaginations making up for the lack of detail.
Affordable Rocking Horses
Fortunately nowadays, many manufacturers and craftsmen are able to automate a lot of the time demanding process such as sanding down, which has made wooden horses much more economical to produce and affordable to buy.
Some antique versions have become collector’s items and even a horse made today will hold its value for a considerable time. Another benefit of a wooden rocking horse is that they don’t need feeding or wear out. It’s not uncommon for some horses to be passed down from one generation to the other which, naturally, is another benefit in today’s ‘disposable’ age.