The Rocking Horse Shop

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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Trade Secrets

Rocking horses are the finest of playthings: riders gallop over fields, mountains and clouds, their imaginations soaring, and always in the secure comfort of home. With a rocking horse your children and grandchildren have all the pleasures of the real thing, but none of the hassles – no mucking out, no vet bills, and a rocking horse never tires. When they get old and battered they can be sent back to the restorer for a fresh coat of paint, a new saddle and new hair. If only we could all be given a whole new lease of life so easily!
I suppose I am a little biased in my enthusiasm for the rocking horse, having specialised in making and restoring them for more than thirty years. When I started, traditional rocking horse making was almost a dead craft; people would comment, “How sad we don’t see proper rocking horses any more”. Since then, partly due to my work and the books I’ve written, the craft has enjoyed a big revival and such comments are rarely heard any more. I’d always loved making things and making rocking horses offered a lot of interesting practical challenges. I decided that as far as practicable we would design and make everything we sell in our own Yorkshire workshops. Plus, I’d had enough of commuting. My daily journey to work is now simply a walk downstairs to the carving studio.
Our showroom is packed with horses of all sizes and styles, from simple little rockers for toddlers to large fully carved steeds that could easily be ridden by adults (never mind the weight, wooden horses never complain), new and old, awaiting completion, collection or delivery…