The Rocking Horse Shop

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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Carving My First Rocking Horse by Ray Jury

Carving My First Rocking Horse
Carved Rocking Horse Head

March 2009 saw my introduction into rocking horse making.  Having done very little carving before, the carving course with Anthony Dew was to be the test run to see whether this was something that I would enjoy and be successful at.  Over the 3 days I learnt a lot and decided not to stop at a carved horse’s head. 

Ray carving his Rocking Horse

I have now completed my first rocking horse and I am proud of the result.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the time spent carving, refining and painting it.
Many people have enjoyed the journey with me as they have seen the basic blocks of wood transformed into carved sweeping curves and fine equine lines.

Completed Large Rocking Horse

The whole experience of making my first rocking horse has been a journey of discovery and a wonderful experience for me. I can now sit back and share in my grandchildren’s enjoyment as they ride the large dapple grey in the photographs.

Ray with his grandchildren enjoying their Rocking Horse

I have now embarked upon rocking horse number two, having learnt so much from making my first horse.

Friday, 24 February 2012

February Rocking Horse Head Carving Course

Students joined us once again in our purpose built carving studios at The Rocking Horse Shop to carve their Rocking Horse Heads.  Expert Rocking Horse Maker and teacher Anthony Dew showed them the traditional approach to Rocking Horse carving using hand tools. The student thoroughly enjoyed the course and carved some beautiful heads.

These courses are aimed at those wishing to make a traditional carved Rocking Horse. Renowned expert Anthony Dew will show you the traditional approach to Rocking Horse carving using hand tools. Previous carving experience in not necessary - all skill levels are accommodated, and each student will successfully complete the carving of a Rocking Horse's head during the Course!

The course fee includes:-

  • Three days individual tuition with master carver Anthony Dew
  • Use of workshop equipment and all carving tools (but you are very welcome to bring your own)
  • Lunch, usually cold meats and salads, as well as refreshments
  • Head & Neck Timber for Medium Size Horse, prepared ready for you to commence carving. (Several 'alternative' medium size heads will be offered. You may upgrade to Large at an additional cost of £15.)

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Phil Henry Restores his Rocking Horse with accessories from The Rocking Horse Shop

Rocking Horse Before Restoration

Rocking Horse Restored by Phil Henry

I just wanted to thank everyone at The Rocking Horse Shop for your assistance in my restoration
I could not be happier with the products and the level of customer service, I
will recommend your company any chance I get. I've attached some before and
after photos. Again, my sincerest thanks!!!

Kindest regards,
Phil Henry

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Rocking Horse for the Ronald MacDonald Centre by Ben Cotton

Ben sent us this fantastic email....

Over the years I have purchased your Rocking Horse kits, when
I lived in Scotland and later from Ontario, after I emigrated here to join my family members.
Below are a few photos of my latest horse, which is my seventh and I
thought my last. I had already supplied my family with their heirlooms so
this one I donated to the Ronald MacDonald Centre in Red Deer Alberta.
This is a care centre attached to the Red Deer Hospital and it provides full
accommodation and living facilities for remote families who are visiting
relatives at the hospital. The Ronald MacDonald House had a public open day,
the rocking horse was very well received.The horse was made from the Large Horse kit, I extended the body by 6
inches to accommodate the child's Western Saddle (a safety consideration for
the young kids). I also had to extend the hoof runners. The motion is still
very good and I am quite pleased with it.
I now realise that I got so much satisfaction from carving these horses that
I am going to do another.

Ben Cotton is a member of our Guild of Rocking Horse Makers

Dreams are made of wood......

I am a retired joiner/cabinet maker, living in Newmarket, Suffolk.  I made my first rocking horse in 1986 for my young granddaughter Stephanie, using pine and 12mm birch ply.  The design was taken from a plan published in Woodworking magazine.  The following year, my daughters entered the horse into the national Woodworker Show at Alexandra Palace and I was surprised and delighted to be awarded a Silver Medal.  I then received a commission from Pye Television to build a horse to be raffled at their Pye TV Awards at the London Hilton in the presence of HRH Princess Anne.  It was an appropriate raffle prize as the beneficiary was Riding for the Disabled.

I have since made five more rocking horses for friends’ children (and a rocking horse seat!).  Then, in 2011, I attended Fangfest and was motivated to buy a plan for a medium rocking horse.  So, after a break of many years and at the tender age of 77, I built the horse as an heirloom for my grandson Shaun to hand down to his family – even though he doesn’t have any children yet!  The bug has well and truly bitten as I am now halfway into another horse with a further order pending for a family friend.

Roy Gardiner is a member of our Guild of Rocking Horse Makers.