Frequently asked questions
1. What timber do you
Premium horses are made from Huon Pine or Mahogany. Other timbers may look good but they are more
difficult to carve. If you want a
particular timber, I’m prepared to give
it a go
Likewise with the stand. Premium
horses look best on a stand of Blackwood but I can make them out of any timber
that is available.
2. Is the mane and tail of real horse hair?
Yes. However, on the half size doll's horse I would use hair from a calf.
3. Do you use real leather for the saddle and bridle?
4. Do the swings have hard wearing bushes?
Yes. (Some cheap swings are just metal on timber.)
5. What size is best?
Horses come in four sizes: Large;
medium; small; and very small (ornamental)
large: ages 4 to 16
1520 X 530
height to saddle: 980; 1250 to ears
weight: about 40kg
medium: ages 3 to 10
1360 X 460
height to saddle: 800; 1070 to ears
weight: about 33 kg
small: ages 2 to 6
1070 X 410
height to saddle: 650; 890 to ears
small:Teddy bear or doll
680 X 230
height to saddle: 390; 450 to ears
(size may vary if made to a
the size of your room;
Think about the size, age and number of the children who will use it;
Large will take the weight of a small adult;
A child will grow out of a small one before he/she loses interest in
The very small one is only good for displaying teddy bears or dolls.
6. How much do they
Because this is only a hobby and not a profession, my prices are based on
the cost of making each horse and the cost depends largely on the source of my
timber and how much machining I have to do before I even start assembling the
pieces. For example, I can purchase a kit with all the pieces sized and
shaped for me or I can buy rough sawn timber that has to be planed, sawn and
There is as much work in carving a small horse as in carving a large
The accessories/fittings for a small
horse are not much cheaper than for a large one.
A stand made of pine or recycled timber can be considerably cheaper that
the premium one of Blackwood
Prices I have been asking range from $1500 for the small Maranti horse on
the bow rocker up to $5500 for the large Huon
Pine horse featured on my site.
Rocking horses can be made much cheaper and they function the same as the
expensive ones - the child won’t tell the difference until he/she has grown up
and wants the next generation to play with it.
7. How long does it take
to make a rocking horse?
That will depend on my starting point. If I start with a kit that is ready to assemble and carve, I could
finish the job in three to four weeks, working full time.
Having to scrounge cheaper timber in the rough could add another four
5. Do you paint (gesso)
horses in the traditional way?
Not if I can avoid it. I feel that good
(attractive) timber shouldn’t be covered with paint.
If you want a particular paint finish, I’m
prepared to give it a go, or I can
leave it unpainted for you to do yourself.
6. How long should it last?
If treated as you would a piece of classic indoor furniture it will last
indefinitely but of course it is meant to be played on, so some wear-n-tear is
to be expected.
The premium horses should last for generations if looked after properly.
10. What tools do you
All the usual tools to be found in a typical workshop but the main shaping
tools are carving chisels and spoke shaves
Depending on the particular job, I may use a
power carving disk like the
Arbortech for rough work.
11. Do you restore of repair old horses?
I can, but each one would have to be considered individually.
Do you have a question you would like answered?