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Rocking Horse Buyer's Guide

Before you buy ANY rocking toy, be sure to ask these 5 questions.

What size rocking toy should I buy?
Will the toy be safe?
How much should I spend on a rocking toy?
Will the toy need to be assembled?
Is the rocking toy guaranteed?

What size rocking toy should I buy?

This depends on the size of the child you’re buying for and your preference for how long the horse can be used.

How will the horse be used?
Do you want the child to be able to grow into the horse, so that it’s usable for a longer period of time? Or do you want the horse to be just the right size for the child at their current age?

What is the height of the rocking horse seat?
If you want the horse to be just the right size for the child when they receive it, this is the most important factor that affects whether or not a child can safely get on and off the horse by themself. Compare the floor to seat measurement of the rocking toy with the child's inseam measurement to get an approximate size comparison.

Will the toy be safe?

A well-designed and well-made rocking horse is a safe toy that can provide years of entertainment and enjoyment. As with any toy, adults must be watchful when children are at play and make sure it doesn’t present a hazard when not in use.

Rocking Toy Safety Checklist

Before you purchase a horse:
  • Make sure that all finishes are non-toxic.
When you receive the horse:
  • Check that all embellishments such as eyes, manes, tails and saddles are firmly attached.
  • Make sure the child can easily and comfortably get on and off the horse. If the child has not fully “grown into” the horse yet, make sure they are supervised when using it.
  • Make sure the rocking toy is steady and stable enough to permit safe mounting, and does not rock so far that it might tip forwards or backwards.
  • Use the horse in an open area (not too close to furniture) with carpet or other padding on the floor, to reduce the risk of injury in case the child should fall.
  • Supervise play closely, particularly mounting and dismounting, and discourage any attempts to rock too vigorously.

How much should I spend on a rocking toy?

To find the best combination of price and style, consider who will be using it, where it will be used and how long it will be used:
  • Will the rocking toy be a gift for a newborn or will it be ridden daily by an energetic 3-year-old and friends?
  • Will it be used as a display piece in a home or place of business?
  • How much space is available in the room where the toy will be kept?
  • Is this toy meant to be a family heirloom or will it be replaced when the child outgrows it?
There are quality rocking toys to fit almost any budget. Here are some examples of what's available in various price ranges:
  • If you're looking for a smart buy, you can have a good-looking, sturdy classic wooden rocking horse for under $100.
  • For under $200, you have a much broader selection. You'll find more styles of classic wooden horses, custom hand-painted horses, classic horses large enough for older children and other rocking animals.
  • If you're looking for a really special gift, you can find plush rocking horses, safari animals, solid hardwood horses and rocking vehicles in the above $200 range.

Will the toy need to be assembled?

Many, but not all, rocking toys arrive fully assembled. To avoid any last minute surprises, be sure to find out up front if any assembly is required. If it is, ask:
  • How much assembly is required?
  • What tools are needed?
  • Are instructions and hardware included?

Is the rocking toy guaranteed?

Don't assume that the rocking toy you purchase is fully guaranteed. Make sure of the following before you pull out your credit card!
  • Under what conditions can I return the rocking toy? If I don't like it? If it's damaged?
  • Is there a time limit to return the rocking toy?
  • Would I be responsible for return shipping? (This is important to know with a large item such as a rocking horse).
  • If I return the toy, will I receive a full refund? How long will it take to process my refund?

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