Some fads last for a short time, then dwindle into obscurity, while others stand the test of time. When it comes to children's toys, rocking horses are a prime example of something that has lasted through the centuries. First appearing in England in the 1600s, the iconic rocking horse leapt to popularity in the late 1800s and early 1900s. At that time, a rocking horse was seen as a safe way for a young child to begin to learn the essential skill of horse riding without venturing outside the nursery. Modern and vintage rocking horses consist of a model horse at full gallop sitting atop a deeply curved rocking cradle base.Modern Rocking Horses
Horse riding is no longer an essential life skill, but rocking horses remain as popular as ever. Children are encouraged to use their imagination as they play on a rocking horse, pretending they are galloping along in complete freedom. Early rocking horses were solely constructed of wood, and wooden rocking horses are still readily available today. More common, however, are soft, upholstered rocking horses which provide a level of comfort that their wooden equivalent simply could not offer.Tech Savvy Rocking Horses
Some things change, and some things stay the same – yet the rocking horse has managed to do both during its long history. Wooden, vintage style rocking horses remain popular, while plush rocking horses provide a comfortable ride for younger children. Then there are tech-savvy rocking horses – those that are motion propelled with wheels, pedal rocking horse ride-on toys and even electric powered versions. These newer style rocking horses are designed to move around, needing a larger area than a traditional rocking horse which stayed in one place.Rocking Horses Have Branched Out
Despite still carrying the general name of rocking horse, many sit-on rocking horses take the shape of a wide variety of different animals. While this is a departure from the more traditional idea of the vintage equine shape, it also allows children to use their imagination and grow attached to the animal of their choice. Some rocking horses even take a non-animal form, such as a boat, train or aeroplane.