There are many rocking horse plans available, in sizes that range from toddler to adult-sized horses. Plans for rocking horses may include specialized detailing allowing it to become a circus or carousel horse or a knights battle horse. There are plans for rocking cows, rocking donkeys, rocking teams of horses and many more. Choosing which plan to use may take more time than building the rocking horse.
Before choosing a woodworking plan to build a rocking horse consider the age of the child for which it is intended. Some plans will indicate age appropriate designs. Taller rocking horses would be a fall hazard for a toddler. A toddler-sized rocking horse would not allow a pre-school child to rock. Some of the rocking horse plans include metal hardware and slats that could pose problems for younger children. Woodworking plans are detailed and many provide pictures of the finished project. Choosing a plan that is right for the child will provide many hours of imaginative fun and enjoyment.
There are many types of wood available for constructing rocking horses. Beginning woodworkers should consider making their first rocking horse from pine. Pine is inexpensive and is easy to work with. Carousel and circus horses have painted decorations. Using a less expensive type of wood is smart since the grain of more expensive woods would be hidden under paint. Once familiar with the plans, cherry, oak, walnut and ash are excellent choices for rocking horses. Using more than one type of wood will allow you to use heavy hardwoods on the lower parts providing stability while constructing the upper parts from a lighter less dense wood allows more ease in movement.
There are as many ways to finish rocking horses as there are plans to build them. Wood stains are available in many shades for all types of wood. Stains for wood are also available in colors to match or accent any décor. Plans occasionally come with finishing suggestions and tips. Varnish or polyurethane will produce a shiny finish while oils produce a soft natural finish. Painting the completed horse allows for unique and personalized finishes. Little girls might prefer a carousel horse while little boys who dream of being a knight might prefer an armored knights horse.
Rocking horses are unique toys for children. Some plans list special materials that will allow the project to come alive. Yarn or unbraided rope can be added for the mane and tail. Covering the seat area with leather and adding reins gives a western rocking horse the feel of a real cowboys horse. Using fur, thick material or some other fabric can help protect toddlers from hard surfaces when placed on the seat, and used as manes and tails. Metal studs can be added to work horses along with leather harnesses to provide an authentic feel to a Clydesdale rocking horse.
Rocking horse plans are plentiful and many are available online for all woodworking skill levels. Talking to the little one who will receive the rocking horse may help in choosing the right set of plans.