These horses require very labor intensive hand crafting. I made two horses.
Each one took 6 months to craft in my spare time. (click
images to enlarge)
Horse 1 "Gabrielle"
This is the first Victorian horse I made. The pictures
below, 'Creating a Horse', are a
chronology of her construction.
head position on this horse was changed to tilt higher.
The horses were created from plans contained in the book
“Making Rocking Horses” by Anthony Dew. They are entirely hand carved,
mainly from pine
with the exception of the legs, which are made of laminated oak. The laminated
construction gives the horse great strength in places which would be weak such
as fetlocks and ears. The horses can withstand extremes of humidity and temperature without movement, which would be impossible if they were
carved from a single block.
Before the detailed carving began, more than two dozen pieces
that make up the body of the horse were hand fitted, doweled & glued
After carving and sanding, shellac was applied to seal the
wood. A mixture of rabbit skin glue and gilders whiting was then applied
[gesso] to give the entire horse a ’shell like’ coating. After which an
oil-based primer was applied, followed by two coats of enamel paint. The
dappling effect was applied using a piece of fine muslin wrapped around a
small piece of foam rubber, dipped into black paint and dabbed onto the
Tack consists of a handmade genuine leather bridle, complete
with noseband and bit, breastplate & saddle with girth & stirrups.
It is all individually detachable and is made from real leather. The leather
saddle and saddle flaps were cut from leather panels that were hand stained
with the edges beveled, burnished and coated. The design in the saddle
block and flaps was hand tooled from a pattern I designed and traced onto the
leather. The bridle was fastened together using leather rivets. The buckles enable it to be easily removed from the horse’s head.
At the time the horses were made I had no source for real
horse hair so macramé cord was used. I unraveled it, brushed out and glued
into holes drilled along the back of the neck. The tail was made in the same
The “swing stand” is constructed of pine; except the cross
struts which are oak. The spindles were turned on the lathe. All the metal
pieces (e.g. swing irons) were made by hand from either flat steel or
round rod. The stand was stained and polyurethane was applied as a final
The horses measure 49" tall & 20" wide with the safety slide base measuring 8' long. Each horse has an extremely durable finish that is easily maintained with wax polish. If scratched they can be touched up carefully
with clear polyurethane.
Because each horse is hand crafted, each one is unique. Truly a
one of a kind family heirloom to be cherished thru the generations!