banner
Aged Wood

Blog

­

Upcoming Shows

The Rocking Horses are on the road again!

Our fine wooden Rocking Horses are on display with a selection of fantastic accessories at the Northland Field Days at the start of March and then on to the Kumeu Show a couple of weeks later.

Come along for a great day out and check out our hand crafted Rocking Horses in all their glory and maybe even take one for a test rock!

The Northland Field Days run from 2 – 4 March at the corner of Awakino Point East Road and State Highway 14, Dargaville. The Kumeu A&P Show runs 11 – 12 March at the Kumeu Showgrounds on Access Road in Kumeu. See you there!

See you there!

By |February 11th, 2017|

How The Rocking Horse Place Came About

I have always wanted to make a rocking horse. It was something that has been at the back of my mind since I was a teenager.  Eventually it was the right time and I made Dobbin. Dobbin looked good but he could have been better. I was hooked. I made 3 before I was satisfied that I had them right.

So I was making rocking horses. I wanted to make more.  What was I to do with them?

It was at this time that the Palomino Rocking horses were looking for a new home.  Should I keep making rocking horses? Yes I wanted to so the Palomino Rocking horses came to join the Timberhorse rocking horses. We had a stable of rocking horses.

It was at this point that we needed to market our rocking horses. We built a website. Now we are real. We needed to get our name out into the community. We then started going to shows. This was a really great experience. The people we met were great and I so enjoyed talking to them about rocking horses.

At the beginning of 2015 we got a surprise email. John and Carolann of the Classic Kiwi Rocking horses were thinking of retiring.  Would the Classic Kiwi rocking horses fit into our stable? They had been making beautiful horses of John’s design for over ten years.  Of course there is always room for more rocking horses. So in the early stages of 2015 we took on the Classic Kiwi rocking horses.

I needed help. I had been making the rocking horses and running the business more or less by myself. Dick, my husband, had been helping on a casual basis but I needed more help. He stepped  up  and we spent more and more time working on rocking horses together. We now had 2 websites and three ranges of rocking horses. What was the best way to combine the two? For almost a year we ran the two websites and showed the three ranges at home shows etc together but separately. I talked to a lot of people about the situation. I sought as much advice as I could get hold of.  A decision was made. We needed one identity. We needed a name.

When we made a phone call or introduced ourselves to someone we had a tendency to say we were from the Rocking horse place so it seemed a natural progression to put all the rocking horses under the umbrella of ‘The Rocking Horse Place’. We reassessed all the rocking horses we were making. There were the Timberhorse  rocking horses, made out of beautiful timbers. We had the Palomino Rocking horses made from laminated plywood. These are designed by Theo Bladen. This group had a few additions. We had introduced the zebra and giraffe. Where did they fit? We also had the Classic Kiwi rocking horses. They had three sizes of horses and a lion and dragon. The zebra, giraffe, lion and dragon aren’t rocking horses. They needed to be wild animals in a group of their own. The Wild Ones were formed.

So 2016 is another year of change. We are rebranding and setting up a new website. It is very exciting and will help our customers be aware of the full range we have. At the shows we will be ‘The Rocking Horse Place’ with all that that entails. It will be fun.

By |January 26th, 2016|

The New Members of our Stables for 2014

This has been an amazing year for the Palomino rocking horse Stables. We have been busy with the Home Shows that we visited around the country. We had two new rocking horses which were very well received. One was our stunning Zebra.

He was fun to paint although it was very time consuming but he just came alive as each stripe was added. The second new horse to make an appearance was Tane. He is a wooden rocking horse completely made from Swamp Kauri. Even his stand is kauri as he is too beautiful to sit on our ordinary pine stand. The extra kauri for the stand meant that he became our most expensive horse but he looks magnificent.

In the course of the year we have met many amazing people who have really enjoyed our rocking horses and there are now quite a few Palominos and Timber horses which are giving hours of enjoyment to different families.

By |January 6th, 2014|

One of those surprises at palomino rocking horses

At the end of last year I had the opportunity to have a short tramping holiday in Nepal. What a great country and what great people. I enjoyed the whole thing and would recommend it to anyone. One of the big surprises was to discover rocking horses. They were all similar and one stole my heart. Of course I needed to bring one home. They are quite different to my horses and are covered in carving.

How do you bring a rocking horse home from a holiday. He is a small horse and stands at about 80cm to the top of his head.

There is really only one way to do it and that is to wrap it in your sleeping bag with alot of rope. First it needed to be cleaned as most things in Nepal are dusty. I knew he would be inspected by customs to get him into New Zealand so he needed to be clean. Always travel with wet wipes. Just incase you need to clean a rocking horse in your hotel room. By giving him a good clean I was also able to inspect him for any insect holes that may mean him would need to be fumigated. No holes found so that was a good sign.

I knew immediately that I would call him Ghoda. This is Nepalese for horse. All my horses have name plaques on them so I wanted to get Ghoda one while I was still in Nepal. I wasn’t sure where I would find an engraver but I went in search. Just around the corner from my hotel I found a gentleman making small signs for tourists with Nepalese words, greeting etc. I asked if they would take a commission and make a name plate for Ghoda. The writing on the right of the sign is Nepalese lettering for Ghoda.

The plaque fitted beautifully on the board between the rockers.

I declared one timber rocking horse as I came through customs. Following a thorough inspection him was allowed to go straight through with no fumigation. Ghoda has met the other horses at the palomino rocking horses and is proving to be a great asset.

By |January 6th, 2013|

Our Black Beauty makes his debut

It all started with a beautiful pair of silver plated stirrups. They were found at an antique show and I knew I needed to make a rocking horse to show them at their best. He needed to be a big black horse on Victorian boat rockers.

I made him and he became an amazing lovely black rocking horse. He is almost 2.5 metres long and was going to require a very special ( and large ) home to show him off to his best.  He looked so good that I decided he needed a special little saddle so I imported an English riding saddle which just sets him off.  A white sheep skin finished the look.

As he is so big ( he takes up over 1 metre more in length than the other rocking horses we have ) I thought it would be awhile before he found his home but I was mistaken he has found it and will be delivered in time for Christmas. Not only that but I have an order for a second Black Beauty. Unfortunately I only have one pair of antique stirrups but he will still look awesome and will make such a statement in his new home.

By |January 5th, 2013|

How I started making rocking horses

I have always wanted to make a large wooden rocking horse. The beautiful timber finish is just lovely. This is how I got started making rocking horses.

Of course to carve a horse you would need to study the anatomy of a horse. The body needs to be in proportion for it to look right.

Hold on! Rocking horses have been made for many years. In fact the rocking horse dates back to the 17th century. Someone has already done the study. This was a very exciting revelation for me. I could get going on making my horse. So in 2011 I started.

The plans I had called for specific sizes of timber so I sourced the sizes as required and Dobbin began to be formed. My long suffering family had to put up with regular reports of his progress. His head emerged, his body grew and his legs were shaped. This all went together and formed my beautiful horse. I had bought the timber in the required sizes so some was treated and some was untreated. This meant that Dobbin had a green tinge to some of areas while others were the beautiful untreated wood grain. Not a good look for a horse. I needed to cover this so Dobbin needed to be stained a lovely dark brown. I found a mane and tail for him. He was becoming a beautiful creature. He needed rockers, so rockers he got and after being fitted with a lovely leather bridle and a pair of glass eyes he was complete.

I stood back to look at what was my first formed. Wouldn’t it be good if he was just plain wood grain? No treated timber. He would look good if he had a muscle here and here, a tummy here, a rump here, more shaping here.

Oh dear, the need to make a rocking horse had not been fulfilled. I now needed to make a better rocking horse.

So I started to make Neddy. Having made Dobbin I now knew how the horse was assembled so I understood how it could be put together out of the different sizes of untreated timbers I found easily available. This was a hobby so I was sourcing timber from the retailers. So Neddy emerged and yes he was better.

It was during this period of time that I came across a tutor. Someone who could help me develop my skills and teach me new skills in working with timber. I learnt to use a lathe. This meant I could now turn poles to put Neddy on to a stand rather than on rockers. I am going through a wonderful adventure of learning which has meant the rocking horses have become a passion. It is very trendy to be passionate about something at the moment but I have to admit that I have a passion. Rocking Horses!!!

As one horse became two horses they then became three horses and then four. My family who had been watching this progress had now become a little concerned. How many rocking horses can the average family home contain? These are big horses. They do take up a bit of room although by this stage there were now different sizes. What are you doing?

Making rocking horses is a passion!

Wouldn’t one made out of different timber be great?

Macrocarpa, a beautiful golden colour. Old oak furniture? Interesting. Yes a lovely grain. “Oaken” made from recycled oak looks great.

Recycled Rimu looks great. I live in Northland in New Zealand so the ultimate would be a beautiful Kauri horse. My house is becoming over run. Luckily my long suffering husband is also developing a liking for rocking horses.

Then towards the end of 2012 the Palomino Rocking Horses were looking for a home. Is this where I am headed? Yes I want to do this but should I? This required much consulting. My tutor said yes, it would be a natural progression for me. Family? I think they were pleased at the thought there would be some direction to Shona’s Rocking Horse Stables.

So the Palomino Rocking Horses have joined Timberhorse Rocking Horses in Shona’s Rocking horse Stables. This is both a very exciting time and a very challenging time but mostly it has been fun as I have seen my rocking horses develop. I am very excited about the horses that I have made and those I have yet to make. Each one is special. The adventure is great and we will see where the horses take us.

By |January 3rd, 2012|