The rocking horse is one of the few toys that has stood the test of time. These ride-on toys have sparked the imagination of multiple generations. It turns out that they have more to offer than fun and pleasing aesthetics. As a matter of fact, rocking horses are known to improve children’s balance, coordination, gross motor skills, mood, and focus. They can even be used to provide vestibular stimulation to children on the autistic spectrum.

Today, you can find everything from crude wooden stallions to plush interactive ponies and bouncy spring horses. With that said, here are 10 of our favorites!

Our Top Picks

Melissa & Doug Plush Rocking Horse

Best Overall

Melissa & Doug Plush Rocking Horse

Happy Trails Rocking Haley Horse Ride On

Upgrade Choice

Happy Trails Haley Horse

Little Tikes Blue Rocking Horse

Best Budget Buy

Little Tikes Rocking Horse

Choosing the Best Rocking Horse

Rocking horses are super entertaining. These stalwart steeds also improve children’s coordination, balance, and gross motor skills. They can even help calm children with sensory processing disorders.

Here are a few simple considerations you should make before buying a rocking horse for your little one.

1. Recommended Age

Rocking horses have the potential to serve children from 6 months to 12 years. Of course, the youngest riders require additional safety features, including lowered saddles, harnesses, handles, and a tip-resistant base. Children 12 months and older may appreciate more realistic rocking horses, like those with faux fur and tack. Kids at this age can usually do without the extra safety elements. Rocking horse for kids under 3 should be low to the ground and super stable.

Meanwhile, a toy’s size, weight capacity, and entertainment value should help you decide which rocking horse is right for a child over the age of 3. High-quality materials, such as wood and metal, ensure that a toy can withstand the pressures of the oldest and rowdiest riders.

2. Stability

A rocking horse should have a broad, stable base. Children should be able to rock the pony back and forth without tipping it over. Wooden rockers, which are heavy and durable, are usually the top choice of consumers. Some rocking horses also sit atop gliders. Gliders enable children to rock back and forth without skidding across the floor.

3. Safety

A rocking horse should have a broad, stable base. Children should be able to rock the pony back and forth without tipping it over. Wooden rockers, which are heavy and durable, are usually the top choice of consumers. Some rocking horses also sit atop gliders. Gliders enable children to rock back and forth without skidding across the floor.

4. Safety

Rocking horses that for younger children often feature extra safety features. Some boast low saddles, high backs, and even removable safety straps. Durable handles and stirrups also help to secure tiddlers in place.

5. Style

Rocking horses are available in several unique designs and styles. Choose a rocker with huggable plush fur. Or else, opt for a more traditional wooden rocking horse. Both options look great in nurseries.

6. Special Effects

If you think a traditional rocking horse might lose your little one’s attention, consider a more interactive model. Some of the best rocking horses boast realistic sound effects and interactive accessories. Toys with catchy songs and catchphrases can even help build children’s vocabulary and verbal skills.

6. Convertible

Some manufacturers offer toys that grow with children. A traditional rocker may convert to a ride-on toy, a spring horse, or both. These distinctive toys give parents more bang for their buck.

The Winners

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#1

Melissa & Doug Plush Rocking Horse

Best Overall

Grab the stirrups and giddyap! The lovable Melissa & Doug Plush Rocking Horse features soft faux fur. However, the handles and rockers are made durable hardwood. It can safely accommodate children ages 2 and up. The faux leather bridle and saddle are sure to spark your little one’s imagination. A squeeze of this stallion’s chocolate brown ear generates realistic galloping and neighing sounds.

#2

Happy Trails Haley Horse

Upgrade Choice

The Happy Trails Haley Horse is a dapple-gray pony looking fabulous with its chestnut brown saddle and bridle. The handcrafted hardwood core and rockers make this a timeless nursery accessory. Meanwhile, the horse’s soft gray fur and wispy white mane make it one of the coziest rocking horse’s on our list. Your little equestrian will love galloping back and forth on this enchanting toy.

#3

Little Tikes Blue Rocking Horse

Best for Budget Add alt text

Woah, Nelly! While we love traditional rocking horses, the contemporary Little Tikes Blue Rocking Pony doesn’t disappoint. First off, the plastic exterior makes it a good fit for both indoor and outdoor play sessions. The Little Tikes rocking horse also happens to have ample safety elements, including a wide base, a raised backrest, and lengthy plastic handles. Young children can mount and dismount their blue bronco without tipping it over. Overall, this is an excellent pick for toddlers up to 3 years.

#4

Hape Rock and Ride Horse

Best Wooden Rocking Horse

Your little one will have a blast as they gallop around on this all-wood rocking horse. The minimalistic design of the Hape Rock and Ride may even conjure up childhood memories for some parents. The natural wood finish and right red details look great in modern nurseries and playrooms. The horse’s wide wooden bow enables children to pump freely. The durable materials ensure that riders get years of fun.

This model is suitable for children between the ages of 10 months and 3 years. It even boasts a removable guardrail and backrest, should you want to give your littlest jockeys a turn on this bucking bronco. While the wooden base offers unmatched durability, the rigid saddle may leave some riders feeling sore.

#5

Rockin' Rider 2-in-1 Pony

Best Convertible Rocking Horse

The Rockin’ Rider 2-in-1 Pony has a cuddly plush coat. It easily converts from a rocker to a ride-on toy with the push of a button. Plus, a tug of the pony’s ear enables it to talk and sing. Its mouth even moves along with the audio. Kids will love following their caregivers around on this wheeled pony. We recommend this pick for children 12 months and up.

#6

Rockin' Rider Talking Spring Horse

Best Talking Rocker

Children will love bouncing around on the Rockin’ Rider Talking Spring Horse. The equine is suspended inside a durable steel frame and covered springs. It has a plush coat and a realistic tack, including a personalized saddle, bridle, and reins.

Children can press the horse’s ear to hear six talking phrases and sound effects, including the popular “I’m a Little Pony” song. Parents can reposition the stirrups to accommodate children of different sizes.

This horse is engineered to handle the rockiest of riders. It is a great ride for children between the ages of 2 and 5.

#7

Radio Flyer Champion

Best Interactive Rocking Horse

Champion is Radio Flyer’s modern version of a classic spring horse. This tamed beast lets riders walk, trot, or gallop. Its innovative X-shaped steel frame boasts a plastic EX climb step. The step enables riders to mount and dismount the pony without adult assistance. Durable plastic spring sleeves keep parents from fretting over pinched fingers.

We love that Champion comes with a set of custom equine accessories. The provided carrot activates chewing sounds after it is placed in the rocking horse’s mouth. Meanwhile, the comb enables children to groom their new pet. This high-quality rocking horse is the perfect fit for children between the ages of 2 and 6.

#8

VTech Gallop Learning Pony

Best Educational Rocking Horse

The VTech Gallop Learning Pony can rock and roll! The high-tech pony boasts all sorts of entertaining and educational features. It easily converts from rocker to rider. Plus, it introduces children to colors, numbers, and other essential learning concepts. The horse has a built-in motion sensor, three light-up buttons, a spinning disk, and over 50 unique sound samples. Toddlers will love trotting along on this interactive creature.

Recommended Age: XX+ 
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#9

Rockin' Rider Grow-With-Me Pony

Best for Younger Kids

Raise a little cowboy or cowgirl with the Rockin’ Rider Grow-With-Me Pony. It’s a bouncer, rocker, and spring horse all in one. The conversion takes mere minutes and does not require tools. Legacy (that’s her name) even has a moving mouth and six signature catchphrases. The rocking horse’s plastic base is low to the ground. As such, you don’t have to worry about unscheduled dismounts.

Your child will be thrilled to bounce and rock to the tune of “I’m a Little Pony.” Meanwhile, parents will be pleased with the pony’s removable safety seat. This rocking horse is suitable for children 9 months and up. We only wish that the assembly process wasn’t so time-consuming.

Quick Decision

Melissa & Doug Plush Rocking Horse – Best Overall
This plush pony gives kids the ultimate indoor riding experience.

Happy Trails Haley Horse – Upgrade Choice
Coziest rocking horse’s on our list. Your little equestrian will love galloping back and forth on this enchanting toy.

Little Tikes Blue Rocking Pony – Best Budget Buy
Another excellent option for parents looking for the best budget rocking horse. We love that these toys enable little cowboys and cowgirls to explore the world around them without compromising their safety or comfort.

Childs Stuffed Rocking Toy

STUFFED ROCKING ANIMALS

Looking for a fun ride for your little ones? We’ve rounded up the best stuffed rocking animals your kids will surely enjoy.

Gary B.

Gary B.

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