• Rocking Horse Shop

More information about the Guild of Rocking Horse Makers

The Guild of Rocking Horse Maker
The purpose of The Guild of Rocking Horse Makers is to promote and encourage the traditional Craft of Making Rocking Horses.
Your Invitation to join & become a Member or Friend.
You can join The Guild of Rocking Horse Makers as a MEMBER: Any person who has actually made a Rocking Horse can apply to become a MEMBER, or as a FRIEND: Everyone else can join as a FRIEND.
Criteria for Members and Friends of The Guild.
Members: To be accepted as a Member of the Guild, you must have made a Rocking Horse ? it's that simple ? the rocking horse doesn't have to be big or elaborate or even original, but it does have to have been made, substantially, by the person for whom Membership is sought.
Applications are accepted from makers (or on behalf of makers), amateur or professional, whose rocking horse(s) may be of any size or type, and may be made to any design, ancient or modem. Bought components, accessories and fittings may be used, but the major work of assembly, carving, painting and finishing the horse must have been done personally by the maker. The principal material used will be wood, though horses made from other materials will be accepted, provided the making involved a high level of input from the applicant personally, using hand tools.

You do not have to be a maker to join The Guild of Rocking Horse Makers: you might be a Restorer, a Collector, an Enthusiast, or just interested in supporting this great traditional craft, we shall welcome you to join as a Friend. We all need Friends!

Members and Friends are invited to send in photographs, letters, anecdotes and any information that may be of interest to the Guild, especially from Members about the making of their own rocking horses. These may be featured in Guild Newsletters or on the Guild website (unless requested otherwise).

Members of The Guild of Rocking Horse Makers receive:

  • A specially designed Certificate of Membership, Achievement and True Craftsmanship. This smart certificate depicts the Guild Logo design in full colour, and each certificate is signed by Guild President Anthony Dew and has the member's name, membership number and date of joining.
  • Entry on the Roll of Guild Membership. An updated list of the Roll is published regularly in the Newsletters (see below) and on the Guild Website. 
  • Preferential Discounts on various things of particular interest to Rocking Horse makers (eg a specially commissioned Rocking Horse Makers Insurance Policy) and an invitation, free to Members, to the Annual Guild barbecue at Fangfest. 
  • An enamel lapel badge depicting the Guild Logo design in full colour. 
  • Discounts! A 5% discount (non?cumulative) off any goods purchased from The Rocking Horse Shop. Also book, tool or merchandise offers with discounts are offered from time to time. 
  • Newsletters ? sent out by post approximately bi?monthly, containing information about Guild activities, updated Roll of new Guild Members and Friends, information about Guild matters, Rocking Horses and their Makers both contemporary and historic, answers to any questions that have come up and so on. Guild news and updates are also posted on the Guild Website. 
  • Access to write on the Guild Website's Bulletin Board using a special password. 
  • Invitations to Guild events, such as the annual Guild Barbecue at Fangfest (see below), and the Annual Guild Dinner in January. 
  • Entry to the Guild Lucky Dip which is drawn approximately bi?monthly. The winner is announced in the Guild Newsletter and on the Website and will be sent a super prize. Guild Memberships and Friendships run to the end of each calendar year, or to the end of the next calendar year if you join after September 1 st.


    What about Joint Memberships?
    Two people (eg a married couple or partners) can apply for Guild Membership on a single application. We would expect this would normally be when each person has made a significant contribution to the making of the rocking horse(s). Only one membership number, one Certificate of Membership, and one badge will be issued (additional badges and duplicate certificates may be purchased), and only one Newsletter will be sent out to Joint Members. Both names will appear on the Certificate and on the Roll of Membership, and there is no additional subscription cost for Joint Memberships. However, offers for Guild Members may be restricted, at The Guild's discretion, to 'one per member' and the first named person on The Roll of Membership shall be deemed to be the 'principal member' to whom offers are made available. Eg the barbecue at Fangfest is 'free to Guild Members' ? but is only free to one, the 'principal member' of a Joint Membership ? the other pays! Similar conditions apply to couples who wish to become Friends of the Guild.

    What are Honorary Memberships?
    A few Rocking Horse makers (a very few!) who have been professional makers for many years and/or who have made a significant contribution to the craft, have been offered an 'Honorary Membership'. (For example Clive Green, who has been a maker and restorer for many years, is author of Restoring Rocking Horses, and is a past Chairman of The British Toymakers Guild, accepted our offer of Honorary Membership, and is Guild Member No l.)

    Fangfest, the 'Fangfoss Festival of the Practical Arts' is a unique event which draws people from far and wide to the village of Fangfoss. A remarkable gathering of rocking horse people (and others!), usually held over the first full weekend in September. Among the many attractions is a Barbecue to which Guild Members and Friends are invited. Guild Members are also invited to bring to Fangfest examples of their work for display near The Guild of Rocking Horse Makers stand, with a prize for the piece of work judged by visitors to be the best.

    Use of the Guild Logo.
    The Guild logo is a unique design which Guild Members have permission to use, for example on letterheads, but the Guild reserves the right to withdraw this permission if it is deemed that the logo is being used in an inappropriate way. It should also be understood that Guild Membership in no way implies any form of guarantee of quality or fitness for purpose. Items of Guild merchandise emblazoned with six colour embroidered Guild logos are available for purchase by Members or Friends: fleeces, body warmers, baseball caps, polo shirts etc. Also enamel lapel badges, and woven badges which can be stitched onto any garment. More to come!

    The Guild...
    After the Second World War the craft of rocking horse making declined and almost died. Then came a revival, and now the craft is thriving again with enthusiasts, collectors and makers in many parts of the world. The Guild of Rocking Horse Makers was founded in 1999 by Anthony Dew to bring together and provide a forum for all those who participate in or appreciate this delightful traditional craft. In its first two years the Guild attracted over 500 Members from 14 countries around the world! We hope you will support us by becoming a Member or Friend.

    How do join?
    Simply select one of the options below to add membership to your shopping basket.
    The Guild of Rocking Horse Makers reserves the right to decline to accept an application without giving any reason (but is unlikely to do so!).



the Guild of Rocking Horse Makers


If you have made a rocking horse you can join this exclusive association of makers, dedicated to keeping alive the great tradition of the craft, sharing ideas and exploring new developments..

more info JOIN NOW


your membership of the Guild of Rocking Horse


Renew your 'full' or 'friends' membership online.

more info RENEW NOW

Become a Friend

of the Guild of Rocking Horse Makers


Everyone can join as a friend.

more info JOIN NOW
Featured Products

" For me it was a first working with sharp chisels and wood but within the first hour of the course we were given enough confindence to begin to shape our horses heads and by the end of the three days we all came away with heads we could hold up with pride. The whole course was well planned and we never were never made to feel the beginers we were. I now have an almost complete horse getting ready for his saddle, main and tail after countless hours of fun and head scratching. Try it! "

Bob Hacking

" As a competent hobby woodworker, but with no woodcarving experience. Miraculously, at the end of three days, I found myself in possession of a very presentable carved head, greatly exceeding my expectations. The team were able to give just the right level of help or advice to a pretty varied bunch of students. Everyone at the Rocking Horse Shop was very pleasant and helpful. Well worth travelling all the way from Kent to Yorkshire for the experience. "

Geoff Gymer

" For woodworkers we offer a range of exclusive DIY plans supported by prepared timber packs, quality accessories & tack and specialist tools. We also hold regular carving courses with tuition by Anthony Dew."

" Highly recommended. I'd never done any woodcarving before and managed to leave with something that looked like a rocking horse head! Very relaxed and friendly atmosphere on the course and I liked the format of demonstrating each stage before letting us loose to have a go ourselves. He provided as much or as little help as requested and at no stage was I ever made to feel like I was going to fail. I am determined to complete the full horse and have in fact now purchased the materials to do so. Go on, give it a go!!! "

Mark Levis

" A cracking course. The team build confidence in both your woodcarving skills but also your artistic interpretation - by the end your horse's head may not look exactly like one of his but it will be pretty darn good! "

Leon Walker

" Every horse is a hand-crafted individual. Ready-to-ride horses are available from stock, or you can commission a 'Special', made to your own preferred size and style. Horses can be shipped to any destination. "

" What a great way to spend 3 days! It was with some trepidation that I arrived at The Rocking Horse Shop to become a student at the 'Carve a Head' course. I had minimal experience with woodwork having made some small wooden toys, but had never tried my hand at carving. The first thing to be said is how friendly everyone was, only 2 mins after entering the premises I had a cup of coffee in my hand. You were never rushed, everything from carving techniques to use of special power tools was very well explained. All 5 students ended up with rocking horse heads that we could be proud of. We had learned the basics of a great craft and had some fun along the way. I have the rest of the timber pack and am now looking forward to completing the whole rocking horse.?If you have ever considered trying your hand at carving or making a complete rocking horse, then put it off no longer, this is the course for you. I can't recommend it highly enough. "

Paul Lattimore

" I am writing to express my appreciation for the great customer service I have received from The Rocking Horse shop during making a Large Rocky Rocking Horse. On the three occasions I either phoned or emailed I was given helpful and friendly advise which was followed by a speedy delivery.  "

Rob Stephens

" I just want to say how wonderful our new rocking horse that you delivered last week is.  It really is a fantastic work of art and I wish to express my sincere thanks to all who worked on it.  It really did exceed all my expectations.  So a massive thank you to everyone.   "

Brian Simpson

" I have to agree with all the positive reviews already made on the 3 day workshop on carving a rocking horse head. I experienced a very well organised course on learning the techniques for using the tools on solid wood without messing up the head right away, leading on to shaping the head as you would like. Just follow what is demonstrated step by step and you will end up with a very professional looking horse’s head and a good working knowledge of how to use the tools. I had already assembled the Large Rocky and carved the body but I needed some practise on a head. This was just what I needed. I am now full of enthusiasm to complete the Large Rocky. Most enjoyable, full of fun and a fabulous active holiday. There were six of us on the course and there were six good looking heads after only three days. I could not recommend this workshop more highly. The only negative is that I had to go home afterwards. "

David Smith

" An excellent course! I was amazed at how well my "head" turned out, not having carved anything at all before. I would highly recommend this course. All members of the Rocking Horse Shop staff were very friendly and extremely helpful. "

Frank Jarvie

" I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for the warm welcome I received last week on the Head Carving Course. It was a genuine pleasure to spend time in the work shop with a highly skilled and creative tutor.  The 3 days provided ample opportunity to share this enthusiasm and to learn from a master craftsman. Thank you again for your support, guidance and timely advice. I feel equipped and inspired to complete my very own medium rocking horse which I am sure will become a munched loved addition to our family.  "

Steve Kibble, Cornwall

" Its hard to find new words to describe this course after looking at all the past reviews. Lets just say it was everything and more that I'd hoped but with great Yorkshire Hospitality thrown in. What a team they have down there. With very little carving experience I came away with a head -- and the rest of the kit to build the whole horse at home. Went on the course at the end of June and I have a completed horse sitting in my conservatory today 2 months later. Support from the Team has been great throughout. Believe me they wont leave you out there on your own if you need assistance. One complaint -- they don't tell you that this is very very addictive. One problem -- which horse to do next. If you are dithering about going on this course, don't, just book it   "

Mike Booth

" This is just to say how delighted I am with our restored rocking horse which arrived safely yesterday.  The handsome horse seems a far cry from the poorly horse we dropped off in May and it is now in pride of place in the dining room awaiting introduction to the grandchildren next week. It has been a pleasure to deal with your enthusiastic team and the result is great. It arrived on time as agreed and on budget. Rosemary Burke "

Rosemary Burke

" Had an great time and learned quite a bit in the three days I was there and it was my first course on carving and I will def think of doing something else again soonish lol. The team made me very welcome and have no hesitations what so ever in recommending this course. "

Ian Wilson

" We love the rocking horse - it is absolutely as we wanted it. Thank you!  "

Denise Caruth Stevenson