Which horse toys are best?

Horses have stolen the imaginations of children for centuries. The magnificence of these creatures has won the hearts of little would-be cowboys, princesses and knights in a million ways. Whether it’s a ride-on horse toy, a stuffed animal or a plastic model, horse toys continue to be a kid favorite. If you’re looking for the best horse toy for a special kid, the My Pony Ride-On Real Walking Horse by Medallion is a spectacular choice.

What to know before you buy a horse toy

When shopping for a horse toy, you’ll need to consider a few factors before making your final purchase decision. 

Power options

Most horse toys don’t require a power source at all. Instead, they’re powered by the child, who moves them along. Some popular horse toys require batteries, however, especially if they light up or play sounds. Ride-on toys may need to be plugged in and charged. For kid-powered ponies, make sure the child can move correctly to make the horse move.

Model type

Spring horse toys allow the rider to bounce up and down while staying in one place. There are also horse toys on wheels that actually move forward. The classic rocking horse is also still a popular toy. Consider which type is appropriate for the child and their house. For example, if the house is full of carpeting, a horse toy on wheels may not work very well.

Size and weight specifications

Horse toys come in different sizes, whether you’re shopping for a plush, a figurine, a pull-toy, or a ride-on. Ones that have small accessories like saddles or brushes may not be appropriate for kids under the age of three. Ride-on horse toys are designed to hold children up to a certain weight, so while you’re investigating size options, check weight limits, too.

What to look for in a quality horse toy

Construction, assembly and features vary considerably from one horse toy to the next. Make sure you look for features that signal a high-quality product before you buy.

Safety features

If you’re buying a ride-on horse toy, several safety features may or may not be present. If the toy has pedals (or stirrups), it should be sturdy and solid, not flimsy plastic. Some toys have safety belts, and some ride-on horse toys have brakes. 

Wheels should be sturdy rubber or PVC and not metal. Some models have safety locks that prevent the toy from moving backward. Stationary horse toys with springs should have covers over those springs to prevent painful pinches.

Sturdy materials and construction

For plush horse toys, you’ll want to take a look at the stitching and seams. Eyes should be securely fastened to the horse toy with stitching (not glue) or painted on. Any detail stitching should be solid and tight. Be cautious if the toy uses felt, iron-on decals, stickers or fabric paints, as these materials are often used on lower-quality toys and fall off quickly.

Molded plastic toys should be free from chips and scratches. Ride-on toys are best made from sturdy steel, rather than styrofoam or plastic with an outer shell.

How much you can expect to spend on a horse toy

The type of toy you choose can impact its price greatly. For example, a figurine could be $8-$15. Ride-on-horse toys can cost $80-$400. This depends on the brand, the type of horse toy and the mechanisms used to make the toy move.

Horse toy FAQ

Are ride-on horse toys safe for toddlers?

A. There are smaller horse toys available designed for toddler riders, so make sure to compare the child’s size, age, and weight with specifications on the toy description. Buying a toy that is too big or too small can lead to injuries.

Which type of horse toy is best for smaller kids?

A. Many caregivers of very young children prefer a stationary toy, such as a rocking horse or a horse that bounces by way of springs instead of one on wheels that moves forward. Avoid toys with small, detachable parts or jagged edges, which can pose a safety risk.

What are the best horse toys to buy?

Top horse toy 

My Pony Ride-On Real Walking Horse by Medallion

My Pony Ride-On Real Walking Horse by Medallion

What you need to know: This horse toy is available in different sizes. The product is well-built and looks great.

What you’ll love: The handles, footrests and wheels are durable and have good placement. The horse is soft, and details are stitched rather than ironed on or painted. Wheels have safety locks to prevent backward travel.

What you should consider: The price for this product is on the high side, but buyers say it’s worth it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top horse toy for the money

Melissa & Doug Take-Along Show Horse Stable Play Set

Melissa & Doug Take-Along Show Horse Stable Play Set

What you need to know: This set includes eight horse figurines in a variety of colors, so kids can easily share them with their horse-loving friends.

What you’ll love: The Melissa & Doug set comes in a wooden carrying case, making it easy to store and protect the toys in between playtime sessions. Kids that love horses can learn about the various breeds shown with an attached guide. It even comes with labels so that children can name their new pet horses.

What you should consider: This set is not designed for children under the age of 3, as it may have parts that could be swallowed accidentally.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Lego Friends Horse Training and Trailer Building Kit

LEGO Friends Horse Training and Trailer Building Kit

What you need to know: This creative kit includes a horse and pony, plus a paddock, figures that can ride within the saddle, accessories and a trailer.

What you’ll love: At an affordable price, this set encourages creative play and allows a child to build an entire storyline to play out.

What you should consider: This set is not recommended for children under the age of 4.

Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s


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Sarah Harris writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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