Best stick horse toy

Theme Toys

Stick horses have looked largely the same over the years, although earlier versions would have had heads carved out of wood rather than plush materials, and relatively large wheels often made of metal.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which stick horse toy is best?

Owning a pony was the childhood dream of many. Kids of today aren’t so different. Many of them would love ponies of their very own. Even if you live on horse property and have thousands of dollars to spare, a real pony might not be the safest idea for a young child. A stick-horse toy offers hours of fun in the safety of your house and yard, and even the best ones only cost about $40. The HollyHOME Stick Horse With Wood Wheels is a prime example. Your child can create many new adventures with this fun friend that features neighing and galloping sounds.

What to know before you buy a stick horse toy

Safety first

Toys go through a lot of safety considerations and inspections before you see them on the shelf, but it is worth checking for the basics before handing over any toy. Remove all tags and other choking hazards, especially if you have kids under the age of 3 in the house. Children under that age will put things in their mouth as they explore. The reins are purposely kept short on these toys but make sure the kids don’t add longer ones, which could add to potential choking or strangulation hazards.

Science of low-tech toys

With all the emphasis on STEM education, it may feel like you need to have your toddlers learning to code before age 4. After all, they may already be helping you troubleshoot your iPhone by then. However, experts say there is still a place for low-tech toys in child development. Replacing traditional toys with electronic, screen-based activities is not the solution for preparing children for the modern world. The right low-tech toys are the building blocks for social and other kinds of development.

Good company

As your child gallops into the sunset with their new stick horse, it can be fun to think of the very old tradition it represents. There are woodcuts of children playing on stick horses going back to the 1500s. Many generations of children have enjoyed this toy.

What to look for in a quality stick horse toy

Sounds

With imagination, your child can recreate the sounds of galloping and neighing, but having pre-recorded sounds available at the push of a button is a nice option. If it becomes less than nice, you can take the batteries out on most models.

Wheels 

Many of the models come with wheels on the bottom so your child can move around more quickly and easily. This may add to the price, but not dramatically.

Adjustable length

Children grow fast, so stick horses with adjustable sticks are nice. You won’t have to purchase a new horse every six months. It can also make the horse useful for multiple children.

Harness 

None of the toy horses are too realistic. The harness generally is plastic, not leather. Some of the models have a slightly more-realistic bit in the horse’s mouth that could be made of metal, though.

Handles 

Some of the models have handles on either side of the head in addition to the harness. This is a great feature for a little more stability and flexibility, and it might mean the harness straps last just a little longer.

How much you can expect to spend on a stick horse toy

There are a few in the $12-$14 range, but most stick-horse toys are $25-$40 depending on the number of features. There are quite a few vintage options on the market for adult collectors, which cost hundreds.

Stick horse toy FAQ

What were the first toys?

A. No one knows for sure but it appears dolls were around in ancient civilizations before anything else. Yo-yos also go pretty far back. There are yo-yos depicted on vases as early as 500 B.C.

Is a hobby horse the same thing?

A. Stick-horse toys are sometimes called hobby horses. However, other things are also called hobby horses, including one early predecessor of the bicycle that didn’t have pedals.

What’s the best stick horse toy to buy?

Top stick horse toy

Best stick horse toys

HollyHOME Stick Horse With Wood Wheels

What you need to know: This is a darling horse that has a voice of its own with natural-sounding neighing and galloping that plays once you add batteries.

What you’ll love: Hold it by the reins or two handles on either side. The wheels ill make it fun and fast on hard surfaces, indoors or out.

What you should consider: This one does not have an adjustable stick so you may end up buying another as your child grows.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top stick horse toy for the money

Linzy Hobby Horse

Linzy Hobby Horse

What you need to know: This is a well-regarded product at an affordable price.

What you’ll love: The telescoping adjustable head is nice if you have more than one child who wants to play with the horse. This one includes neighing and galloping sounds.

What you should consider: The batteries are not replaceable so when the sound stops, that’s it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Schylling Pony Trails Stick Horse

Schylling Pony Trails Stick Horse

What you need to know: This one is not adjustable but it includes a lot for the price.

What you’ll love: This is one of the few that has a tail. The harness is more realistic than many. 

What you should consider: There is a galloping sound only – no neighing – and some reported the sound didn’t work for long.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

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

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Most Popular