Carousels inspire the imagination of children, revive the inner child hidden in adults, and bring a whisper of days gone by to everyone who admires them. No matter your age, there is something magical about the graceful horses whirling by. There are full-size carousel horses for sale, allowing you to feel the magic every day.
These carnival rides have been around for hundreds of years, but truly became popular in America in the early 1900's. Artisans were building large machines, with elaborate, magical animals. Plain benches gave way to chariots, adorned with the skills of old-world craftsman who took great pride in their craft. Where European versions featured static animals that stood still, the American versions gave the animal's life, spirit, and character. Rather than standing meekly, the animals tossed their heads, their manes streaming behind them as though they were running in the wind, or prancing proudly along a street. The carousel horses came alive, and the variety of animals to be found extended well beyond just equines.
Once upon a time, a carousel would have a hanging brass ring. If a rider could reach out and grab the ring, they could ride again for free. While this tradition of grabbing for the brass ring has largely disappeared, many people can remember riding on a magnificent horse and reaching out for that elusive brass ring.
Whether it was at a county fair, or an expensive theme park, most people have clear memories of going around and around on a magical steed. The movement of the horse felt real, the speed of the ride made you feel like you were flying. And for a little while, you weren't on a ride at a park, but tearing across the countryside on a real horse. Or maybe you were flying through time on a mythical unicorn, or traveling the ocean on a dolphin. But you weren't just on a carnival ride, you were going someplace wonderful, on an amazing steed. When you add one of these wonderful animals to your collections, you can feel that magic again.
The modern horses are mainly made of plastic and resins. However, antique horses can be given new life through careful restoration. And the art of carving them is not completely lost. There are modern carvers who take pride in carving the animals using the traditional methods. A wooden carousel horse is truly a piece of history, a reminder of days gone by, your own little piece of whimsy and magic.