One day, it was an empty field, the next, it was filled with rocking horses in various stages of wear, disrepair, and decay
Ponyhenge, also known as the Rocking Horse Graveyard, happened nearly overnight in a once empty field.
First, it was a vast expanse of tall grass that lay unused. It looked just like any other field in a rural town, beautiful for what it was, but uneventful. Then, the owners of the field placed one single rocking horse on their land, a leftover prop from a headless horseman Halloween display.
They never could have imagined what would happen next.
Slowly, without warning, more rocking horses cropped up in the field. A pony here. A pony there. They grew and multiplied until there were too many of them to count, and then they started to move.
Overnight, when any potential witnesses are sound asleep, the toy ponies in the field rearrange themselves into lines and circles. Some sprout surgical masks as a sign of the times.
They all face one direction. Then they line up as if about to engage in the Kentucky Derby, or they form spirals of old toy rocking horses the likes of which you'll never see anywhere else. And it all happens under cover of darkness.
Visitors are welcome. There is only one rule. Be respectful. After all, these toy horses are indeed on private land. The owners are kind enough to permit locals and tourists alike to walk among the ponies at will, and they do.
On nice days, many visitors can be seen taking selfies with the old toys. Smiles abound. Everyone seems respectful, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when many visitors wear masks, even outdoors, and everyone keeps their distance from each other with a wave and a nod.
There's another unspoken rule at the Rocking Horse Graveyard. You can leave behind as many old toy ponies as you like, but you can't take any of the toys with you. They aren't yours to take.
The Rocking Horse Graveyard is the most awesome place in the world because of one rule: You can play with whatever toys you want, as long as you leave them behind when you're done.
After seeing it with my own eyes a few months ago, I was in awe of how many rocking horses were piled up into one spot.
This is a sacred place. But there is no fence or sign to protect it. It has come here, uninvited, from the world at large. And it has found its way into the hearts of those who pass by. The grass and weeds have become a stage for the unique theater of this accidental museum. Happy is the day when a new pony arrives at the Rocking Horse Graveyard.
When you’re bored, visit the Rocking Horse Graveyard, best known as the place where gently used rocking horses are literally put out to pasture. If anyone is curious about the inevitable decay of a rocking horse left out in the sun, wind, rain, and snow, this is the place to go.
Though the place seems a bit creepy, you’ll soon be up close and personal with your favorite childhood toy. The unknown has a certain way of bringing out one’s imagination. Even better, it tells an interesting story that’s relevant to anyone who played with a rocking horse as a child.
There are many toys in the graveyard as you can see in the photos, but it is not a complete collection of all rocking horses. The only way to truly get the full experience is by paying tribute in your own way to the Rocking Horse Graveyard and making your own contribution.
Ponyhenge, a.k.a. the Rocking Horse Graveyard, is located at 47 Old Sudbury Road, Lincoln, Massachusetts 01773.