The earliest rocking horses were bows, although still popular today. If you like the classical style of a bow, then they are worth their own stable.
On the down side, bows take up more space, move about the floor and can trap little fingers, the advent of the Marqua stand in 1880, often referred to as the "Safety Stand", led to an almost overnight replacement of bows.
Bows can still be made, so don't assume that just because a rocking horse is on a bow, it is pre 1880.
Click each picture or link for more details on each rocking horse.