Yorkshire Rocking Horses

Restoration Work

Yorkshire Rocking Horses

Restoration, Conservation & Repairs

Does your horse resemble the photo below or any of those further down this page?

Collinson Rocking Horse Before Restoration

Collinson Rocking Horse After Restoration

In the past we have had rocking horses brought to us in bits contained within a seed sack. And generally, all the parts are there.

One old horse had been left on the backdoor step of a house for decades. The rain had washed every bit of glue away and yet the horse clung onto an inner life hoping one day someone would come along and mend all his broken parts so that he could be restored to his true spirit and ride again for a new generation of children.

And yes, he got restored and looked fantastic.

Ayres Rocking Horse (2) Before Restoration

Ayres Rocking Horse (2) After Restoration

There is never a horse that is too far gone that it can’t be saved. They are all worthy of restoration and you might well be surprised how valuable old rocking horses are.

Restoration covers a wide variety of work that is carried out on old rocking horses.

The work that might be carried out breaks down into three categories; Restoration, Conservation and Repairs.

Over 30 years experience in making and restoring rocking horses ensures that valued horses brought to us for any type of remedial work will be beautifully, sympathetically and authentically restored.

Ayres Rocking Horse (3) Before Restoration

Ayres Rocking Horse (3) After Restoration

Restoration

In a way restoration of a rocking horse combines all three categories.

Sometimes a horse will have a loose fitting or broken leg and so a new leg might be made or the original one re-glued. The remaining paintwork may be so original and in such good condition that conserving this original dappling might be advised.

More commonly a rocking horse is in a very poor state, broken legs missing jaw loose neck, no mane or tail and the saddle non-existent.

Is so then here a full restoration is usually the order of the day.

Baby Carriage Rocking Horse Before Restoration

Baby Carriage Rocking Horse After Restoration

All loose parts are taken off and checked over to be re-glued into its original site.

All loose paint / plasterwork may have to be removed and a new coat of gesso applied followed by its under coats and final dappling.

A new mane and tail using horsehair tanned on the skin is fitted along with a matching tail. There are numerous colours of horsehair but generally greys, honey browns and blacks are very popular.

The stand often arrives painted and most customers will like the stand returned to a polished wood finish. Stands have to take all the stress of the horse and rider and many years of heavy use usually renders them wobbly. They need taking apart and re-gluing

The saddle will perhaps be missing but here we keep original patterns of all saddles fitted to the various rocking horses – a very big variety.

Real leather is normally fitted but there are some makes of rocking horse that used leatherette, fabrics or PVC.

Lines ‘Sportyboy’ Rocking Horse (3) Before Restoration

Lines ‘Sportyboy’ Rocking Horse (3) After Restoration

Conservation

Sometimes a horse will appear sporting its original paintwork that is in very good condition; we will always advise at this point the significance of this feature and if requested will carefully make minor touching up having removed years of grease and grime. The final finish will be consolidated with modern consolidates.

We generally use Paraloid B-72 where damage is not too severe. It dries invisible and is light resistant and moisture resistant.

A glaze can then be applied to lift the vibrancy of the colours. sometimes consolidation is a similar price to repainting but occasionally will be slightly more expensive.

A horse that is able to keep its original finish unquestionably looks a magnificent creature with all its 100 years or more history on show.

The mane and tail, if still good can likewise be kept and if necessary enhanced with matching hair.

The saddle can be removed and cleaned and its leather receive leather supplements to extend its life.

Lines Rocking Horse Before Restoration

Lines Rocking Horse After Restoration

Repairs

Not all customers will want a full restoration but may simply want their horse made serviceable again without repainting or new saddle.

Things that are advised be looked at by the customer will be safety items. Are the stirrup leathers strong, is the stand in danger of collapse, are there any loose pins or nails and are the reigns strong.

A horse can come away from the workshops in a good state of repair at minimal cost and be good for the next 50 years.

Ayres Rocking Horse Before Restoration 

Ayres Rocking Horse After Restoration

Horse Type

It’s very important to distinguish the various makers of rocking horse.

Each maker had their own particular pattern of painting, hair types, sometimes cow hair was used exclusively.

The pattern of the saddle was also unique to each maker. The materials used varied according to these differing patterns, cloth leather or PVC being used all on one horse in some cases.

Height from Floor to EarRestoration Price
18"-28" (46-72cm)£850
29"-38" (73-98cm)£950
39"-46" (99-117cm)£1050
47"-52" (118-132cm)£1200

A full breakdown of restoration costs are available, please contact us for more details. As a guideline a new saddle may cost around £200; a new tail £85 and a bridle also £85. Prices vary according to the size of the rocking horse.

Collinson Rocking Horse (2) Before Restoration

Collinson Rocking Horse (2) After Restoration

Collinson Rocking Horse (3) Before Restoration

Collinson Rocking Horse (3) After Restoration

Lines Bow Rocker Rocking Horse Before Restoration

Lines Bow Rocker Rocking Horse After Restoration