Rocking Horse Restoration

Some horses need help

On arrival most rocking horses have several layers of shiny gloss paint, masking their original appearance. They may also have broken ears, jaws, legs, eyes etc. Restoration involves removing any added paint, stripping the gesso if it is in bad condition, repairing woodwork (and woodworm damage), re-gessoing, repainting, repairing or making tack, fixing the stand and putting everything back together.

All the horses I restore come with a picture record ( usually on a CD ) of the restoration process. You can see exactly what has been done, ie how much wood, tack, fittings and paint have been replaced. This is of value if the horse is ever to be resold as you can prove how much of the original horse remains and show that the restoration work has been properly done.

Occasionally a rocking horse arrives with its original paintwork - a treat! In these cases the paintwork and features are preserved as far as possible. The knocks, scratches and small cracks that these rocking horses show are not flaws but honourable scars from years of use and this patina should not be removed. Any missing parts are replaced as sympathetically as possible. This picture shows what can be done by overpainting the damaged areas, enhancing the dapples, repairing the serious cracks and replacing the hair and tack. The horse still looks his age and retains about 70% of its original paint. Jim before and after restoration

The following pictures show some of the stages of rocking horse restoration.
(and before you ask, names are easier than stock numbers - that's the theory anyway)