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Welcome to the restoration services at the Rocking Horse Works. For nearly 35 years we have been restoring and making rocking horses. Choosing to have your rocking horse restored is a great idea. Firstly, it enables future generations to inherit, love and enjoy a great toy from your childhood. And as time goes on, this valuable heirloom goes on increasing and increasing in value: what a treasure. Secondly, although restoration is moderately expensive, you do get a fully functioning rocking horse for approximately half the value of a new rocking horse. Not only have you saved money, but also by choosing to have your horse carefully restored by us you have a horse that will have risen in value in excess of one or more thousands of pounds.
Do you know who made your rocking horse? By looking at the various pictures on this website hopefully you will recognise some of the traits in your horse. There are a few key things to notice such as, are the pillars on your stand square or round? If square, is there a diamond shaped cut-out on top of the stand above each square pillar; this is probably a Collinson made horse from Liverpool, in fact, the shaping of the pillars is a great way of identifying the horse makes.
Restoration costs do not vary according to make but do vary according to the amount of restoration you feel your horse needs (we can advise you on this), but the size of your horse does affect the cost of restoration. You can see by looking at the enclosed price sheet that for ease of pricing we have divided horses up in to four size groups. Measure your horse from floor to ear, whilst the horse is assembled on the stand and you can see at a glance how much each component part of restoration will cost. You may have a budget to work to and you will be able to select from the tables how much to restore within your budget.
All horses have to be identified as this affects the style of restoration. Each manufacturer painted and tacked their rocking horses to their own particular style. Horses are generally restored back to their original manufacturers specification i.e. hair types, saddle styles and painting. However, it is your horse and occasionally a customer may have their own particular ideas on what they want their horse to look like and we are more than happy to accommodate.
You will notice that the painting of the horse is the most expensive part. This is because a horse cannot be painted until the many woodwork faults have been corrected such as legs that have become loose in their sockets and other structural damage to the body in general.
Because of our vast experience in both rocking horse manufacture and restoration we are able to exactly price the various aspects of restoration. This means it is very easy for you to work out how much your restoration will cost. No matter how worn out your horse is, so long as it is all there, those prices shown in our attached price list are guaranteed.
Eventually your horse will find its way onto our operating table where it will have a thorough examination to discover what exactly has to be done to your horse to bring it back to full health. Having detected all its faults and corrected them the horse is now ready for the next stage of restoration. This will be careful application of paints and finishes in accordance to established criteria. After this the horse is ready to be saddled, bridled, new mane and tail fitted and finally mounted on its restored stand.
Here you can see a traditional Collinson saddle made using exactly the same materials: red corduroy being used for the padded seat and leatherettes for skirt and blanket.
This saddle is a Lines pattern, using leather for both the padded seat and skirt. The blanket is made from cottons or wools. Wherever possible original pins and decorative fixings are reused.
Hair. All sorts of colours were used and here you can see a few examples of English hair colours from black through rich chestnuts to light greys.
Brown leathers were always a favourite but tans and black were sometimes used. An example of a brown saddle can be seen just above.