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  • Writer's picturePeter Smith

Rocking Horse Repair and Restoration

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

This lovely rocking horse came to us with the tail and mane worn off, the halter, reins and stirrup straps missing and the saddle was dull.

Rocking Horse Repair and Restoration


For this rocking horse repair and restoration, I started with the cleaning processes.

The leather was cleaned using saddle soap made for leather cleaning. The horse was cleaned using soap bubbles and carefully wiped and brushed.


There was little repairing to do. The framework was done by a carpenter, so I concentrated on the horse and the saddle, which needed minor repairs to some of the stitching.


I had the task of making new stirrup straps, reins and bridle, all made from undyed veg tanned leather and then dyed to match the saddle using a bespoke dye made for me by Northants Leather Chemicals.

The tail and mane were originally sewn in with the horse's "skin" turned inside out. Of course, I did not want to remove the entire skin as that would be a huge job and could have created more problems. We carefully unpicked along the line that held the mane and tail, inserted a new mane and tail cut from a Scandinavian sheep rug. These were then hand sewed in place with hidden stitching.


After that I recoloured the saddle and martingale with the same dye to bring the colour out in the saddle.

The results

You can see from the photos of the saddle the difference once the leather was cleaned and coloured. The lighter tan is the treated part of the saddle.

Rocking Horse Repair and Restoration is not just restoring and repairing the horse. One has to restore the wood rocking frame also, which was done by a professional carpenter.

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