More Horses

A few more horses from the family stables.


This is Bucephalus who was completely restored by my mother.


Next is another horse who lives upstairs under a huge tapestry.  He is called Valentine and is very old.  There is a sidesaddle pommel which can be removed and positioned on the other side.  He is in his original state but has a new mane and tail.

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The huge tapestry that hangs above Valentine was sewn by my mother over ten years ago.  It has many family connotations like flowers representing family animals and a portrait of our thousand year old oak tree in the  park.  It was sewn in the millefleur design and has to be kept away from direct sunlight.


Lastly, Phar Lapp who my mother commissioned and designed with Alec Kinane from Legends Rocking Horses.  Phar Lapp is an Arabian horse and probably one of the best modern rocking horses still to be made.

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And do you know who this is?  Yup, this is BeAnne’s ancestor.


The children in this portrait clutching their BeAnne are my great grandmother’s first cousins, Dorothy, Jeff and Polly Barnard painted by their father, Fred Barnard, who was one of Charles Dickens’ illustrators.

Dorothy and Polly also featured as the girls in “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” by John Singer Sargent who found the light in the painting so hard to capture that he renamed it “Damnation, sIlly, silly pose”!


11 thoughts on “More Horses

  1. Arte white

    These horses are so beautiful! Thank you for showing me rocking horses of such artful craftsmanship.

  2. jan

    That tapestry is fantastic. You have a very talented mother. The rocking horses are so beautifully restored.

    1. Kate

      Hello, I am not the ”blogger” but as a fellow old rocking horse ‘addict’ san advise you about rocking horse manes and tails. ”Are they real?”
      Sadly they all come from deceased horses, as the hair has to be attached to the hide.
      Grey hair is the hardest to source, and is expensive.
      ”Loose” hair, as in , hair that has been cut, isn’t really satisfactory, [called ”bunched hair”] as it looks limp when in position.
      Many years ago there was a spate of real horses having their manes and tails cut short.
      People suggested ”rocking horse owners” were doing this!… Highly unlikely. Far more likely to be spiteful competitors in the horse showing world, as the horses had their manes hacked about. [mane is never used in rocking horses as too short]

      Loose hair is impossible to affix on a mane too, as it will just pull out, in the past people have tried to drill holes in a rocking horse’s neck to put little bundles of hair in, but it looks wrong, like a broom!

      The ”best” look in my opinion is cow tail for rocking horses, it has a rippled look and this was nearly always used in Victorian times.
      We did buy a rocking horse, circe 1850, and he had a docked tail from a real horse.. the lower tail vertebrae were still there!
      The maker at the time would have lived in the era of tail docking, so would have had a steady supply of docked tails to use on his horses tails.
      The vertebrae creeped me out [you could feel them, not see them] that I replaced it with another tail.
      In retrospect, ought to have left the horse as was, but hey ho… 🙂

  3. Terri

    Yesterday (on holiday) I visited the Boston Museum of Fine Art and viewed the John Singer Sargent paintings — he is a master of capturing light, so if he said “C, C, L, R” was difficult, it most certainly was. I love BeAnne’s ancestor in the other painting!

    What a multi-talented and artistic mother you have! I can understand why you graduated to real horses (and other livestock), from the rocking horses of your youth. Thanks for sharing your “roots.”

    Oh, by the way, please don’t EVER torture us again with a post about Lambie that sounded ominous, my heart seized up. I’m happy to see how well he is doing, frolicking along with the “other” dogs. You did wonders to save him!

  4. Kate

    The lovely bow horse is a ‘Smith’ horse, in lovely condition.
    The Phar Lap..I have considered buying one of these , as they are easily the best ‘modern’ rocking horses made.
    So interesting to see another rocking horse person. [old rocking horses crowd me out too]
    Best wishes, Kate.


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