Ramshyttan Blog & Journal News and Views from a Swedish Horse Farm

January 18, 2011

Newly Restored Sleigh in Action

Filed under: Harness & Driving — Ramshyttan Horse Farm @ 12:30

Arion, Isabella and Marie with the newly restored sleigh in front of Ramshyttans manor house

We bought this 150 year old sleigh from a friend. It had been standing in a barn on his parent’s farm for the last 50 years. Some time before that it had been in an accident and two of the ‘chassis’ beams were snapped. It seems the sleigh must have hit an object – maybe a rock under the snow – which caused it to turn over and break.

In the later 1880′s the sleigh was the winter transport for a doctor who lived south of Örebro. He used it to visit his patients. If he had to take someone to hospital, the seat could be removed, and the patient could be transported in reasonable comfort. Then the doctor would sit on the ‘bicycle seat’ at the back and control the horses from there.

When we got the sleigh all the metal parts were rusted, and there was hardly any paint left. Just enough to approximately determine the original colours. Some of the wood had been attacked by borer and there was a small amount of dry rot.

Repairing it took much, much longer than we had anticipated. Weeks of scraping and sanding of wood and metal, and repairing and replacing broken parts. Painting the basketwork was also a painstaking and challenging task.

But it was worth all the effort. This weekend we put Arion in harness and took the sleigh out on the snowy roads of Ramshyttan for the first time. He looked so proud and truly seemed to enjoy it as much as we did! Looking forward to many more adventures with this beautiful piece of Swedish history.

The old sleigh under its restoration phase

Arion and Marie take young visitors Cornelia and Nellie for a sleigh ride

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