Miniature Tack

It seems like every time I get about halfway through a miniature tack project, I remember why it drives me so crazy, and why I find prop building so much more relaxing. Because I'm already committed, I finish the project, sweep up the clumps of my hair from the floor, and swear off tiny leather straps and itty-bitty buckles forever.

Then the painful memory fades, and sometime later I wind up doing the same thing all over again.

double bridle

Double bitted bridle done with Rio Rondo cast bit and etched buckles. I did this years ago, and really need to do a new one...eventually.

blue halterblue halter

A much simpler and more recently completed soft suede leather halter and lead set (I still need to trim the extra length off the crown strap). This was soothing enough that I actually did two at the same time.

gaspar stud bridle 2gaspar stud

Here one of my North Light Friesians is looking spiffy in his new but not-quite-completed stud bridle. This was one of those cases where I was inspired to make something specific by a particular individual in my collection, rather than deciding I needed a new whatever and then wondering which horses I ought to fit.

stud bridle 1stud bridle 2

However, Gaspar is going to wind up having to share after all, as it turns out he's not the only horse who looks spiffy in this. :-)

Tiago hemp rope halter rightTiago hemp rope halter left

Recently I've been on a rope halter spree. The fun thing about these is there's absolutely nothing required except a piece of cord, a pair of scissors, and tying tiny knots. The not-so-fun thing about these is tying tiny knots.

Flat cord halterRound cord halter

I've tried tying tiny knots with different types of cord, both for practice and to see what works/looks better (or worse). The lavender colored halter being modelled by my Emerson "Tiago" is made with hemp cord, which is good for a beginner because it's a bit stiff, so it will hold shape somewhat if you have to pause to make sure you're going in the right direction. I definitely like the look of the woven cotton cord (above, left); it's got a satiny finish, a nice pattern, and comes in a variety of colors. It is a little tricky to work with as it's more flat than round, so you have to make sure it's laying correctly. I *really* like the simple round braiding cord (above, right), both for ease of use and how it turns out. I just need to find it in colors other than white.

Wester Bridle Leftstud bridle 2

My most recent attempt at a western show bridle. I can't come close to some of the incredible work being done by more talented and professional tack makers, but it doens't hurt to practice. The fun thing about this piece is the crown strap, brow band, and reins are all easily interchangeable, so I can switch them out for others that are made to fit different models exactly, or ones that are loaded with a bit more more bling. That's the other fun thing about western tack in general – you can go a little crazy with decorations (well, within reason), whereas english tack tends to be more conservative.

Which is not to say English fashion is always more conservative than Western –. If you've ever seen pictures of the guests who attended Prince William and Princess Kate's royal wedding, you couldn't have missed those hats. ;-)

Happening in the laboratory: The FrankenSaddle; an ongoing experiment in alternative materials and methods. Bwahahaha...

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