Friday, November 7, 2008

School horse bridle

I am feeling a bit better, but this week has been all about sitting on the couch under a blanket. I haven't had the energy for big projects of any sort, but I did manage to finish up a fun piece of tack yesterday. This one--like most experiments--is destined for my own collection. It's a school horse bridle with "Rainbow Reins". Over the years, I've tried a lot of different methods for making rubber reins. This is one of my newer ideas. I'm not sure how well it will hold up over time, which is the main reason this bridle's going to live with me. If it doesn't age well, at least I'll be the first to know. And for the time being, I think it looks pretty cute!
Another interesting thing about this bridle is the way the reins attach to the bit. I've always just turned the leather through the bit and glued it back on itself. Recently, however, I had a customer specifically request reins with working stud hooks. There are other tack makers in the hobby that do this, so I knew it was possible to reproduce them in miniature form. Still, I was reluctant. It seemed like so much more work for only a little bit of added realism...
I dug out one of my old bridles for inspiration, and got to work. My first few attempts were frustrating and not very successful. Eventually, though, persistence paid off. This is a close-up of that first set of working stud hooks.
I had much less trouble with the stud hooks on the rainbow reins. This is partly because they were made from slightly wider lace (1/8" as opposed to 3/32"). However, that's not the whole reason. Success breeds confidence and confidence breeds skill. It really helps to know something is not just theoretically possible but possible for me. There was doubt in my mind before, but not now. I can make these. They're not easy, but they aren't impossibly difficult either.

So, if this is something you want on your next bridle, just let me know. I'm afraid it will come at an extra charge as it does add considerably to my work time. Still, if you're the kind of person who likes all the little ultra realistic details, this should be right up your alley.

(The patient school horse wearing the bridle is WBP Retro Rosie, a vintage custom Lady Phase by Chris Jolly.)

1 comment:

  1. Is there any chance of a little tutuorial about making these stud hooks?