Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Harness pictures

It's always a pleasure to see pictures of my tack in the showring, particularly when that tack is part of a complex and really cool set-up. Look at these wonderful pictures from Lisa Sharpe! They show her Ima Sharpe Cutter resin in an amazing marathon harness entry. "Adios St Ranger" was both sculpted and painted by Lisa, and I think she is also responsible for the cool diorama. Bill Duncan made the marathon cart and the dolls were dressed by Nancy Cortez.I really love it when showers take a "one trick pony" and turn it into an all around performance horse. You wouldn't think a cutting posed resin could be so versatile, but he won nine performance NAN cards in tough Region 10 competition. That's impressive!
I've made a lot of harnesses over the years, and those harnesses have helped my customers win a lot of NAN cards and even a few NAN cookies. Still, despite that success, I am much less comfortable making harnesses than I am making saddles. I think it's because I do not have any real life driving experience. I've done the research and collected some pictures, but that's just not the same as hands-on learning. As I've said before, nothing beats the real thing.

That said, I was really pleased to see this lovely pony at the Equine-aganza on Sunday. His name is KCS High Flying Cloud and he's a four year old Section B Welsh Pony stallion from Windsor, Colorado. I spent a lot of time watching him warm up outside, and most of my attention was focused on the intricacies of his nice, pleasure-style harness.
KC is a really nice pony and he and his owner were happy to pose for my pictures. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I was actually more interested in the harness than the pony.
Here's a close up view of the surcingle and the shaft holders. Good, clear pictures like this are invaluable for the serious tackmaker. I am so pleased to have had a chance to take these.I always struggle with the blinker stays. They are unlike anything you'd see on a riding bridle and I never feel as though I get them exactly right. This picture reinforces that feeling. There's no doubt that I've been overdoing things. I'll definitely refer back to this photo next time I made a driving bridle.
I haven't yet tried to make long box keepers like the ones that run along the bottom edge of KC's blinkers. I suspect this feature will show up on future driving bridles. I'm always striving to improve my work and this seems like the next, logical upgrade. I think I know how I'll make them...
I know there are other tackmakers who read this blog. If you are one of them, please feel free to copy these pictures for your reference files. I hope you will find them as helpful as I do!

1 comment:

  1. One benefit of having a real horse that I drive; I took my harness home and disassembled it to recreate it in miniature. Soooo many buckles and keepers, my eyesight still hasn't recovered! Maybe you could find an old one on eBay for hands-on reference.