Sunday, March 7, 2010

Frozen Dead Guys + Allie's bridle

Weekends are family time at the Buxton house, and this weekend found us in Nederland, Colorado for the annual "Frozen Dead Guy Days" celebration.This uniquely Colorado festival featured all kinds of family friendly entertainment with live music and a bounty of alcohol on the side. Here's a picture of my kids participating in the Coffin Race (their team came in second):
A good time was had by all, but I am completely worn out from the day's festivities. I had originally planned to skip today's post, but then I received one of those too-good-not-to-share emails from Allie in Memphis, Tennessee.

Allie writes: You said you liked seeing stuff people make from your tutorials, so here's my English bridle with laced reins. I only recently started being interested in model horses again as an adult, and this is the first bridle I've ever made. I wanted to do something a little different with the browband and cavesson, since as a kid my dream bridle had raised braids on them. Mom wouldn't let me get one because she said they were tacky (she was right) and too expensive (also right) but for a while in the early 80's they were a fad. Maybe you remember them. I had some trouble finding a picture of one so apparently not too many people use them anymore. The one I made was a little bit of an experiment, I'm not sure it worked perfectly but for what I'm doing, which is just taking pictures at home to amuse myself, the effect is great.

Here's my bridle:
Isn't that a nice bridle? I'd never guess it was a first effort and it's certainly much, much nicer than the first bridle I ever made.

And I do remember those braided bridles. In fact there's still one of them in use at the stable where I ride. Here it is pictured on Tyson.
I've never made this sort of bridle in miniature, but suddenly I feel as though I should drive out to the barn and take some good close up pictures of the braiding just in case... Because, you know, I think it would look really nifty with another 1980's style suede flapped all purpose saddle...


  1. I was pondering Nederland this weekend too but it wasn't to be.

    And that's a NICE first attempt bridle!

  2. Awesome job, Allie! The quality of the work is very good for a first timer, I truly would never have thought that was your first one. I looked at the picture full size, and I know I wouldn't have the patience to get all that done, and not tear or rip it in the attempt!

    I really like the bridle. The only thing to maybe do differently is to split the brow to appear like it goes under the forelock. With the way the model's forelock is, she had to make a much longer browband. Model horse hair is, I'm sure, the tack fitter's nightmare. Notice I am not a model horse showman!

    Minor things most wouldn't notice, and I only say these for future projects for realism sake. I don't mean to criticize the bridle, because it really is very good workmanship: I really liked the buckle end reins, although not sure how many braided reins use those. A lot of eventers/dressage people use buckle end reins, usually plain(dressage) or rubber (eventers) and often have buckle ends for the bridle's cheekpieces, as well.
    The cheekpieces are usually (although not always, as you can see in the reference pic) a touch wider than the caveson's "cheeks". I didn't see that at all in the blog sized pic, just when I looked at it in closer detail.

    Such a lovely job, Allie. Glad you're having so much fun with the "rediscovered" models!

  3. Thanks everyone! I used a lot of Jennifer's tack tips for doing this, not just the braided rein tutorial. I had never even skived anything before. It's amazing to me how many different skill sets have to be mastered to make even the simplest model tack - skiving, splitting lace, punching holes, working with wire to make buckles.

    Bif, I'm more used to seeing hook ends on braided reins, but the buckle ends looked neat, so there you have it. (Plus I haven't the foggiest how to make hook tabs.) Braided reins do come with buckle ends - I found some for sale! You're right that a split browband would look better, but since this is basically play tack, it's more important to me that it be durable and easy to get on and off. Not that those tiny little buckles are easy to get on and off... I thought I was gonna cry getting the throatlatch fastened. Performance showers must have nerves of steel. I can't imagine doing that under pressure and in a hurry.

  4. I have a suede seat hunt/GP saddle, probably 30 years old by now and a braided bridle. Are those retro now?

  5. Allie, I just love your comment about having to master so many different skill sets to make one simple piece of tack. That is *so* true, and I think that a lot of time people don't realise how important all those little preparations skills are.

    Anyway, I really like your bridle. I even like the buckle end reins. I think they go well with the braided brow and noseband and kimberwicke bit.