Friday, April 16, 2010

Tiffany's tack fix

My friend Tiffany is a tack addict of the highest order. Most performance showers are satisfied with "one of each," but that is so not Tiffany. I suspect she has as many model sized saddles as Imelda Marcos had shoes... And she's still adding to her collection!

This works out well for me because Tiffany is also an extremely talented sculptor and painter. We have spent the last two years exchanging emails, tack and models, and I count my "Purdy Horses" among the jewels of my collection.

Recently Tiffany has been jonesing for a tack fix. I had a little space in my schedule so I told her I could make her something as long as it was "easy" and not terribly time consuming. After some discussion, we decided that an in-hand set for this customized Alborozo would fit the bill perfectly.
Tiffany described what she had in mind this way: It looks like the presentation caveson is put over a simple snaffle bridle with a drop noseband (front of the bit, like a normal drop dressage noseband). The side reins attach to the surcingle (or sometime just around the saddle girth) then the long line to the center ring. Make sense????

It all made perfect sense, or it did before I actually started working on the tack. Then the questions began: Gold hardware or silver hardware? What kind of bit? Should the serreta have one ring or threee? Crupper? Modern type side reins with rubber donuts or something a bit more old fashioned? I hate having to guess at details, and historical sets like this involve a lot of guesswork.

I spent most of yesterday searching Google Images, looking for that perfect reference picture. I never found it. The photo below (which was provided by Tiffany) is typical of what I did find. The headgear is spot on, but the horse is wearing a saddle rather than just a surcingle. Worse, the picture is too small to make out any kind of fine detail.
I ended up cobbling together parts and pieces from several different pictures. That's not my favorite approach, but I think it turned out ok in the end. Here's the bridle and surcingle...
and here's the serreta/presentation caveson.Hope you like it, Tiff, and next time when I say easy I mean easy!!!!

Be sure to check out Tiffany's new blog at:


  1. Thanks, Teresa! For some reason, this set was really stressful to make... I don't know why, really. It still seems like it should have been an easy one.

  2. Especially the cavesson. That looks super!

  3. Nice job Jennifer!

    *grin* Tiffany is an addict of addicts :). I had to laugh when you mentioned it had to be an easy project. I have yet to recieve a "simple" request, yet that is what I live for, the challenge of it all. Too funny! I still think we should ban together and let her "detox" for a while. *grin* oh man, I'm going to get it now...

  4. Oh, I'm not going to detox Tiffany right now. I really want my Scarlett for next month's live show so I'm all about feeding her habit right now! :D

  5. Hey for the record its not my fault the meth stopped working and i had to switch to tack, then Tiger Woods got my kicked out of rehab cause I broke a bridle and had to beat the therapist with his 9 iron!!!
    I am the victim here!
    you see, this is what happens when you work in public education....

  6. Hey Tiff, I am happy to feed your addiction! Just keep the pretty ponies coming and you can have all the (easy or otherwise) tack you want. :)

  7. If you need closer picture of lippizanner tack,just tell me.I have A LOT of pictures