In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a traditional scale one piece crown piece for a hunter type English bridle.
As always, I start by preparing the lace.I use 3/16" kangaroo lace, skived to a medium thickness. It needs to be thin enough to drape over the horse's poll and easily pass through buckles and keepers, but not so thin as to be excessively fragile. The throatlatch part of the crown piece receives a fair amount of handling. It can't be paper thin.
Now it's time to split the lace. This is an advanced skill that requires a steady hand and a very sharp blade.I position the blade on top of the lace, making sure it's centered and the blade is at a ninety degree angle. If the blade is not straight up and down, the cut edges will be angled and messy.
When I'm happy with the placement of the blade, I press down until the knife cuts through the lace. Ideally, this will give me a nice, clean split with both sides measuring just a hair over 1/16".
I lift the blade slightly and slide it up over the lace. I re-position the knife, cut and repeat until the split is long enough to go around the horse's throatlatch.
I trim the cheek piece and place the strap on the model's head.
I mark the distance across the top of the poll...
and then split the right side of the strap.
The crown piece will now look like this.
The next step--trimming the crown--is optional. I place the tip of my knife on the back edge of the crown, right at the beginning of the split.
I gently and carefully trim off a tiny slice of leather, again making sure that my blade stays at a consistent ninety degree angle.
In one continuous motion, I cut all the way across the crown until I reach the other split.
Reducing the width of the crown in this manner gives the piece a more refined appearance.
I punch holes,
add a buckle and keepers...
and voila! The crown piece is complete...
As always, there are as many ways to make tack as there are tackmakers. This method works well for me. If your technique is different, please tell us about it in the comment section!