Friday, September 18, 2020

Mini-Tack revisited

There weren't a lot of model horse tack options when I was a kid. Everything was made handmade from yarn, felt and rubber bands or came with a horse.

Then I discovered Mini-Tack.
Or perhaps I should say, I discovered the Mini-Tack catalog. Although my best friend and I spent hours poring over the small, black and white photos and starring the items we wanted the most, neither of us ever managed to place an order.
Still, I dreamed about that tack for years.
Last week, some forty years after the fact, I finally received a box full of Mini-Tack. 
Look at these saddles!
If I'm not mistaken, this is H-B 416 Western saddle, pleasure type, H-B 415 Bridle with roping reins and H-B 435 saddle bags.
At the time it was ordered - which appears to be 1977 - this saddle cost $5.95. The saddle bags were an additional $.98.
The bridle was $1.95.
Here's the English set. This is comprised of H-B 405 English saddle with saddle pad and H-B 410 Snaffle bridle. 
The saddle construction is essentially two piece of leather glue together with an attached saddle pad and girth. This cost $2.95.
The bridle is made of what feels like calf lace and sports big handmade buckles. It sold for $1.95.
There saddle and bridle are part of H-B 436, the "Race horse outfit." 
This set also included four shipping boots... 
and a cooler. The price for all of this was $5.95.
I also got a H-B 420 Leather halter. This should have come with a lead strap, but forty three years is a long time. Things get lost.
The blanket is item H-B 401. Both it and the halter were priced at $1.95.
There was also a second halter in the box. While I have no doubt that it's the same vintage as the rest of the tack, I suspect it was built by a different tack maker. Instead of calf lace, it's made from hand cut strips of soft leather and is sewn, rather than glued together. 
Thank you to Kristina Lucas Francis for sending this box my way. I am really happy to own these pieces of hobby history.


  1. I always wanted Mini Tack and never got any either. Glad you have some and for the photos you shared. And your vintage Breyers are wonderful. That FAM's spots and white blanket are incredible!

    1. I really enjoyed taking the pictures for this post. The FAS wasn't part of the original carpet herd, but the others are models who would have worn this tack if I had bought it brand new.

  2. It's funny I like a lot of this stuff more than I like Breyer's tack! What a great look at early tack crafting. I'm curious about the people behind this lil company lol. Does anyone have any info on them?

    1. There is no name on the catalog, but the address is Phoenix, Arizona.

  3. I still have some Mini Tack! I recall bareback pads as well as English saddles and bridles in my collection...and elastic girths with hook closures. Stirrups were handmade as were the buckles! Saddle Leather was soft (but not thin) and mine had green, navy, and red felt pads attached as well. The bridles were calf leather with wire bits. Fun stuff!