Barcoo Bridle

Dundee’s inspired me to try making some Australian tack. I’m not brave enough to make a saddle (yet) but a Barcoo bridle seemed much more manageable.

The cheek pieces on this bridle are made from one piece, looping through the bit and the ring at the top. I couldn’t get away with my cheater (non-moving) keepers here. XD And there’s a backwards one underneath the buckle on both sides, to help hold everything together.

Here’s how it looks on the horse:

I’ve been trying to pay close attention to how my recent bridles fit. (this post on the Braymere blog is incredibly helpful) I think this one could be better adjusted, but maybe I’m being too picky.

Another thing I have been struggling with are leather reins. I have the worst time getting them to drape nicely and don’t understand how other hobbyists can deal with them at all.
For this set I chose to just skive and sand the leather, and not treat it with gum tragacanth or leather conditioner or anything, and that seemed to help. (but the fuzzies BUG me, even after trimming them away) If anyone has any advice on leather reins I’d love to hear it!!

It feels really good to be working on tack again though. I haven’t done much leather work since… April? I think.

Also, today is my birthday. :3 I’m 29, but I don’t feel or (I guess) look like it. I still get asked what year I am in high school lol.

19 thoughts on “Barcoo Bridle

  1. WOW! So cool. I love the leather work you do, and you’ve inspired me to try more of it. Because of your saddles from the Rio Rondo sets I asked for one for my birthday, and I loved putting it together! Thank you! And Happy Birthday! πŸ™‚

  2. From an Aussie, amazing job with our iconic barcoo bridle. That bridle is rather tricky to attach the bit if your not familiar with it. I have so many customers at our saddlery who ask me put it all together for them. Lol ❀

  3. Happy Brithday Nichelle! I’m only twice as old as you… ahem, well, have you thought of hot-oiling your reins? It’s a lot of work but it leaves them very supple and takes care of the fuzzies. This is in the Guide. Basically you soak them in melted leather conditioner – I use Dr Jackson’s. Like every technological advance, it has tradeoffs — you can’t glue so well afterwards, and the color darkens — but I love the effect.

    1. Most of mine come from craft stores like Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Joann Fabrics. More supplies for tack making can be found online at or The World of Model Horse Collecting on eBay.


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