Strap Improvements

It’s November, so you know what that means!

To be honest, I’ve been working on Christmas stuff off and on since early October. I need the time because Christmas sneaks up faster every single year. But I won’t decorate anything till after Thanksgiving… I do stick to that fairly well! πŸ˜…

Anyway, a lot of my Christmas themed projects are (surprise!) blankets. Annnd since that’s what I’ve got on the workbench right now, that’s what this post will be about. 😁 Here’s a preview of a couple I’ve been working on:

Somewhere between these two I realized that all this time, I have been attaching my leg straps wrong. Well, I don’t know if it’s actually wrong, but it is strange, and not something I’m seeing on real horse blankets now that I’m aware of it.

To overlook it for this long makes me feel pretty stupid. Have I mentioned I’ve never blanketed a real horse? Well, uh, yeah, now you know. BUT I also see this as an opportunity to learn and make improvements in my work.

The blanket on the left has its leg straps placed high on the hip. It was convenient to place them over the hip dart stitching so I never thought twice about it. Looking at it now, I think this could be very uncomfortable if it were on a real horse. That’s where a tail cord/strap would attach… not the legs. πŸ˜‘

So on the pink one, I lowered them to leg-strap level instead of tail-strap level.

Another change was making the straps out of one adjustable loop, which eliminates the free end and makes adjusting a lot easier. This is also something I see on real blankets but never applied to my own work.

I also did this with the belly straps, and I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner?

It gives a much neater appearance without the free end.

The new leg straps have a loop one one end and a hook on the other. You loop the strap around one of the rings to attach it. I liked this design because it avoids more hardware and secures the strap in a non-permanent way. It’s based off real straps, so it’s both more realistic and less likely to get lost when off the model.Β πŸ‘Β And if they don’t fit the horse at all because of weird leg positions off they go!

Doing a little more research on this made me realize that I’ve been crossing them wrong too. (but that seems like a debatable subject in the real horse world…) So here they are, properly looped around each other instead of crossed in an X like I’ve been doing for years.

Learning new things is good but I still feel kind of dumb and embarrassed. 😳 If you have one of my blankets and the straps start to annoy you, those rings at the hip can be removed and lowered as they’re not sewn in place. (or new, lower rings could be added instead)

Even though a lot of my blankets (especially lately) are more novelty/fun styled, it’s still important to me to design them in a way that’s realistic, durable and safe, even though they’re for plastic models. Since they’re not exactly show-able pieces like saddles/bridles/etc, I’m not sure how much that matters to anyone else. Let me know your thoughts!

7 thoughts on “Strap Improvements

  1. I know about as much about blanketing as you do, and the new strap designs look so much more professional and realistic. The sliding buckle makes the straps much smoother, and the new leg straps make more sense, if that makes sense? (Eep, that was badly said.) The design on the pink blanket also looks very pretty! πŸ˜€

  2. I am learning to make blankets right now and just tore apart a Breyer blanket to see how it is constructed and to possibly use as a pattern. I found this post extremely helpful in my quest to learn more. Thank you!

  3. I’m in the real horse world and I must say i haven’t really noticed your fault in your “old” blanket but the pink one is looking really good.

    Regarding tail strap or leg strap, I prefer tail strap on my real horses (I have 3) and this is because the leg strap gives my horses marks on the inside of the leg and I have experienced one off my horses being trapped in the blanket because of heavy play with the blanket and he could not get out of it because of the cross X between his legs, so the blanket was wrapped around him and hanging loose behind him, when he ran in the paddock.
    So after that experience I always but the tail strap on and do not use the cross X anymore.
    Thank god the model horses will never have to worry about that …

  4. I rug my (3) horses all the time, and I never ever noticed that minor detail. Seeing the lowered one definitely looks more realistic now I think about it though! As for leg strap crossing, it depends on the horse. One of mine gets chafed if I don’t cross them in an X, but the rest all have them looped together, including client horses. I think that’s a bit more personal preference. Beautiful rugs πŸ’—

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