Archive for the ‘Bridle’ Category

When I was leaving work last week, I spotted two robins.

I get really excited when I start seeing robins again, because to me, they are a reminder that yes, spring is coming and yes, winter will end. Even though this winter was unusually mild, some Montana winters definitely feel like they’re going to last forever.
Those two birds brought some much-needed hope after a horrible week.

With everything that’s been going on in the world, I’ve found it really hard to focus. Last week I was having panic attacks, and this week the anxiety has (so far) been replaced with anger, frustration and sadness, mostly towards people who still refuse to take this seriously. Working from home is not possible for me, but I don’t work with the public and can practice social distancing easily. Still, I’m stressed out about it, but trying to be grateful and careful. I’m feeling very uncertain about what will happen next.

Local news is about as much as I can take at the moment. I do try to keep an eye on what’s going on worldwide but it quickly becomes overwhelming.

At times I’ve found it necessary to shut everything off so I can focus on reading or model horse tack instead. I’ve been wanting to make a show headstall to match the western saddle I made last year, so that’s been my current project. I finished it up yesterday.

This one I made to fit my Zippo, and I tried really hard to make sure everything fit correctly.

I’m really glad I had enough silver beads to make two ear loops.

Off the horse:

Like the saddle, I tried to cram as much detail in this piece as I possibly could.

The curb strap took at least two hours to put together because my first attempt was too big and bulky. It’s glued in place, so it can’t be adjusted, but I never want to have to adjust it anyway!

The reins annoy me… I might go back and notch the folds so they aren’t so tight in the bit. But aside from that I’m really pleased with how this bridle turned out. It is a personal piece and will not be for sale.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope that you’re well and staying safe. ❤️

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I have another tutorial for you all today, this time on braided cotton reins.

I’m basing my reins off of these by Tough-1:

Finished set:

They’re pretty simple to make. This is the same method I used to create reins to go with a Barcoo bridle. In that case, I created two braids with buckles on each end and in the center:

This is also how I used to put together Arabian halters and breastcollars:

For materials, you will need embroidery floss, 1/8″ ribbon (I buy my ribbon from Hairbow Center) and hooks for the ends. These came from Rio Rondo but you could also shape some out of wire.

You will also need Fray Check, a needle, a lighter (this is optional) and glue. My go-to glue for ribbon or fabric is Fabri-Tac.

The reins I’m basing these on measure 7 feet long. In 1:9 scale, this measures down to 9.333… inches, so to make things easier, you could keep it around 9-10 inches.

I start by cutting 6 strands of embroidery floss measured at 16 inches long. For longer reins, you’re going to want to increase this length. It’s always better to have too much than not enough!

Split the strands in two groups of three, then braid them. I’m using a basic three strand braid here.

Next, it’s time to sew them together. I use a separated strand of embroidery floss cut three times the length of the finished braid. This will blend much better than trying to find a thread color to match.

Knot one end, then bring your needle up through the center of one of the braids.

Bring it straight through the second braid,

Then back down through both of them.

Continue with this zig-zag or serpentine pattern throughout the entire braid. You want the thread to be snug, but not so tight that it pulls the braid out of shape.

To finish the sewing, bring your needle up through the center, wrap the thread around it 2-3 times, hold it tight, then pull the needle through.

Completed braid!

Next, measure how long you want your reins to be, and cover this area in a generous amount of Fray Check. Cover both sides, then let dry completely.

I decided to cut mine at 10 1/2 inches.

One dry, cut through the braid and wrap the ends in ribbon.

For the hooks, I threaded one of the etched pieces on a tiny piece of ribbon, then sealed one end with a lighter. You can always use Fray Check to seal it instead.

I glued this down to be flush with the wrapped braid, then folded it over and trimmed down the other side.

With that, the reins are complete!

These can be made in any color you’d like, so have fun with them!

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Is it weird that I find skiving leather almost therapeutic? I used to hate it.

This weekend has left me kind of down… partly from my own “you suck, stop trying” demons (don’t compare yourself to others, don’t do it IT’S A TRAP) and partly from bigger hobby problems. I love this hobby but sometimes it makes me feel incredibly sad, and when one hurts, we all hurt.
(on a side note, I also think witch-hunting is wrong and won’t make the first wrong right)

Anyway.

Lately I’ve been trying to figure out how to balance the hobby side of my hobby (aka personal, fun projects) and the “work” side. (aka sales pieces) I’ve come to the realization that I need to make some changes with this, because a) I’m unhappy b) there isn’t enough time for everything c) Etsy is… UGHHHH right now. I’ll save that for another post. Maybe.

I’m so grateful that Model Horse Place exists, and if you haven’t checked it out yet please do! The direction I want to take with my work (and to help this Balance thing) is to focus more on higher quality, one of a kind pieces that I can list as they are completed. I’ve been experimenting a little with how I sell my work, and I’m hoping that MHP works out. It could be exactly what I’m looking for.

The second part of Balancing is to stop working on sales pieces on the weekends, using that time instead for personal projects or *GASP* non-hobby stuff! (I mean summer’s coming! It snowed this morning but summer is coming!)

Will it help? I don’t know.

In an attempt to put this idea into practice, I put my current dinosaur blanket aside for the weekend. It needs leg straps but they can wait till Monday dangit.

I’ve been wanting to make more bridles lately. I want to get better at them but never will unless I put the time in soooo…

Close to 8 years ago I started a dressage bridle. I got as far as the noseband and quit for reasons I can no longer remember. I don’t know what happened to it.

I decided on making a simple bridle for my Strapless this time, suitable for lower level Dressage. I started off with the crown piece. Split crown pieces on bridles stress me out because it’s so easy for me to mess them up. In fact, as soon as I cut this one I thought I had butchered it, but after some careful trimming, I think I’ll be able to make it work.

Still, this was really aggravating. I put the project aside and told myself this was a stupid waste of time and that I should stick to sewing and and and and…

Today, I put together the noseband and cavesson. The process went a lot smoother, but I still have a lot of work left to do.

The weekend isn’t totally over yet, and I doubt I’ll get this bridle done, but it’s a nice change of pace.

Anyone else struggle with finding balance? Any advice??

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