Thursday, March 31, 2011

New tack from old material

I decided the bridle from the previous post needed some sprucing up (Rio Rondo conchos on the browband brads and bit), and something to go with it so it would be a complete performance package.

I do have a saddle in the works, but I'd come across some online photos of real bareback riding pads with latigo ties, and I had to try it in miniature. The "natural" 3/16 width lace I had on hand just wasn't accepting dye well (it has a glaze finish to it), so to make the overgirth and latigo straps I cut strips from some nice russet color garment leather I have on hand (same leather I cut the rein poppers from).

I've had this particular garment leather hide for almost 20 years. I bought it at the San Antonio, TX Tandy Leather store as a teenager and made some of my very first (very crude and long ago thrown away in disgust) saddles with it. I gave up on tackmaking for awhile, tried to sell the hide but there were no takers. So it was folded up and stored with Mom's sewing scraps.

It's held up very well, hasn't dried out or stiffened. When I started making harnesses thirteen years ago I found a use for it again as blinker lining, it's the perfect color. I still use it mostly for just that, but occasionally, as shown here, I find another use for it. I've still got several square feet of it left, so there's many blinkers still to be made. I hope, when this one does run out, I find another one as nice.

Set is for sale at MH$P.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A couple new tack items and some silly pics from the Chili Fest

These are for sale, you can see them here at my MH$P page.

GG Valentine and her foal Heartbreaker are such fun to build tack on. (apologies for the text in the first photo, it's a sales photo). I really like the pearl thread for making braided reins, it looks much neater than DMC floss somehow. And I've started threading leather end poppers instead of simply tying off the braid and making a tassle, as well as making leather buckle attachments on the bit ends:

A matching set of halters...

The mare's is actually from 2010, and was made for the FAM. Yep. Tack made on the Family Arabian Mare will fit the GG Valentine mold, too. The adjustable chin and jaw straps probably help...

The foal's comes with a "catch me" strap instead of an actual lead, but I will make a lead with hook for $1 extra on request.

 And now for some shots from last weekend's Winter Carnival and Chili Fest in downtown Middlebury! We decided to take Penny the Breyer Basset Hound along just for the lulz and some silly shots.

Signing in for our "chili taster" badges:

First booth, Two Brothers' Tavern's beef chili. Hmmm. Hot!

Next was the Three Sisters' seafood chili. Yum, calamari!

Stopped to chat with a fellow canine:

"So then I was, like-"

"...and then she was all-"

Had to get a shot with the girl in the chili pepper costume:

And the fire truck!

"Only you can prevent forest fires."

Then we walked over to the Marble Works via the Otter Creek bridge. Enjoying the view with Mom and Meredith:

"You shall not pass."

Then it was time to head home. "Oh, drat these darn snow storms. Anyone got a shovel?"