Thursday, September 5, 2013

Goehring Bridle & Breastcollar Done

Doesn't he look grand!!  It's only been... let's see...  nine months!!!  I started this project on January 21, working on the bit.  In condensed hours the bridle and breastcollar haven't been so unusual compared to other pieces of TSII tack (hours of actual construction); it was finding those hours at all that was the really hard part. 

I should start this post with a picture of the finished breastcollar.  Friends at BreyerFest will remember it in its almost-done stage, as will readers of this blog.  :)
It stayed at an almost-done stage for way too long if you ask me.  What would you.  We were involved in choosing an Assisted Living house for my mother-in-law and moving her 3 miles, ourselves living full one thousand miles away.  Now that is done, and dare I say it, well done.  Back to tack.
The buckles seen here, neck and martingale, were both handmade from sterling silver.  Tongues are stainless steel wire, hammered and filed.  Since I had such good reference for the buckles of this saddle set, and since I'd already gone to the trouble of creating "from scratch" every concho and plate, it was rather an easy decision to go all the way.

The breastcollar is lined on the back with superfine black lining leather.  (Thanks again to Michelle M. for this.)  It was at this stage I found out how cool it looked on Two Step, the dun Marsh Tacky from this year's BreyerFest. 
It was quite tempting to use him for the bridle, but alas, even though he and Alborozo look alike, they are not the same size.  I had to go with Albo.  This is the second time I've used Alborozo for a rather major tack order... and I don't own one!!  This particular Albo is a lend from a neighbor, Helen B.  Thanks Helen!
One of the neat ideas to come out of the Goehring bridle was how to do the pins on the backs of the 'starplates.' (I call them that because they have star shapes on their ends.)  You should know by now I detest glue and want some physical way to attach silver to leather.  The plates were too small for the loops I'd used on the other conchos. Pins were the only way.  But soldering individual pins on these tiny pieces of silver would be more trouble than it was worth.. dang near impossible with the tools I had.
As the writing says, 'Driving to the box [horse business mail box downtown], the answer occurred:  Solder on a handle & cut it afterwards.'  The drawings show how.  My tack notebooks are chock full of such scribbles.
You can just see the pins sticking out of the larger of the starplate pairs at upper right.  These sixteen pieces of silver took, as in the breastcollar, so much more effort and time than I'd ever imagined.  But whereas the breastcollar was begun in January and finished in August, the bridle (sans bit and reins) was started and completed entirely within the month of August.  Oh how I loved the month of August.  I didn't want it to end.
The bit was completed January 29, and the reins done in April.  We're up over 80 hours here, spread out over 8 months... and I haven't even started the saddle yet!!
But I'm not worried.
It's been too long since I've shot a horse on the railing next to the Gallery Pear.
This shot is kind of dramatic.  You'd think that big concho wouldn't fit under his forelock.  It barely manages.
This bridle also has black leather lining.  All its buckles are handmade sterling silver ones, in the style of the ones on the breastcollar.  You can't see them well, but the poll buckle and the throatlatch buckle were custom built, "scratch-built" for this bridle.
In other news, a mechanical hackamore has been finished and I'm waiting to hear back from the owner.  My family will be staying in another house, a vacation rental, for 2 months this winter, and I hope to get some more tack made during that time!  (Knock on wood...)   Ideas for future posts include one on Cary Nelson's two Charro saddles, which I photographed whilst at BreyerFest this year: Artisan's Gallery.  I am interested in them as fellow examples of model Mexican style parade sets, such as is Goehring's.
Stay tuned, and Thanks for reading!

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