Somewhat belatedly, we present the breastcollar! Considering that it was "born from a cheekpiece," I think it passes muster. When you have nothing to go on but one picture of one side of a bridle, sometimes you have to make things up. I used the same colors and patterns, just elongated and enlarged. The silver buckles took the most time and effort.
Yes, those tug buckles are solid sterling silver, hand formed and engraved. The matching keepers (slide loops) were made the same way as those on the bridle. For my own tack I tend to prefer braided keepers, even though they might seem to lack strength. Strength here refers to the keeper staying open through lots of use; it can be achieved with braided keepers by using a coating. Metal, of course, is the strongest keeper of all.
This set is in transition. I am thinking of replacing the bit.
Here is the breastcollar in place, with an old saddle out of my own collection: TSII #117!! built in the heady year of 1992. That year I was 4 years married and living in a rented house next to a church -- we would buy our own house the next year. This saddle was my first basketweave.
If you're wondering why I cut the horse's head off, it was distorted by camera to look way too large -- I hate this effect but can rarely prevent it. : )
Here, indeed, is a braided keeper. I thought the martingale needed something, and since the strap end was long, the solution seemed obvious.
Not shown: progress on TSII #452. Much of the tooling is done, and we are deep into the stirrups: very nice rawhide oxbows! I am having to brush off my saddler's techniques... how to do the seat, the horn, the shoulders... it's coming back...