Tuesday, April 28, 2020

TSII #457 Tree Assembly

When I signed up for International Model Tackmaking Month, which takes place during April, I had a specific piece in mind.
This wasn't it.
My reasons for joining were time-tested and true.  I was going to use it to work on a piece for myself.  IMTM is my birthday month; I like to make a piece for myself for my birthday.  Last year during the last days of IMTM I'd created the bridle and neckpieces for an Akhal Teke presentation set for my own horse, Brasenose.  I thought for sure I'd be able to finish the breastcollar this year.  Silver and gold and real emeralds!  What's not to love!?
As we all know, the best of intentions can fall by the wayside, given enough extenuating circumstances.
Man, have we had extenuating circumstances.

I've been setting records for them.  (I am positive I'm not alone.)  As April began, I found myself homing in on (and honing my skills on) the engraving of a different breastcollar, that of TSII #457.  This was my second Clyde Goehring saddle, a Mexican Silver Parade set.  This saddle has been under construction since September.  It thus cannot be counted in IMTM's "I Also Did This" album even though it's what I've spent April on.
Once #457's breastcollar was done, I swung into the next steps, namely the cantle plate and the stirrups.  Nobody but me can ever know how much time and effort went into them.  The saddle as a whole is well over the hundred-hour mark.  
It still has a ways to go: cinch and bridle remain, although much of the bridle is done.  The blanket, bless Lizzie K., is already made, and it may be seen below on the Straight Bet chestnut.  The last few days have gone to making the tiny conchos and long strings seen on the skirts.
Here's another pic of the real Clyde Goehring:
Note that the lower skirts will show more when the front cinch rings are made and installed.
No. 457 is a bespoke order for a very long-standing customer.
It is both strange and perfectly normal I should have channeled myself into this piece.  I was doing my best to listen to the Muse.
 As the month went on I realized more and more I'd never get to Brasenose's breastcollar in time.  Then, Anna Helt of IMTM kindly extended her awarding of finisher's certificates to those who could finish by the end of May.  I told her I was very grateful and that this gave me hope.

And then, on the 21st, I managed to damage my right hand and right foot, through loss of temper and attendant sheer stupidity.  A week later, the hand is healing well and the foot can be walked on, if carefully.  I can type and I can write.  I can play the piano (it's a bit like Frodo of the 9 fingers) and I can make most kinds of tack.  But engraving puts pressure on the palm and wrist of the right hand in a twisting way, and so the bridle needs to wait a while.
Stamping out ikandis will be much easier.
My husband calls this my "09th" birthday, which is perfect:  Just flip and flop those digits, as our lives have been, upside down and backwards!!

If there is any luck in the situation -- oh those extenuating  circumstances! --  it is that I could hardly pick a better time to be stuck at home.  I am greatly blessed in many things:  a healthy healing body, an understanding customer base, employment at home, a community I can connect to.  I have so many friends, including one who helped me get rare parts for my IMTM piece (thanks Paula!).  What an interesting and unique birthday, eh?!  And now, hopefully, without pressure -- when did the TSII ever pay attention to deadlines anyway!? -- Brasenose may finally get his breastcollar.
It will be a good model for future Teke ones.


  1. The saddle is looking awesome -- uncanny how much it looks like the real thing! Hope things get easier for you soon.

  2. Happy Birthday! Feel better, too. And finally, your work is ART. Drop dead gorgeous.

  3. That charro saddle is amazing. The silver embellishments on the pommel, cantle and breastcollar are gorgeous!

  4. Carrie Sloan MeyerJuly 6, 2020 at 10:37 AM

    I am in awe of this set- just fabulous!