Thursday, November 9, 2023

Progress Report 2


It's time for another progress report on my next book!   Heaven knows it's been a slow slog,... only a year and a quarter!  still not done yet!,... but progress has definitely been made.   My vision for it is so much clearer now;  and it keeps getting clearer as more and more gets done.  We're up to 27 Plates (pages of drawings) now.  We've gone through the alphabet and are starting over at AA --!!

This exciting book originally intended to profile eight pieces of headgear:  Meet the 8.  As that post reported, of course, the project kept getting bigger and bigger.  As it stands now, there's a 5-page Table of Contents, a 9-page Introduction, and three of the 8 pieces (Ricky's, Duke's and Malaguena's) plus supporting chapters such as Braiding Sinew.  Malaguena's has been by far the most monstrous effort, spawning 10 Plates, 23 pages and 41 photos.

For comparison, Ricky's only took one Plate and Duke's has two,... 

Today I am proud to announce that the chapter on Braiding Thread Buttons (as opposed to Sinew) is almost finished.  It has 8 Plates!  Following it is something I'm calling the First Interlude, consisting of five Plates.  Four are already done.  The First Interlude covers subjects I really did want to include in this book but which weren't headgear per se.  These parts and procedures contribute to the 8 pieces but could stand on their own.  The five Plates are Braided Curbstraps, Connectors, Hobbles, Braided Rings and one I'm slipping in early, Peet's Romal Reins.  Peet's is very advanced, but only one button off of Tissarn's, piece no. 7.  I couldn't resist including it, but put it next to the parts about braiding sinew (e.g. Malaguena's) because that's what it was.

Sneak Peek of Plate T,  button formulas

Oh yes, using bold font on certain words just means they're important, or else it's the first time the reader sees them, and they get defined shortly thereafter.

These two chapters, Braided Buttons and the First Interlude, have sometimes just about made me cry.  It's been very frustrating working only a few hours per week, week after week after week, on this 25-year dream.  I just don't seem able to carve out big chunks of time.  There are so many other fun things to do,... plus so much adulting and other responsibilities.  FaceBook is one, but not the only, extreme time-waster out there.  I am really hoping Winter will solve some of this,...

Sneak Peek of Plate W, Curbstraps with Braid

On the good side, everyone who sees this mock-up in person has been very excited about it.  I printed out the pages and stuck them in this Binder for my own convenience.  When it's finally ready, this book will be published in pdfs, just like its elder brother, Guide To Making Model Horse Tack.

On the good side, the next piece up is the Peach Rose Bridle, and that one should be the easiest of all.  I've looked pretty hard for its photo in my files and finally found it:

Why would a bridle built in 2004 be filed under (and photo'd in) 2009?  Worse, how could I lose track of a picture used on this blog just last March??  Eh well, perhaps we shouldn't ask these kinds of questions -- !!  Just look at this beauty.  It only has 2 kinds of braided buttons on it, a 9P 4B with three rings of IW [Interweave] and a 7P 6B with two rings, for the tassels.  We already have those formulas on Plates in the Braided Buttons chapter -- plus how to read them, and all my methods!!  No wonder this book has been creeping along,...  there's so much in there.  Now I gotta remember where I wrote up about the Hill Tribes Silver beads (Bali beads) which form so prominent an element in this charming little bridle.

Of course, we're only barely at the halfway point.  There will be a Second Interlude, containing all the rest of the Formulae for the remaining headgear pieces.  There will hopefully be something about Braidwork on Western Saddles.  The Peach Rose has a whole saddle to it:

One decision I have to make is how much, if any, of this saddle to include.  I've got 5 pieces of headgear yet to go, including Mecates and Bosals, surely giant subjects and worthy of their own book.  (That's what I said about Malaguena's!  And that's what I'm saying about the Braided Thread Buttons chapter -- !)  The Snow Shoes, I can say with relief, merely need to be inked;  they're already drawn up.  So this effort is going to be a bigger book than the Guide, I think.  The more this saga goes on, the more I'm not backing down from a $25 price tag --!!

Slowly we are progressing.  As ever, I can only say:  Thanks for your patience.


  1. What a massive amount of work! I have never had any aspirations of being a hobby tackmaker but I have to thank you for all this work to share a gigantic amount of skill & knowledge, so many may have it in the future. You are amazing.

  2. I'd love to buy this in print to go with the 1st spiral bound! Can't wait! One of my favorite resources