My Rio Rondo order turned up! Yay! I've no idea where it's been hiding for the past three weeks, but I am relieved to have it here. Though, there is a downside of course - I have been compiling a list of my original order plus other stuff I needed, but since this order has turned up I will have to wait a little longer to order the new stuff.
Check out these cute twist beads I found hidden away on RR's sales page. I've no idea what to use them for, but I do like looking at them!
The other exciting piece of mail I received today was some 6mm grosgrain ribbon from eBay. I bought ten yards of each (that's about 9m), in royal blue, red, black and white. These should make excellent surcingles and girths for the racing saddles I intend to make in the future! Dan already has an order for a royal blue set next week. I'm wondering if I should put an elastic insert in them or not; some racing surcingles I've seen have this.
Last week I tried and tried to create a donation for a live show that's coming up in a couple of weeks, but all I could come up with was this in-hand bridle.
I think it looks super cute, but I won't give it away or sell it. I attempted using the 4.5mm lace again to make everything with tongue buckles, but I think these buckles are smaller than the D-rings, as it is damn near impossible to pull the straps through! You can see wear on the straps already, even though they have been used only a few times. It's also really obvious that the 4.5mm lace hasn't darkened after being coated with gum trag as much as the other widths of lace. Lace normally goes a bit darker, but for some reason the 4.5mm has stayed quite light.. I think the thickness of the lace also has an effect on absorption.
However, this project wasn't a total waste. I used this as an opportunity to try out an idea I saw on a bridle sold on eBay - a bit with a mullen mouthpiece. A small piece of leather is wrapped around the bit, instead of a crimp, to form the mouthpiece. From a distance it looks really cute, although close up you can tell it is just leather, as it isn't rounded. May look into black nickel crimps if I want to try this again in the future, as the leather and sticky wax do not cooperate. (I find this with reins too - sticky wax can only be used on the underside to hold them in place. I'm not sure if that's how the leather is, or if it's treated with something that repels the sticky wax.)
There's one last new item on this bridle I wanted to show off. See that browband and noseband? They are rolled! Ever since I started making tack, rolled browbands have eluded me, for a number of reasons. The centre was never straight, the raised section would be too big or too small, or the entire thing would be covered in glue. Yet when I made these a few days ago, they were pretty successful! Now let's hope it wasn't a fluke and that I can make more in the future...
After some farting around I got off my bum and redid the show bridle with slip buckles. The only pieces that are original to the first version are the brow and nosebands, leadline and bit. (I coated the leather on the bit with super glue so that the sticky wax adheres better.
Here is the finished piece.
The show is actually on today as I write this post, so I hope it goes to someone who will get lots of use out of it.