Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tack Day

Sunday is rapidly becoming tack day. I went off tack-making for a little bit but the last two Sundays have seen me pull out the supply box, so I hope this fixation is here to stay!

I bought this beautiful you-finish-it classic saddle from Kirsteen Haley back in October last year, but it didn't arrive until the end of January this year. And then it sat on my desk for a month as I tried to figure out a) what the extra strap is for, and b) what I can do to dress up the saddle!

While I still haven't figured out either of those things, today I did spend a few minutes on the saddle, and with help from Shannon (um, I want to say Granger but I'm not sure - the lady who does Model Horse Performance Magazine!)'s blog, I turned the fixed stirrup fenders into moving ones!

There's an extra strap under the fenders that Kirsteen has informed me is for adjustable stirrups. Gulp! There's a photo on Shannon's blog for adjustable stirrups - I'm just not sure if I can pull it off.

I'm also not sure what decoration to put on the saddle. It needs something to set off the silver horn, but I'm not sure if corner plates on the lower skirt will work. I do intend to put some silver stirrups on there though.

Last Sunday I made a pair of velcro-style classic skid boots with the intention of sticking them on MHSP. Haven't got that far yet as I'm not positive they will sell. There's a pen mark on the interior of one (you can see it in the second photo) and while I've had the boots on my horse for a week with no signs of bleeding, I'm not sure if someone would buy them with that mark there.

I spent today working on a classic Western bridle with the etched bridle plates from Rio Rondo. The bridle looks fantastic, as do the rope reins, but since I don't have a hot glue gun (not going to invest in one) or epoxy, the plates aren't staying on too well. I'll have to experiment to find a glue here that works. I wanted to make this bridle for a sale piece, since there rarely seems to be any classic tack on MHSP, but until I can get those plates stuck permanently, this bridle isn't going anywhere.

During the week I've also been playing with the blackening technique for Rio Rondo's halter plates. I've determined that: a) Sharpie is not a good choice for blackening (it's too purple) but Artline textas work well; b) clear nail polish doesn't work as a fixative, and c) not all designs need blackening to look good.

I'm also having trouble finding a fixative. Rio Rondo recommends a polyurethane clear gloss, which of course I am having lots of trouble finding. I picked up a can of 'National Art Materials Crystal Clear' to try since it was only $10, but I have a feeling it's not going to be suitable.  Sigh!

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