Timaru Star II Braided Headgear, Page Three

This bridle and matching breastcollar have very long braided buttons---so long I didn't count the parts or wraps.  This is the first time we have made such a style of braidwork, and the first time we have used this dark blue color.  The long buttons are 3-bight, 7-part, with the 7 being nominal at best!  The 'pumpkin & silver' breastcollar was made to match an earlier bridle.  Owned by R. Nikolaidis, finished in October 2001.

This is my own FBRB, begun on the occasion of my birthday in April (before Campbell's), and not finished until November 00!  It is named after the horse it's on, "Butterminx".  It started as a test of an idea: what would a pure sinew & silver bridle look like?  Later, when Campbell's was sweeping the field: how can we keep such a prototype?  Happily, this bridle answered all the questions.

Here is 'Campbell's Bridle' on Pretty Boy (Stone's Young Rider's Windy) shot in sunset light.  The pioneering technique on this piece for me was the smaller gauge of thread: topstitching rather than button & craft.  The bit is handmade from sterling silver sheet, with a Rio Rondo concho on top.  Finished July 2000.

The Campbell bridle head-on, worn by Rarotonga.  This face piece and the one on Butterminx' bridle are similar.  They were made by splitting down the sinew beyond the usual 4 strands, a very difficult process.  The tassels are made from cheap shreddy dental floss: less wax equals perfect miniature white horsehair...

Ensor's blue-and-white bosal hackamore, finished 0008.16.  The bosal was started while on vacation in May, and the mecate had to be made three times--- the first two were too short!  Yes, those buttons are woven knots: the white ones are 4-bight 11-part, done with heavy (button & craft) thread.

Emma Harrison's Braided Weymouth bridle.  Commissioned in fall 1999 (with a jpg so huge it sank my computer at the time), it was finally completed in January 2000.  Firsts for this very interesting piece were the bit, handmade & plated (it started out a loose-shank but had to become a one-piece tension bit for stability); the buttons, my first-ever cone-shaped 4-part 9-bights; the struggle to get all the straps and buttons to fit evenly (constant fiddling!!); and the sinew tassel, which took much work.

The second chapter in the story of this amazing bridle was its travels to Britain.  Foolishly I placed a high value on it and shipped it off.  After a long time, I heard that it had landed at her door---only to be turned away because of an unreasonably high tariff!!  It actually came all the way back to me.  I had the unusual chance to test and tighten my work again.....It was now decided to carry it to BreyerFest and personally hand it over to Mac & Vanessa of Horsing Around magazine.

But its troubles weren't over.  Mac & Vanessa included it in a box bound for England, but somehow the box lost its label.  My first clue was a phone call from the Cincinnati UPS!!!  "There's a letter here you wrote..."  Frantically I told the man of Mac's inbound shipping troubles, which I happened to know of; frantically I emailed Vanessa (& Emma) of this latest twist.  All gods be thanked that Mac got in touch with Cincinnati, and later reported the box finally made it home.  Weeks later came the last act: an email from Parklane, saying she couldn't find words to thank me enough for this bridle.  Thank you Emma for your patience!  :)  One wonders if any more adventures are in store...

A brown sinew FBRB with red, white and sinew buttons.  This bridle has an unusual number of buttons...most do not have so many.  Finished 9901.26; owned by R. Nikolaidis.

Here is the bridle to TSII Saddle #411, which had tassels with buttons and a flat braid breastcollar.  Owned by K. Ercoli.

This is my first Western Show Halter with braided buttons on it, created in July 2000.  The plates are handmade from Aluminum and handstamped with a customized tool,made from a leather stamp.  It has proven very useful!

This is Malaguena's bridle, made in July 1995, in the first wave of flat braid discoveries.  That was the week I learned how to do interweaves...This picture has been our flagship ever since this website was launched.  Now it takes its chronological place, superceded by Campbell's... but never forgotten!

I just have to slip these in from my old (1997) webpage.  Both were made in 1996.  The left went to K. Carter of Canada; the right to R. Nikolaidis of Germany.  A copy of the left was also made and kept by the author.  This is an example of a strap ring-cheek adjustment: somewhat different from a braided ring-cheek, yet both do adjust without buckles.

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