Timaru Star II Braided Saddle Sets Page Two

Click to go to #432, the bottom of the first page.

Bridle for TSII #427, The Mint Chocolate Chip set, now owned by C. Robertson.  The main ingredient to this confection was a type of dental floss which turned out to be quite difficult to work with, and it won't be used again!  The bit is sterling silver hand-cut and stamped, with Rio Rondo conchos added on.  The face ornament and its noseband are removable.

TSII TSII #427.  The reason for the name of this set, the Mint Chocolate Chip, is easy to see.  A request for 'light color' led to this extraordinary saddle.  First time of using a fabric, instead of leather or suede, for the seat; indeed, first time of using such a light color at all.  It is very hard to photograph and is actually darker and greener than this shot.  Finished 0209.10.  The tri-color braiding, of white, chocolate and mint green, was also a first.

The bresatcollar for TSII #427 was my first attempt at using a rawhide-braided ring for the center of a breastcollar.  I'm only ashamed I didn't think of it earlier.  (Many tack ideas are like that.)  The braided-ring idea would go on to further heights; this first incarnation was finished in September, 2002.

Bridle etc to TSII #426. Along with the saddle, this is the set that sold on eBay for $860.00, closing June 24, 2002.  A back cinch and second set of romal reins were added later.  Notice the unusual use of three different materials of braid (heavy thread, sinew, and doubled lighter thread) and the non-symmetrical arrangement of these braided buttons.  The twisted-wire buckles and floral conchos are handmade.  Bit by Rio Rondo.

TSII #426.  The "Eleven Tassel" saddle, another 'daughter' of #423 and a clear step in the evolution, which has now 'arrived'!  Begun in April, 2002; finished on June 11.  Firsts: tassels on blanket; braided & woven sinew stirrups with rawhide core; stamping pattern & color; and the three different materials for braidwork.  Owned by K. Grieve.  This set seems to get around! being featured on the back cover of Horsing Around Issue 59, the cattle working articles in Horsing Around, and April 2004 of a model horse calendar... for starters. :)

TSII #425.  "Zebra Throat."  I am listing this one in its chronological sequence---it was built after #426, below.  Zebra Throat was begun June 20, 2002, and finished August 9 in Kansas City.  It was a trade deal, and in fact I got a truly marvelous Candy Evans saddle for it!  Numer 425's notable feature, a striped slip-fashion braided throatlatch, was inspired by other tackmakers' work both real and model, including Heather Abounader.

TSII #425.  Yet another step in the evolution of the braided saddle set, this one brought in the contrasting braid on the stirrup edges.  I don't know what madness took me to this step, nor what inspired the attempt to try two difference materials & patterns on the same saddle: the one, black and white thread, and the other, the rawhide (sinew) rosettes.  Number 425 is a sort of 'daughter' to TSII #423, as I was inspired to try rawhide rosettes.  owned by C. Evans, finished 0208.09.

TSII #424.  In this elegant photograph by Beth Rappleyea (used by permission), all the elements come together---all the colors so carefully matched are revealed.  Clearly it's a dream come true!  The lady has dark green chaps and even green earrings.  The horse is sculpted and painted by Ann Harris (one of her "Lakota Sue" issues) and the doll is by Mrs. Balling.  Horse, rider and outfit owned by Beth.

TSII #424.  Close up of the bridle.  This was my first FB RB to use the color dark-green, and the first to use embroidery floss!-- so common with everybody else.  (I guess I have resistances to following the crowd...)  The bridle sports one of our very labor-intensive handmade solid silver bits; it has a second tiny concho on the lower shank.  The curbstrap is also a new design, a type of slit and button.

TSII #424.  The Green & White set, or "Kili's" made for B. Rappleyea, finished in February 2002.  Beth worked very closely with me in all stages of design for this set, resulting in a unique, custom-taylored vision.  One sign is the difficult stamping design, made by tilting a rare stamp I had.  Another unique aspect is the corner medallions, done with very thin strips of mylar (the smallest size made!) and inspired by Sergeant's.

Here is a close-up of the breastcollar to TSII #424.  This was my first successful experiment in using two braided ropes side by side to make a breastcollar, so as to match the labor-intensive FB RBs.  I can't say I've ever seen this in real life, but it oughta be!  Despite difficulties in getting the crimps to cover all of the join, the experiment was a success.

TSII #423.  The great pivotal set, Eleanor's Braided.  Finished October 2001.  The thumbnail leads to a complete separate page for this saddle.  It still stands as our most complete effort in the direction of a fully braided saddle set.  With minor differences, the techniques are used today, and so it passes the test of time.  Truly, it set my gold standard. :)

Forward to the top of Braided Saddle Sets Page Three.
Return to the top of the first Braided Saddle Sets page.