Posts Tagged ‘model horse tack’

For more experienced tack makers, this is probably really obvious. However, it took me an embarrassing amount of time to figure out, so I’m hoping this post might help someone else out there. (unless I’m the only one T_T)

I used to hate making tongue buckles. I must have made a subconscious decision to get over it, as I’ve been putting them on everything lately. (and that decision is working- I don’t hate them so much anymore)

The problem I kept running into was the tongues, and how they would line up crooked or wouldn’t lay flat against the buckle. I couldn’t figure out why this kept happening until I looked at a full-size buckle. (aka a belt, as I don’t have any real tack to look at here)

I saw the problem immediately.

To make tongue buckles, I would cut a small notch in a folded piece of leather lace, then thread the buckle and tongue on. Even though I was making the notch big enough for the tongue, I wasn’t considering the size of the loop attaching it to the buckle.

Here’s an older example, on a miniature horse halter I made some years ago:

Crooked tongue argghhh

Here’s a newer one. From the top it looks ok…

But from the side, you can see the problem:

Since the loop couldn’t fit through the notch, it wasn’t acting like a proper buckle at all.

I’ve since solved this by using a mechanical pencil to punch a hole through the folded piece of lace.

I keep it close to the folded edge, then use my exacto blade to cut a bit off one end.

When opened, this creates a nice slot (not a tiny hole!) for the buckle tongue to fit through.

My buckles are looking and working so much better now. It’s amazing how such a small thing can make such a huge difference!


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I’m attempting to make at least one tack piece every month this year. This weekend I had time to put together the first, a western bridle made to fit Breyer’s “Wyatt” mold:

This was based off a photo of a Billy Royal bridle. I chose it because there were two new things I wanted to try making: the knotted browband and the leather ties attaching it to the bit.

The browband was a lot easier than I thought it would be. (good reference photos help so much!) The stitching shouldn’t go all the way to the end though. I always make my browbands too big at first, and made the mistake of adding the stitches before fitting it properly. Something to keep in mind for next time anyway…!

But aside from that minor detail, I’m really happy with this bridle.

The leather ties work just like the full-sized ones do. There’s no way I’ll be changing the bit out though, so they are glued in place, but I love the added detail.

I also love details like this, which you can’t even see but it’s still there so it makes me happy:

So, January? Done! February…? I have ideas…

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It’s been a productive, sewing-filled weekend. But I’m glad! Four pads down, three more to go!

It’s been a while since I’ve made any bareback pads, so I have a few of those in the works as well:

Also, I might have started something Christmas related… 😉

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