If you’ve ever delighted in “dressing” your Breyer horses up just by using various odds and ends you find around your house, like felt for a blanket or yarn that you make shift into a halter, you might find great pleasure in creating your own tack for your precious models.
Of course, you can buy pre-made tack from Breyer and individual dealers and stores, but there’s a sense of satisfaction that just comes when your own two hands create the vision in your brain.
We will take a little bit of time just to discuss the basic materials to gather and keep on hand for when the urge strikes you, like on a cold, snowy day, and you decide to play ‘”dress up” with your horses!
The tack you can make for your models can range from simple like a lead rope, halter, shipping bandages or saddle pad to an English or Western ensemble all the way up to elaborate costumes, like on a circus horse or Arabian show horse.
You may need weaving string to create an elaborate Arabian halter and lead rope, whereas bridles and saddles may require calfskin. You can practice on pieces of fabric, felt, lace, string and yarn at first, but when you are ready to move to the next level here are some supplies you will need on hand:
Leather – calfskin binding is used for bridle side pieces, nose bands, reins, lead shanks, saddles, harnesses, halters and stirrups. You can buy calfskin by the foot or yard from online providers or in local craft stores. Recycling old calfskin satchels, wallets and even shoes is a great option if you don’t want to buy your items new from the store and it will save you money. These items can be cut, separated and utilized for creating tack, as well. You can discover old calfskin products at thrift stores and second hand shops like the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Also, you can find many items at yard sales and garage sales, which are fun in themselves because it’s like you’re on a treasure hunt.
Hop rings – O rings – molded rings sold in the jewelry aisles of specialty supply and craft stores. They make extraordinary snaffle bit rings or bridle rings.
Metal clasps and stirrups – these are cool things you can discover from providers, for example, like Rio Rondo, or on eBay. They should be scaled to fit your model horse and its tack.
Art stick Glue – a great quality, clear drying art stick is a must for making tack.
Sharp scissors – most tack makers have at least two sets of scissors on their art table. A great pair of dressmaking shears helps you trim pieces of calfskin easily, while little, sharp needle working scissors can cut the fine, tiny pieces of your tack.
Sticks and tacks – holds bits of cowhide together while the glue dries.
Exacto Knife or disposable cutter – this helps you scrape and trim the edges of the calfskin before you combine them, so the pieces fit together flawlessly. Exercise care and be alert when utilizing sharp blades and disposable cutters. Youngsters should be accompanied by an adult when they are using these tools.
Work light – a brilliant work light diminishes eye strain and aids you to see the small subtleties of your scaled down tack ventures.
Ruler or measuring tape – similarly as with every smaller than usual task, it’s vital to measure each piece precisely so you won’t waste materials or run short while you are in the middle of your project.
There are other miscellaneous supplies you will require, contingent upon the tack you are making. For example, a lead shank may require a short length of chain for the end that is in scale to the model. Western tack may require metal pieces, which can be cut from an old can or pie plate. Bedouin outfits are made of silk or comparative fabric, with a casing underneath and extravagant beading and trim. The list of items above will give you a good foundation to your new undertaking of creating your own tack for your beloved Breyer models. Have fun!