Bespoke Bridle – Tracey & Elfie

Bespoke Bridle – Tracey & Elfie

Tracey contacted me recently to ask about my made to measure bridle service for her horse, Elfie. Elfie Elfie is a 16hh coloured cob mare with a HUGE head, which means that an ‘off-the-shelf’ bridle does not fit her correctly unless Tracey buys two different sizes and piece them together to make one bridle that fits. If you’re having the same issue then you too might be better off with a bespoke made-to-measure bridle made by a professionally trained saddler, as it will often cost the same as a designer brand bridle but instead you have a choice in the design and the colours to use. Bespoke Bridle Tracey decided to purchase a bespoke bridle so that she could have everything she wanted in one simple design. Tracey loves the colour orange and wanted her bridle to reflect this so it matched her orange saddle cloth and stirrup irons. Another desire was to have a shaped headpiece, a wider noseband at 2.25”, a v-shaped browband and plaited reins, all in...
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Girth Straps – Shiny Side Up or Shiny Side Down?

Girth Straps – Shiny Side Up or Shiny Side Down?

Back in March, I asked my Social Media followers a question regarding girth straps and which side is the 'right' side. Don't Shoot The Messenger Well, before you all shoot the messenger, what I am about to tell you is what is known as the 'correct' way. Ask your Saddler/Saddle Fitter This doesn't mean that you have to go straight out and have your straps changed. The 'Correct' Way Girth straps should be stitched onto the webbs of your saddle with the dull side up (shiny side facing down). An awful lot of saddles are made with the girth straps the other way round (shiny side up). This is predominantly due to consumer requests. Whilst training for my City and Guilds Saddle Making qualification, I was taught to do everything the correct way. This includes hand-stitching girth straps into saddles with the dull side up as this is the safest and most durable way for them to be done. Customer's Preference Most customers don't like the look of the girth straps...
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The British Leather Industry

The British Leather Industry

The British Leather Industry became a global importance around the late 19th Century. Walsall, a town located in the West Midlands, became known as the centre of the British leather industry, producing and exporting saddles, bridles and harness. Why Walsall? It is unclear as to why Walsall became the centre for the British leather industry. Maybe it was due to the town already having an established Lorinery or Saddlers Ironmongery industry. What is Lorinery or Saddlers Ironmongery? Lorinery or Saddlers Ironmongery are specialist blacksmiths who produce horse-related metalwork such as stirrups, bits, buckles, spurs and saddle trees. In the 1830s it was a local Loriner ‘Thomas Newton’ who claimed to produce the towns first ready-made riding saddle. The Introduction of the Sewing Machine Around 1860 the sewing machine was introduced, which sped up the production of some leather items, particularly harness traces. By 1861 there were 60 known companies in Walsall making bridles, saddles and harness, as well as 15 Tanneries and Currying works that actually produced the leather. Export...
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Bridles – Do You Know The Different Types?

Bridles – Do You Know The Different Types?

When I Was Young When I was young and attended the local riding school, the only type of bridle I was familiar with was the snaffle bridle. A traditional sort of bridle made from black or brown leather with a single bit, usually a snaffle bit, hence the bridle's name. Some bridles had brass clincher browbands and others had a decorative stitch but that was the fanciest it got. Some ponies wore cavesson nosebands and some wore nothing at all. As the years passed and I progressed from riding school ponies to loan ponies, I learned about the different bridles as well as the various bits of equipment to go with them. Another 20 years later and bridles have further adapted in so many ways. Advanced Research Thanks to advanced research and owners becoming more aware of their own horses, we now have anatomical headpieces, rolled leather, bitless options and a huge array of different bits that is enough to blow anyone's mind. So, if you are a...
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