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Mulesaw

Halter from the old German book on saddlery.

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The other leather halters I have made were all basically copied from a standard nylon halter, but with a round cheek piece instead of a flat one.

During my reading of the old German book on saddlery, I came across a couple of plans for some halters. Naturally they look a lot like regular halters, but there are a few variations on some of them. The measurements fit pretty well with the measurements that I took on the halter of my wife's horse, so I decided to try and make one and then I'll see how it will fit once I get back home.

The most notable thing is that there is a headband which is something I have never seen on a halter.  Also the shown halter is made without a carabiner to close the cheek piece. So it is intended to be opened and closed solely from the buckle on the neck strap. We remove the halters as soon as the horses are in their boxes, and a carabiner is just a really fast way of unbuckling a halter, so that is one place where I'll stray from the original plans. At the moment I am working on the headband, so that's why it is not yet on the halter.

I bought some grease tanned leather on a sale while I was home, and I made some straps that I have brought with me. Actually I was certain that I had brought enough to make two halters, but somehow it takes more than I imagined to sew just a single one. I am fairly sure that my miscalculations are because I forgot to add all the places where the leather needs to be folded for attaching of hardware. 
The first halter will as mentioned be for my wife's horse, and the idea was that it could also serve as kind of an experimental piece. The next one was going to be for Cajou (Gustav's horse), and since that horse is shown off a lot more I would like that halter to be the nicest one.

Notable f... ups so far:
Sewing some of the straps a bit too tight to the rings.
Forgetting to mount the D-ring, hence needing to incorporate it after stitching holes were made, plus it is mounted in a bit of a weird position now.
Forgetting that to make a decent round cheek piece, the strap should be wider than 1" (I managed to make a somewhat decent job with the help of a lot of water).
Forgetting to subtract the length of the carabiner from the cheek piece. So this is now technically 3" too long.
Not bringing any correct square ring for assembling the lower part of the nose band. (I ended up modifying a conway buckle by means of a hacksaw and some silver soldering).
Experimenting with chain stitches for embroidering the name of the horse on the headband.
Not really taking into account that the headband should be lined, so the aforementioned letters are a bit too high.
 

But at least the weather out here is nice... :)

 

IMG_3017.jpg.a7c88af2d782ede5ba3743af7bfc7b96.jpg

Sunday sitting in the afternoon sun. With my little toolbox.

 

IMG_3018.jpg.12f8ce55f0d3b8569a46b51e7fa4c865.jpg

The leatherwork might not be the prettiest, but at least there's a fine view from the work station.

 

IMG_3019.jpg.c6fdc28b1fa7ffd2c17a24c2ef9e54c0.jpg

Hanging on the emergency steering wheel.

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I'd swap your workshop for mine anyday. We are about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK.

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On 10/10/2021 at 5:49 PM, Mulesaw said:

The other leather halters I have made were all basically copied from a standard nylon halter, but with a round cheek piece instead of a flat one.

During my reading of the old German book on saddlery, I came across a couple of plans for some halters. Naturally they look a lot like regular halters, but there are a few variations on some of them. The measurements fit pretty well with the measurements that I took on the halter of my wife's horse, so I decided to try and make one and then I'll see how it will fit once I get back home.

The most notable thing is that there is a headband which is something I have never seen on a halter.  Also the shown halter is made without a carabiner to close the cheek piece. So it is intended to be opened and closed solely from the buckle on the neck strap. We remove the halters as soon as the horses are in their boxes, and a carabiner is just a really fast way of unbuckling a halter, so that is one place where I'll stray from the original plans. At the moment I am working on the headband, so that's why it is not yet on the halter.

I bought some grease tanned leather on a sale while I was home, and I made some straps that I have brought with me. Actually I was certain that I had brought enough to make two halters, but somehow it takes more than I imagined to sew just a single one. I am fairly sure that my miscalculations are because I forgot to add all the places where the leather needs to be folded for attaching of hardware. 
The first halter will as mentioned be for my wife's horse, and the idea was that it could also serve as kind of an experimental piece. The next one was going to be for Cajou (Gustav's horse), and since that horse is shown off a lot more I would like that halter to be the nicest one.

Notable f... ups so far:
Sewing some of the straps a bit too tight to the rings.
Forgetting to mount the D-ring, hence needing to incorporate it after stitching holes were made, plus it is mounted in a bit of a weird position now.
Forgetting that to make a decent round cheek piece, the strap should be wider than 1" (I managed to make a somewhat decent job with the help of a lot of water).
Forgetting to subtract the length of the carabiner from the cheek piece. So this is now technically 3" too long.
Not bringing any correct square ring for assembling the lower part of the nose band. (I ended up modifying a conway buckle by means of a hacksaw and some silver soldering).
Experimenting with chain stitches for embroidering the name of the horse on the headband.
Not really taking into account that the headband should be lined, so the aforementioned letters are a bit too high.
 

But at least the weather out here is nice... :)

 

IMG_3017.jpg.a7c88af2d782ede5ba3743af7bfc7b96.jpg

Sunday sitting in the afternoon sun. With my little toolbox.

 

IMG_3018.jpg.12f8ce55f0d3b8569a46b51e7fa4c865.jpg

The leatherwork might not be the prettiest, but at least there's a fine view from the work station.

 

IMG_3019.jpg.c6fdc28b1fa7ffd2c17a24c2ef9e54c0.jpg

Hanging on the emergency steering wheel.

is that for a seahorse? lol Great looking work!

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@fivewayswelshcobs But being far from the sea must mean that you are either near some mountains or some other pretty scenery :-)

Though I have to admit that it is kind of nice sitting in the afternoon sun after the temperature has dropped a bit and sewing an gazing at the ocean. The temperature is a bit too hot for sitting in the sun during the day. With 30 dgC seawater and some 30 dgC in the shade. 

@chuck123wapati hahahahaha, That was actually a really good suggestion :-)

And thanks for the kind words

 

Brgds

Jonas

 

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16 hours ago, fivewayswelshcobs said:

I'd swap your workshop for mine anyday. We are about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK.

I have to agree ... That's a workshop that I could deal with!  

- Bill

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19 hours ago, Mulesaw said:

@fivewayswelshcobs But being far from the sea must mean that you are either near some mountains or some other pretty scenery :-)

Though I have to admit that it is kind of nice sitting in the afternoon sun after the temperature has dropped a bit and sewing an gazing at the ocean. The temperature is a bit too hot for sitting in the sun during the day. With 30 dgC seawater and some 30 dgC in the shade. 

@chuck123wapati hahahahaha, That was actually a really good suggestion :-)

And thanks for the kind words

 

Brgds

Jonas

 

its 29 dg F  here and we have our first winters snow 3" closed all the roads around. I live at 6700ft altitude. I'll bet that warm sun is kinda nice indeed lol wanna trade?

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@chuck123wapati 6700 ft sounds a bit mountainous :-) And truth be told, right now I wouldn't mind trading for a bit of snow.

We are heading to Curacao in the Caribbean, so it is going to be even warmer when we get there. The freight company managed to mess up a shipment of some extra plates for a cooler when we were in port in the Canary Islands,  and since that cooler is vital for the air condition plant I can't do much more about the temperature on board though I would like to. Hopefully the extra capacity will help us when it finally arrives on board.

But is is nice to watch a movie on Saturday night, where the picture is projected onto one of the sails. And just sit outside in shorts and t-shirt and still be comfortable.  And there are quite a few stars out here at night too. But I would guess that you got a spectacular sky at night too in Wyoming!

 

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8 minutes ago, Mulesaw said:

@chuck123wapati 6700 ft sounds a bit mountainous :-) And truth be told, right now I wouldn't mind trading for a bit of snow.

We are heading to Curacao in the Caribbean, so it is going to be even warmer when we get there. The freight company managed to mess up a shipment of some extra plates for a cooler when we were in port in the Canary Islands,  and since that cooler is vital for the air condition plant I can't do much more about the temperature on board though I would like to. Hopefully the extra capacity will help us when it finally arrives on board.

But is is nice to watch a movie on Saturday night, where the picture is projected onto one of the sails. And just sit outside in shorts and t-shirt and still be comfortable.  And there are quite a few stars out here at night too. But I would guess that you got a spectacular sky at night too in Wyoming!

 

One of the most beautiful places in the world to see the stars, except maybe out on the ocean. LOL i am not far from the mountains but i live in on the edge of the red desert on the continental divide. Its is fun talking to those youngsters who do the hiking the divide stuff they don't realize that the continental divide isn't all mountains, pine trees, fresh springs, and beautiful mountain glades, until they get here, they get about 60 to 100 miles of the great basin desert, burning sun and fierce winds that dry you to the bone in the summer. 

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On 10/11/2021 at 1:49 AM, Mulesaw said:

The most notable thing is that there is a headband which is something I have never seen on a halter.  Also the shown halter is made without a carabiner to close the cheek piece. So it is intended to be opened and closed solely from the buckle on the neck strap.

What do you mean by headband? The halter you made looks like most others I've seen  - except better made! Lovely work!

Regarding the missing snap on the throat latch: It might be a time/availability problem. When did snap hooks become really popular? Buckles have been around for a very long time... But there is also the practical advantage that you dont need to drag the crownpiece over the horse's ears, squeezing them in the process, if you open it. On the other hand, most riding horses are used to having something pulled over their ears as bridles don't come apart at the crown either... 

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@Klara Hi Klara, the headband was the part I was working on when I took the pictures, so it isn't attached yet :-) But it will be just like a headstall with a headband in front of the ears going across the forehead of the horse. 

I am technically still working on it, since the halter is mostly a Sunday project out here. During the day so much is happening, but Sunday is not a full working day for us, so I try to take some time to do a bit of work that is not related to the ship. So maybe I'll get around to install the headband this weekend.

It is an interesting subject when a snap hook or carabiner became popular. I would guess that the time issue was the most important thing here. When you have a dedicated stable boy, it wouldn't mean much if he had to do it the slow way. Also when we drive the horses in the trailer to e.g. the forest for a ride, it is really nice that releasing and mounting the halter is as fast as possible, to avoid having the horse without any headgear in the shortest amount of time. 
I know that you can also do it inside the trailer, but that is also a risky business since there is not much space, and if the horse jerks its head you can be injured, or it could step on your feet etc. So at least for Mettes horse we tend to do it outside the trailer, because the horse is much more calm when it can see the surroundings. 

But I guess that I could try to make the halter without a carabiner. If it proves that it is more troublesome to use it that way - I could always install a carabiner later on.

Brgds

Jonas

 

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I was not only wondering about the snap hook on the headcollar (btw., I'm not convinced that pulling the halter over the horse's ears and closing the snap is so much faster than removing a well-cared for strap from a buckle! Also, with the buckle you can secure the halter as a headcollar around the horse's neck while you are putting on the bridle - that's how I learnt to do it), but about snap hooks in general. Were they even easily available (for whatever purpose) when the book was written?

Does the author say why there is a browband on the halter? I mean, I have one on my horse's halter, but a) it has a fringe against flies and b) I have cheek pieces for the halter to attach a bit and the browband stops the halter from sliding back and pulling the bit up in the mouth. So I wonder whether the halter in the book is also prepared for transformation into a bridle?

 

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Hi Klara

I was taught to do a similar thing with the halter when putting on the bridle, except just throwing putting it all over the head of the horse, like a giant necklace. If the horse is calm I prefer to do it without it, but inside a stable or in the box he can't run off anyway :-)

I can see on some of the pictures that the author does describe carabiners, so they must have been commonplace too, but maybe they were just more expensive? I guess that you are right actually about a well cared for strap being fast too. I think I am going to try it out, just for the experience.

There is no mention of why a headband should be added, but practically all the halters are shown with a headband. My guess is that the halter sits a bit more securely, but that is just a guess.
It is a bit interesting with the anti fly fringe. Cause I haven't seen those mentioned anywhere in the book - and for comparison, he devotes half a page and 3 illustrations on different types of hats for the horses to protect against the sun. 

As far as I can see, none of the halters are designed to be transformed into bridles. The author distinguish between halters and bridles, so I guess it was just the norm at that time. One of the halters he calls a marching halter, and that one seems to be more adjustable so that it would sit neatly to the head of the horse and I guess allowing it to be lead without a risk for the halter to come of by accident.

 

IMG_3032.jpg.025bfd73ca1cef248c690b3e4d4a0ff0.jpg

 

 

IMG_3033.jpg.c20786cca9071a81a6f60699ec5cda11.jpg

The upper halter on this page is the one I am trying to make. It looks just like a modern halter - but with a head band. (save for the missing carabiner)

 

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