I just finished the 2nd piece of what will be a entire new set of Plateau horse gear.
I made this bridle using the "Quill Wrapped Horse Hair" technique, which was a fairly rare type of quillwork in the 19th century, and eventually fell by the wayside until it was revived perhaps 30 years ago. I have seen it used mostly for war shirt strips, moccasin keyhole designs and on a few blanket strips. But I have not seen it used on a bridle before. So this is more of a creative license exercise on my part than it is a real, historic item.
This was made using natural dyed porcupine quills, sinew sewn on brain tan moose hide and trimmed off using antique Italian seed beads, also sinew sewn. The feather forehead ornament is pheasant tail feathers with ermine spots and red dyed chicken feathers. The reins are twisted horse hair.
My model Cappy was not his usual happy self in these photos….showing what I like to term his "Appytude"! Everyone has a bad day I guess :-) In these photos, I did not use the bit pictured below because the size and weight of it. But this bridle will be displayed with a traditional ring bit.
The bit is a hand forged antique bit, which I made and added the chain ornaments often seen used on bits like this.
6 more pieces to do! Must keep the hammer down. More to post I hope soon.