Braided Hay String Tack

Discussion in 'Driving Miniature Horses' started by paintponylvr, Dec 4, 2012.

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  1. Dec 4, 2012 #1

    paintponylvr

    paintponylvr

    paintponylvr

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    I'm starting this thread with the quote from Susanne...

    AGAIN - THANK YOU! Wow - I never expected this response on my braiding. I've posted pics a couple of times int he past - but never got that, LOL.

    Ugh - just reread this - and it's not quite in order, but you will get the idea.

    I thought it was a cheap way to do what I wanted to FINALLY get to do - when I had no $$ to get proper equipment. I had time on my hands - due to not having a lot of equine at the time (the smileys aren't working in this post, darn-it - wanted the ROFLMAO one...) and not having a truck for several years. I've always enjoyed making the equipment for our ponies & horses - starting almost 30 years ago when I had our first pony and horses when I was in 4H. I got started in Paracord braiding - but started with only the books. Then while waiting for the first order of cord to arrive, I practiced with the hay string. I mean - I had tons of the stuff! Well, when the first cord order arrived - I also braided with it - and didn't like it. So, went back to the haystring. Whenever one of my two horsey friends' would haul me and my riding horses or driving ponies out, I'd be n the passenger seat - braiding. It went with me to Dr & Dentist offices. Gave me something to do with my hands so I wouldn't bite my nails or tear my cuticles so much... Didn't want to do the typical needlework or quilting, LOL.

    I'd seen a book on Macrame'd tack - some 30 years ago in the Western Horseman magazine. I went searching for it again - and found that the Western Horseman still has a regular ad in the ADs - for a company called "U Braid It". They have upgraded with technology too - go check out www. ubraidit dot com.

    It was a surprise to see one of the Minis in the Draft Horse Halter class at Nationals with a braided headstall and lead shank. WOW, I can do that. I've already contacted the woman who had that mini and asked who did it for her and have been out to that website. I can make one like that, too! I'm kinda excited.

    **********

    I've made balancing side reins (flat to round back to flat), driving lines (a round braid - to get 20' finished line each string starts out at 45'), collars, bucket ties, fencing line, trailer ties, cross ties, lead ropes (both round and flat strands). Then head stalls w/ throat latches & brow bands. I've made permanently attached curb straps (used as lounging straps) as well as buckled curb straps. I started with flat straps that could have a conway buckle put on, to doing buckles on the ends to doing some braiding then braiding a buckle in - actually getting the orientation correct so that the strap folded w/o twisting to buckle correctly! Harness - simple breast collars with a ring on each end like breeching, breaching, hip straps w/ a "y", back straps with a ring and then the crupper attachment done separate to the ring.

    Here's a decent pic that shows my first crupper and you can sort of see the different braiding style. It goes from flat to round back to flat. The back strap is too long for this little mare, but several 1/2 hitches at least keep the ends from flopping:

    [​IMG]

    and here was one of the last bridles I'd made. Since then, I've made mostly leadropes and simple 4 or 6 strand braided items (out of small square bale string). Yes, this is haystring and it was used - pulled out of the muck, rinsed - soaped w/ Dawn - rinsed and hung on the fence to dry.

    [​IMG]

    When I started braiding, I used hardware I'd saved from other bridles, halters and leadropes. Especially with haystring - if the already used hardware wears out the rest of the way (and it does), then you just remove it from the haystring product and start over. The haystring goes into the recycle bag, the hardware into the trash... Now, I purchase specific pieces of stainless steel - to use in my harness (and right now I have quite a number of pieces as after stocking up, I suddenly had a lot more ponies and no time!!).

    I've made 2 complete harness(s) - pleasure type. More like show type I guess. I haven't even tried to do a gig saddle - figured would still use the surcingle or purchase a bio/beta one that was affordable. I've done part of a 3rd harness, but haven't finished it yet. It's made very differently - in that most of it is double layered to include the traces.

    But I like the tied, no hardware halters the best. I braid the rope out of 4 or 6 strands and then "tie it up"... I need to make more - but it takes me a while to do the knots.

    Also, vicki and I made looms. I haven't had the chance to use mine yet - she's used hers to utilize the jute type haystring she had. She's made a very NICE mat. Outdoor type. I want to do several of my own - then use a whip stitch to join them into a larger mat - to use at a show to stand on in a grooming stall or ???

    To see the rest of the pics of the braiding projects that I've done - braiding Album
     
  2. Dec 5, 2012 #2

    Katiean

    Katiean

    Katiean

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    Thats really cool.
     
  3. Dec 5, 2012 #3

    maggiemae

    maggiemae

    maggiemae

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    How much do you sell the bridles for?
     
  4. Dec 5, 2012 #4

    threeten

    threeten

    threeten

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    Wow! I really like your stuff. Is it hard to get started doing this? I think I may try to do some simple three strand braids and see what happens. Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. Dec 6, 2012 #5

    Silver City Heritage Farmstead

    Silver City Heritage Farmstead

    Silver City Heritage Farmstead

    Can't stop now (formerly Dragons Wish Farm)

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    Paula---

    It's Julie in Raeford, and I have GOT to come up and visit!! [​IMG] I need to see how you do this braiding!! Please drop me a note, either here or at DragonsWishFarm@yahoo.com, and let me know when a future Monday might work for you to have a visitor.

    Thank you in advance, can't wait to come over!! Julie
     
  6. Dec 7, 2012 #6

    paintponylvr

    paintponylvr

    paintponylvr

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    Hi Maggiemae -

    Hadn't really thought about it. Sometimes it takes a while to braid items and now it's a lot harder to find the time to braid (I now have 30 ponies & 5 big horses I care for by myself).

    Also, I hadn't considered that anyone would be interested in items made from already used haystring... Hmmm. Maybe I should look at doing this instead of getting more serious about hunting for a new job in the new year. You are the 4th person to ask me about selling these.

    Let me think about it.
     
  7. Dec 7, 2012 #7

    paintponylvr

    paintponylvr

    paintponylvr

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    JULIE - I LOVE VISITORS!

    I'm doing the parade in Broadway tomorrow (our first parade). It's now raining on the wagon I hosed off and dried earlier (If I'd put it in the barn the chickens would have roosted on/in it). It wasn't supposed to rain, but since that's needed - it'll just get dried off tomorrow and the decorations will go on at the parade. The rain won't hurt the wagon at all.

    This Monday - I'm available. Next Monday as well - tho I may be both "bubbly" and tired. I'm going to SC to get some concentrated driving lessons and may be participating in my first ADT. Shall see how it all goes! Leave Thurs afternoon and come back Sunday afternoon. It's a 5+ hour drive. I'm taking 5 ponies down with me. Hope to be only bringing 4 back right now... One stay for training/driving time.

    Where in Raeford are you? I regularly come your direction - at least several times in the past 2 months. Used to have an account at the Lake Rim Feed Store and was at that Tractor Supply for their Grand Opening. Has been over a year since I've visited that Tractor Supply - might be time fora nother visit!

    While my farrier was working on two ponies this morning, I braided 3 cords out of of 4 small bale haystrings (each). Pretty amazing - they will work great next week for bucket holders at the barn we are visiting! And as trailer ties for the extra(s) we are taking tomorrow to the parade... I only had two purchased trailer ties and will have 3 ponies and 2 minis in the trailer along with my wagon and harness.

    Wanna go driving???????????? Love to have an extra person along - have a new pony who just had her 2nd pair hitch today. Planning around a visit when I can have someone around during hitching - good thing!
     
  8. Dec 10, 2012 #8

    maggiemae

    maggiemae

    maggiemae

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    Can you shoot me a pm and tell me who you are taking lessons from? Just FYI Sue Hrizuk of Barn Star Farms is great - she is in SC.
     
  9. Dec 10, 2012 #9

    paintponylvr

    paintponylvr

    paintponylvr

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    Beverly -

    If you like braiding - it's not all that hard at all. I'd gotten to the point I could do a 12 strand flat braid while watching TV or a movie... A little out of practice now again - been a while since I could take the time to do any serious braiding. Been really busy training ponies to drive and doing a lot of traveling (with me doing all the driving) this year!

    The 3 strand braids are great - but are very hard to secure neatly or to braid back (to me) for bridles, halters and anything around the horse's head. Not impossible - just more difficult. However, its the fastest way to braid. I did a lot of double 3 strand braids out of haystring originally (you can actually do a neat splice with this particular braid that doesn't show too much or make the braided line too bulky) - I used the long lines I created to make "cowboy gates" (gates out of string attached to a pole that is pulled tight and then stuck into a loop on the botto of the post and at the top has a loop dropped down over it to close the gate), and fencing. Worked a treat - until horses and ponies figured out that the haystring wasn't hot - then it didin't work anymore - they either crawled thru it or blasted thru it at a full out gallop (2 yr old arab mare). Wish I'd gotten pics of the gate before she destroyed it...sigh. That particular gate lasted almost 4 years before she destroyed it. It cut her up a bit too, before it broke inseveral spots (the main part that broke was the PVC upright the string was attached to).

    I made a tie out line for a friend of mine. Her National Show Horse didn't tie well and if peeved or frustrated or scared - he'd set back. He's broken several snaps now (& two high quality flat nylon halters) - they've all been replaced on that double 3 strand braid of haystring and it's still going strong. I gave it to her in 2008.

    The book that got me started again is currently sold out but they say it will be available again after the new year. Braiding ... I have not actually made any of the projects in the book - but started customizing almost immediately so that I had stuff to fit the Shetlands. I do make the dog collars, but half the time I just make them on a ring and a long strand - then sew it back to itself. Only one piece of hardware... Much stronger that way and doesn't wear out the strings so fast. However, they are "semi-permanent" that way and need to be cut off when you want to remove it.

    With haystring, I haven't mastered any of the keepers or specialty knots used to hold the ends or make adjustments. I've just done the Turkshead knots at the end of a braid. Just for grins and giggles, I ordered a Knot book (put out and used by Sailors) and I was "laid low". I had NO IDEA that knotting was so intricate or that it was so heavily used... WOW. One of the making horse tack books I have shows ways to use different techniques so that you use no metal hardware (usually braided by vaqueros using rawhide). It also has much "Wow" factor!!!
     

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