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Nov 12, 2014

Steps involved in making a bridle by hand

Not only are IR Bridles hand crafted, they are designed to last. No part of the bridle is left out when thinking of the comfort of the horse and rider.

Each IR Bridle starts with the very best in English bridle leather which has a straight edge cut into it, then the strips for the bridle cut off. The following pictures are of a flash strap.

The strips are cut into the bridle components individual to each order. These are then edged to remove the sharp corner off the leather on both sides. These edges are stained and polished by hand to seal the edges to prevent the leather from soaking up water and sweat.

The next step is to hot crease a line around the whole strap which makes the leather look finer and finished. This line should remain in the leather for the life of the item.


Creasing leather


Hole punching for buckle tongues on turns and points follows on from creasing which then allows for stitchmarking.


Marking out holes


Once stitchmarked, the raised straps can now be skived ready to be soaked, shaped and left to dry into their final look.

At this point it is a good idea to make the running keepers to allow them to dry into their square shape. Keepers are made out of the same leather as the bridle just split down in thickness with the back stained and polished.


Buckle turn and running keeper ready for stitching


Preparation can now begin for stitching by cutting out all the standing keepers and fitting the buckles/fittings into the leather then stitching them in.


Stitching a buckle turn


Once stitched, loops are soaked in warm water, blocked square, re-creased and left to dry.


Blocking both keepers


Re-creasing both keepers


Padding is made up and glued to the noseband, headpiece and browband if required.


When all stitching is finished the bridle is re-stained, re-polished and re-creased where necessary and fitted together to ensure all keepers are the correct size. The bridle is now complete ready for use.

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