Sunday, October 28, 2007

Carving A Cowboy's Horse-Part 5-Working On A Piece Of Tail!

Sorry, just couldn't pass up on that title!! Okay....this part goes pretty quick so I've added a little extra detail you can add if you want to be a little more challenged. You can skip it if you want and your horse will be fine and still correct.

This extra detail is the Back Cinch. Look at your reference material and you'll see it. This cinch helps hold the back of the saddle in place during heavy work and in case you might be riding downhill. However, one thing you will not see is this cinch drawn up tight against the horses body. It's normal position is to hang loosely, tied with a small strap to the front cinch so it doesn't flop back against the horses legs. I make this part of the saddle out of metal as that gives me to look that I want.....daylight and space between the cinch and horse. Lots of riders don't use this cinch, including me, so you can skip it if you want. But it sure adds a nice authentic touch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Carving A Cowboy's Horse-Part 4-The Stirrups!

Now for some real fun!! You might think this next step is difficult but it's really not. It is time consuming so plan on spending about 6-8 hours because you want to take your time and get a good result. There are lots of photos in the Gallery with explanations for each step so you should have no trouble.

After we get this done we'll give that poor fella a tail so he can keep the flies away!

Carving A Cowboy's Horse-Part 3-The Saddle

Decisions, decisions! We've now reached a point where we have to make a couple of decisions about just how we want our horse to be fitted out and whether we want him to stand alone or have a rider. As this is our first horse with saddle project I think it best to just have him stand alone without a rider. We can still put a rider in the final scene, he'll just be on the ground maybe getting ready to mount or doing some other ranch related activity. The next decision is just what type of saddle do we want on that cayuse's back. Well, as this is a working cowboy's horse we want a piece of tack that he would actually use. Personally, as I ride a "slick fork" type of saddle, and as this is pretty well a standard for the working wrangler and considering that this is my carving, I'm going for that one.

Here is a photo of a "Slick Fork" saddle. The reason it's called that is that it doesn't have any "swells". Just do a Google search for this type of saddle and you'll finds lots of reference material. If we were going to have a cowboy mounted on our horse we'd want to use this type as those swells would get in the way when fitting him into place. On this particular saddle you'll note the "Bucking Rolls" screwed down just behind the front of the saddle. If a rider needs some extra holding power he can add these as they will act in place of the missing swells. Plus, if we add them to our saddle it will give us the opportunity of doing a little extra detailing that really looks neat when done.

One important point... when we do this part of the project don't jump ahead of the last step. We have to add the stirrups before we can proceed further than the steps outlined in this post. If you go ahead and do the whole saddle without allowing for the stirrups you're going to have problems later on. Believe me, I've already learned this from past experience!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Carving a Cowboy's Horse! Part 2

Hope you haven't given up on me! I apologize again for taking so long to get a new post together. It's been really busy around here since we returned from our trip out west. Also, our Chuckwagon has been in demand so we've been hauling it around to various events. This weekend we're heading to Coffeyville, Kansas for the Dalton Defender Days celebration and then next weekend to another festival here in Oklahoma. I'm starting to get tired of all these Beans and Biscuits!

Anyway, as you can see by the photo, I have finished the legs, rounded the body just a little, especially the areas under the belly. I didn't hold back when applying the dark wood glue as I want it to squeeze out and fill any void along the join line. The pegs will hold the halves in place when you clamp so if you didn't use the peg method you're probably wishing you did by now. Just leave the excess glue dripping as if you wipe it you'll just have to carve it off. The beauty of the dark glue is that it's easily seen when dry. Two clamps on the body and one on the neck will do the job nicely.

Once we get the Chuckwagon back in the barn we'll get cranking on this project........promise!!!