Hackamore Miniature.

An astonishing work, from Kestrel: There is a group that issues a fun challenge to model horse tack makers: push your skill set and see if you can make a nice piece of tack in one month. For the project I chose to make a hackamore in 1:32 scale (normally I work at 1:9) and the goal is to make it look as much like a piece of tack for a living horse while being in scale and as detailed as possible. This was hard… it really was a challenge for me to go this small.

Click for full size!

It all started with a single white horsehair. I braided 8 strands of very fine silk over the hair, to create the base of the noseband (bosal) for the hackamore. I have to check to see if it will look in scale:

Then I tie a series of braided knots in the silk, to create the finished bosal, a very complicated little device:

We need some buckles for the headstall to hold the bosal on the horse’s head:

Next I have to make the headstall of leather, and why not tie a few more braided knots on it to make it decorative. Also I need to braid a long rope with a tassel at one end and a leather popper on the other (mecate) which is the traditional way of rigging reins and a lead rope:

The finished piece, which hopefully looks like it could be full-sized on a live horse:


  1. Nightjar says

    I’ll just repeat what everyone has already said. Astonishing work. That must have been quite a challenge but the result is wonderful!

  2. kestrel says

    Thank you so much, guys! Yeah… this was really challenging. I can tie those knots in my sleep but doing them this tiny was incredibly difficult. I worked off and on for three days just on the knot that goes over the top of the nose on the bosal. (“Nose button” in the vernacular.) Well, that’s the fun of the challenge: really stretch yourself to the limits. I’m very proud of myself that I was able to do it. I did have my doubts along the way!

  3. voyager says

    Wow. That’s seriously amazing. Your fingerprints look huge in comparison. What a masterful thing to accomplish!

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