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View Full Version : Turning an overcheck bridle into a sidecheck bridle...



Yip
Sep. 13, 2009, 01:00 AM
UPDATE in a later post!

Have any of you done this?

My harness was Amish made and came with an overcheck installed, which I have removed.

So, now I have a plain bridle and bought a sidecheck - but the bridle doesn't have the hangers because it wasn't made for a sidecheck rein.

I'm trying to figure out some ways to make hangers from the crownpiece to run the sc through on each side. I may be able to work something out using the loop made by the browband where it's folded over the cheekpieces. I need to be sure the rosette wouldn't interfere with movement of the scr.

I'm a good problem-solver, but my basic problem is that I have never seen a sidecheck bridle. I've found some pics, but copying them would involve sewing onto the crownpiece, which doesn't look promising because there's no space in the center to anchor to. There is a *bump* that makes a little loop that's been left there on the crownpiece, (on each side of center where the winker stays attach), and I am thinking if it had been a sidecheck bridle from the harnessmaker, he'd have sewn something through that loop/bump.

If that's the case, I can figure something out. One big requirement is that it be removeable, because if I do end up showing, I won't be using the scr.

Wendy
NC

49'er
Sep. 13, 2009, 07:18 AM
Do you need a sidecheck? ADS and CDE driving horses do not use them.

horsegeeks
Sep. 13, 2009, 08:19 AM
I had my overcheck bridle changed to sidecheck. However, I simply sent it to Smuckers and had them do it.

At that time I showed in Morgan breed shows and an overcheck or sidecheck was required in pleasure driving classes ... and I didn't want a botched job. This allowed me to go anyplace I want. Overchecks were not allowed in competitive driving at that time and side checks were allowed.

Since I don't compete any more, I'm not sure of the rules, but I love my sidechecks and will continue to use them. If you're going through really rugged terrain you can loosen a sidecheck enough to give the horse free use of its neck.

Drive NJ
Sep. 13, 2009, 11:19 AM
Many many years ago most bridles were built for either overcheck or sidecheck
our bridle (Russ Fagan) for sidecheck had a leather strap over the crown that ended near the browband rosettes in a small ring
there was then a very small leather strap (like a hamestrap) that connected a teardrop loop to the ring. The rolled sidecheck then passed thru the hanging loop
I still have the sidecheck and loops (but not the bridle) if you want pix??
You used to be able to buy the sidecheck teardrops from harness makers as accessories

We had another Amish harness that had these little teardrop hooks that worked kind of like bridle stud-hooks. I cant remember what hole they hooked into off the crownpiece, but they were also available at most harnessmakers

Yip
Sep. 13, 2009, 11:54 AM
sidecheck had a leather strap over the crown that ended near the browband rosettes in a small ring
there was then a very small leather strap (like a hamestrap) that connected a teardrop loop to the ring. The rolled sidecheck then passed thru the hanging loop
I still have the sidecheck and loops (but not the bridle) if you want pix??
You used to be able to buy the sidecheck teardrops from harness makers as accessories

We had another Amish harness that had these little teardrop hooks that worked kind of like bridle stud-hooks. I cant remember what hole they hooked into off the crownpiece, but they were also available at most harnessmakers


Yes! If it isn't too inconvenient, I could use pictures. The teardrop pieces are a mystery to me. Our harnessmaker in this area (Lentz) retired a couple years ago. There's a guy in my church who has leather tack making skills, but he knows nothing about harness.

I might be able to use a ss keyring in the loop/bump to hang the teardrops from. I'll see if I can find some online.

I need the sidecheck because I still ground drive/ll in the fields and Cookie is a grass diver. They are only for schooling. I'm not trying to set her head, and she won't need them on the road.

Thanks, all!

Wendy

Bluey
Sep. 13, 2009, 12:44 PM
If you can add a halter under the bridle, just for training, you can use the higher rings of the halter to run whatever you use for sidecheck reins thru.
That will keep her from grazing.
Side checks are also called anti grazing reins.;)

Here is a harness maker that sells bridles with all kinds of over and side checks for the arabian market.
You may ask them what they would do:

http://www.griffinbrook.com/train.htm

gotorightway123
Sep. 13, 2009, 03:52 PM
I might be able to use a ss keyring in the loop/bump to hang the teardrops from. I'll see if I can find some online.

I need the sidecheck because I still ground drive/ll in the fields and Cookie is a grass diver. They are only for schooling. I'm not trying to set her head, and she won't need them on the road.

Drive NJ
Sep. 13, 2009, 03:52 PM
http://www.chimacumtack.com/horseharness/horseharnessparts.shtml (http://www.chimacumtack.com/horseharness/horseharnessparts.shtml)

this is a link to a picture of sidecheck teardrop loop

if you are just using it for practice around the fields then there are lots of snaps like a carabiner that you could snap thru the loop of the browband and run the sidecheck thru the larger end of the loop

tandem rosettes are another possibility
I think Iowa Valley has them for a decent price but not sure if that was the place (approx $10 each)

horsegeeks
Sep. 13, 2009, 06:50 PM
You could consider swapping out your existing crown piece with one like this http://www.camptownharness.com/index.php?pg=Harness%20Parts&i=21
Its set up for both an over check and has side check rings

Then when you don't want to use it, swap the crown piece out for one set up the way you want.

Yip
Sep. 13, 2009, 09:22 PM
Bluey, I actually found that site last night and they have the best pictures. I saw the hardware used in this one on a harness site. I could possibly open the rectangular part up with a dremel cutting tool to insert in the bump/loops I have.
http://www.griffinbrook.com/Trainers/torydouble.JPG

This pic is what gave me the idea for the ss key rings. I think it would work even though my loops aren't that long. That would be an easy fix, and removeable when I don't use the checkrein. Theirs stick out at the proper angle and mine wouldn't, so I'd have to work on that a bit.
http://www.griffinbrook.com/Trainers/torysidecheck.JPG

Drive NJ, is this what you mean? How does it work?
http://www.chimacumtack.com/images/TearDropsThmb.jpg

I see the tandem rosettes which would be perfect. Is that something I could swap out myself? My rosette has a bar on the back that the browband slips through, but I don't know if it could be replaced now that it's stitched in.

A carabiner is a great idea! I think it could give the proper size hole and angle, stand stiffly, and be easily removeable. This may be our winner! Thank you!

Horsegeeks, I bookmarked that link. Didn't know that was even available, so thank you. I wish they had a picture. I get referred to that site often and am frustrated at the lack of pictures.

Thank you everyone! Looks like I have some ideas and a couple directions to go. I knew you'd know!

Wendy

Bluey
Sep. 13, 2009, 10:07 PM
I also liked the idea of the right sized carabiner snap hung from the loop the browband has to get the bridle crown piece thru.
An elegant solution, that is easy to add on and take off and seems safe enough.:yes:

Drive NJ
Sep. 14, 2009, 11:07 AM
Hey Yip
when you open the chimacum link I sent it shows a draft bridle
look at the blinker
right behind that is a brass TEAR DROP RING hanging about where the rosette is
That is a sidecheck carrier ring

best of luck trying solutions

goodhors
Sep. 14, 2009, 11:32 AM
Back when we thought we NEEDED a check rein, we didn't want the overcheck style holding up the nose of horse. After all, when you spend great amounts of time with a riding horse to get them going ON THE BIT, nose vertical, why would you want the overcheck pulling that nose up and out, making horse hollow out their back?

When we visited the Amish harness guy, asking about side checks, he said EASY to fix! He pulled out two conway buckles with the teardrop loops hanging from them. He said to put the conway buckles on the throatlatch strap, beside the rosette. This allowed the throatlatch to be easily fastened and for us to run the sidecheck strap thru the teardrop loop down to bit. Two gag runners cost about $4 for a pair, we used our own cord as the check material.

I think this Smucker's photo shows the gag runner on a bridle pretty well, even though it is not on the throatlatch as ours was. His bridle has the additional strap just for the gag runner:

http://www.smuckersharness.com/pg41.html

Our bridle was an overcheck model, but we used it as a sidecheck with the addition of those two gag runners at the throatlatch. Amish man said they have folks converting to sidechecks a lot, this is fast and cheap with the two hardware pieces. Saves cutting and sewing of bridles, can just change them back if you want an overcheck on the next horse or sell the harness.

Check with some harness shops, maybe draft harness folks, to find them. Really, is all you need, with the piece of cord to use as the checkrein for diving, to keep the head up.

We were taught that checks, either kind, should be on their own bit, to prevent driver interfering with action of the checkreins. Can be a lot of bitting in the mouth, might need separate bit hanger straps or headstall for the check bit, to prevent it falling out of the mouth. Had that bit fall out, happen with our very loose fitting of the checkrein. Then we learned better, gave up checkreins period.

Hunting for "gag runners" will probably let you find the hardware easier, than asking for stuff by other names. That seems to be the harness maker name for the pieces. They are well anchored when on the bridle throatlatch, very flexible, and open for smooth sliding of a leather rein or cord for home made setup.

Yip
Sep. 14, 2009, 10:44 PM
Goodhors, thank you! It sure is easier to search when you know the proper name of the item! I'm off to search for "gag runners"!

Wendy

Yip
Sep. 27, 2009, 09:58 PM
Well, I bought two very shiny carabiners and slid them through the end of the browband next to the rosette on both sides. It works great! Drive NJ, you rule! I had a list of things to try biut since this idea was the easiest, I tried it first and it works!

The carabiners are rather small and it took me a while to get them in place. The only other choice were huge ones which were very heavy. If there had been mediums, I would have bought them and had no issue at all.

Thanks, everyone!

Yip