I inherited a sewn in Jimmy's bridle from probably the early 1970s, with a sewn in 5" full cheek. Fit my first horse perfectly, and it was such a beautiful, finely made bridle, and I used it. No one at my barn had ever even seen one. I still have it in my closet, I will try to take a picture of it.
I had a similar one made by Jimmy's probably five or six years ago as I MUCH prefer the look of a sewn in bridle. They can be made with finer strap work and sit really nicely on the head. That's up with my current horse right now, and I use it every day. Both my sewn ins are raised, not padded, and the old one is fancy stitched. The new one is not. I'll try to get a good picture of the bit area.
The history cannot be that simple. 19th century tack is not something I claim to be an expert on but cavalry of that period certainly had buckles. Ornate bridles are often depicted in detail in contemporary art.
US civil war era equipment patterns are very well known, and all original or reproduction items I have seen have buckles.
Clearly they have gone in and out of fashion over time. Have you actually seen an English bridle with sewn bits in a 19th century catalogue or museum exhibit?
If it means anything, I have a reprint of an 1889 horse equipment/tack/etc. catelogue (very interesting book) and not a single one of the bridles are sewn in...all are either normal buckles or the reverse hook.
I have one here that I made for my pony. I much prefer the sewn in look to the hook stud look. No bulk and just clean. It is 10 stitches per inch sewn in with a Myler combo bit.
Hopefully, this link will work.
There are 2 bridles on there. The one without the bit sewn in yet is a flat 1/2" that I made for my old pony. The one with the sewn in myler combo does not have a noseband, but is a flat 3/4" hunting weight bridle for schooling.
Last edited by Lori; Nov. 20, 2007 at 07:21 PM.
Proud to have two Gold Prince POAs!
Takaupas Top Gold
Gifts Black Gold Knight
I have a Forbes Hunting Incidents print called The First Day of the Season (featuring a lovely lady riding aside in a beautiful blue habit and bowler). 1885
Other interesting features - all the horses tails are short - not docked - but cut right near the dock. All horses in double bridles.
The bridles are sewn into the bit but the buckles are present as well.
And I have two prints that are from the very early 1800's - French -titled "L'Arrivee De La Course" and "La Course", two jockeys in a flat race beating the crap out of each other (not the horses!) and men on the ground and on horseback cheering them on. All horses are in sewn bridles - the throatlash has a buckle. No nosebands.
And I have a print of Warrenton Hunt from the early 1900's - titled "Gone Away", signed by the artist, Edward Dwight. (if anyone can tell me about that print I'd be grateful). One man is in a tweed cap, another in a bowler, and one in scarlet - I can only see details on his bridle. Sewn with a buckle at the throatlash. (at least it appears sewn).
One of the hounds in that print is a black and tan - does anyone know the breeding of the hounds in that hunt from that date? Guess that's the subject of a different thread...
Edited to add that I didn't intend this post to show off a rather motley and valueless collection of artwork - just pointing out features in those pieces that would have reflected local custom or typical turnout of that period.