I always wanted "fill" bells, those 3 bells on a small piece of wood you screw onto your fills. Never got them. Sleighs are ok, but too cold for my liking. Amazing to feel them flex as you sit.
When I was in a music store many moons ago, I spotted "Ankle Bells", just 3 pretty silver bells attched to a soft leather strap that ties around your ankles. You know, for Native American dancing. They were under $10.
I'd tie them to the poll piece of my pony's bridle and ride through the neighborhood when the snow flew. Everyone in their cozy homes would hear the bells and look outside. I never got tired of the sound and thankfully, my pony was tolerant about it. Christmas Eve, traditionally we'd ride through the neighborhood in the dark with battery powered lights around her neck. It was fun to see drapes part and people waving.
I love the sound of bells too but tried it once and don't put them on anymore when I drive on the road (which is on most drives) because my normally steady eddy in traffic gelding nearly jumped out of his skin when the first car passed us.
The noisy bells hid the noise of the car coming up from behind and took him by surprise. I pulled over, took the bells off and he was his normal self for the rest of the drive.
"It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” J.R.R. Tolkien
What are *fills*? I've never heard that term. And the wood is throwing me off too.
I like th eidea of the ankle bells, which I hadn't even thought of. Thanks!
I assume he meant shaft bells? http://www.santassleighbells.com/sleigh.html scroll down to the bottom of the page. There are some really nice bells that either screw onto or hang from the buggy shafts. There are also some nice Russian Saddle Bells above those?
The tone quality between a good bell and the cheap bells is huge. The little stamped bells sound tinny and cheap. The better cast brass bells are much richer in sound and tone. LF
Exactly! For the money get a nice old strap on ebay. I have several straps of good antique bells. I went crazy on ebay years ago learning about the differences in the sound and tonal quality. I bought a few disappointments and then I knew when I got it right!! My favorite is a strap of what I call Santa bells, the really nice little ching ching ching sound. The strap perfectly fits around my pony's chest over his harness. It's out in the barn with my buggy so I can't tell you the bell size right now.
The sound depends upon the casting, the size and shape of the bell, how the holes are done and what kind of throat it has.
I don't like the big clunkers at all. I have a huge graduated strap just for show in the house.
If you have bell pins as attachment vs rivets, you can remove them for cleaning. But the strap needs to have a liner to protect the horse and your other harness.
The bell size was larger than I thought it would be. If I get more, I would have smaller bells for a lighter sound. I've not hitched any of my horses yet, so not used them much. I just started ground driving the son of the horse in the video and hope to get him going next summer. I'll try them then.