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Beveling Rawhide String


This commercial bosal has very sharp edges on it - it may very well cut some poor horse's face if used. The hanger is set up to allow the bosal to wobble giving signals in unrepeatable locations. This can add to confusion while the roughness of the commercial rawhide causes pain.
Pacific Slope rawhide string is cut on an angle to create a beveled top side edge. Most often, it is made from cow hide. If you can clearly see the bevel, the string may be thick enough for California style braiding. Conversely, if you can’t see the bevel distinctly, then it is too thin and will tend to turn up, becoming sharp with much use.

Number of Strands/Plaits


Here is an example of a 16 strand bar with 32 strand buttons that I braided. Notice how much smoother the finish is. When properly fitted and used, this bosal will not irritate your horse.
We must realize that more strands or plaits means that there are increased edges as well. Don’t be dazzled by large counts on strings. For traditional CA style horse gear, the average hackamore bars are made up of 12-16 plaits. Usually, there are more strands on the nose button. More than 32 on the nose doesn’t seem to add much to the hackamore. The average has been 24.

Some of “the old ones” figured that fewer than 12 strings look crude and make the hackamore less flexible due to the minimal number of joints. More than 16 strings was often considered excessive for the job and more of a boast, but might not be as durable. (This is unlike the pride shown by sterling silver on headstalls when the horse had “earned his silver”).

Larger numbers are applied to the nose button which is normal. For example, 16 plait bars and a 24-32 plait nose is suitable for working or showing. It must be smooth to prevent irritation. Many 12 plait bars on hackamores

 

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