Making the Horse–The Tack



See the next step in the process here: Making the horse—the accoutrements

Once the horse is finished, it’s time to add the tack (saddle and bridle) and cavalry accoutrements.

We do not usually give our horses horseshoes, but we decided for “Come On, You Wolverines!” to go all-out. We’ve even painted shoes on our old clay horses and store-bought horses.

We use silver wire of various gauges for the bit, girth rings, and the cat’s saber. Reins will be added after the horse bakes, and can be either wire (we use black or brown telephone wire) or black button thread. A lead rope will also be glued to the halter and saddle.

Our cavalrycats generally use McClellan saddles, which were commonly used by the cavalry of the Civil War. Probably the most distinctive feature is the saddle tree (the tan part) left uncovered by leather. This lets us see the gap in the center of the tree—the saddle is specifically designed for a cavalry horse that will likely be losing weight on campaign. The gap is so the horse’s spine will not rub and chafe on the saddle tree as the spine becomes more prominent. While saddle blankets can be any color, we typically give our Union cats blue saddle blankets and Confederate cats gray. A strip of the blanket is visible in the gap.