Books on the
Art & History of Indian & Cowboy Horse Gear
By Ned & Jody Martin

Bridle book cover

Hardback edition | $65 plus shipping

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Leather cover

The leather-bound Limited Edition (50 copies) is numbered and signed | $250 plus shipping.
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Horsehair Bridles, A Unique American Folk Art

By Ned and Jody Martin

After ten years of research, the authors have published the history of the development of horsehair hitching. This unique American folk art evolved in the bleakest of environments: the prisons of the West. The book includes stunning color photos of 200 bridles from public and private collections. Most of the book will focus on the beautiful and colorful bridles made of horsehair; but there are also images of hatbands, belts, quirts, canes, reatas and other miscellaneous pieces made by inmates. Two chapters deal with horsehair pieces that were made outside of the prisons: one by Winfield Coleman, illustrates the Indian Uses of Horsehair which go far beyond the creation of bridles; another ends the book with a description of work by talented, often self-taught, contemporary makers.

This book also illustrates the preparation, dyeing and hitching of the horsehair. It differentiates between hitching and braiding or plaiting the fibers in order to make cheek straps, brow pieces and reins of a bridle. The beautiful decorative rosettes could be made of horsehair needle knots, or crystals, or engraved German silver. They were sold in an endless variety of shapes and sizes all pictured here.

Table of Contents
Horsehair Bridles, A Unique American Folk Art
Table of Contents
Chapter 1:
Decorative Horsehair Bridles
Chapter 2:
Uses of Horsehair
Chapter 3:
Prison-Made Horsehair Bridle
Chapter 4:
Arizona Prisons: Yuma and Florence
Chapter 5:
Montana: Deer Lodge
Chapter 6:
Washington: Walla Walla
Chapter 7:
Wyoming: Laramie and Rawlins
Chapter 8:
Colorado: Canon City
Chapter 9:
Other Prisons: California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Texas and Unknown
Chapter 10:
Indian Uses of Horsehair by Winfield Coleman
Chapter 11:
Contemporary Makers
Chapter 12:
Prison-Made Silver Bridles

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