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 The Art of Braiding, Bosal I - Revised


Twelve years have passed since The Art of Braiding, Bosal I was written, therefore I felt it was time to revisit and revise those pages. The primary contributing factor was the need to update and clarify the bosal braiding information. Another motivating influence was our editing and technological skills improved thus enabling us to broaden the dimension of the text framework. We trust you enjoy Art of Braiding Bosal 1, Revised, and that the additional information will make braiding the bosal an even more rewarding experience.

The expanded version, The Art of Braiding, Bosal I, Revised, continues to provide detailed comprehensive information and complete instruction for braiding a basic working bosal. Great effort and care have been given to make this difficult project as simple as possible. In addition, there is an in-depth discussion regarding various ways to build the inner core. Throughout, the illustrations are detailed, moreover there are many key suggestions and hints that should not be overlooked.

Instructions are for a 12 plait, 5/8” diameter average length bosal made of latigo and a 12 plait, 1/2” diameter average length bosal made of kangaroo. This book is included as a reference in our latigo and kangaroo bosal braiding kits. In both bosal kits, latigo and kangaroo, the strings are precut. If you choose to cut your own strings, the information needed can be found on these pages. Instruction also includes suggestions and hints for adjusting for other sizes.

Experienced braiders can take from this book what is helpful to them. Methods previously learned that work well should not be changed, especially if the results are the same. If you braid 12 plait under two, over two and under two, there certainly is no advantage in learning to braid it over two, under two and over two, as instructed in this book. With experience comes change and, as braiders gain skills, they begin to make changes that best suit their preferences, for instance, the shape of a nose button or heel knot.

For beginners, I have tried to make the instructions clear and easy to follow, but I first suggest learning basic braiding as found in The Art of Braiding, The Basics-Third Revised Edition. For bosal workshops, I require students to be able to braid a 6-bight Turk's head with a herringbone inner weave as well as easily braid 12 plait. It takes time to develop skills to efficiently braid with speed while achieving the attractive look required for a finished bosal. With perseverance you will develop those proficient braiding skills.

The Art of Braiding, Bosal I, Revised often refers to The Art of Braiding, The Basics-Third Revised Edition. It is especially valuable for basic braiding instruction and use of the braiding tools. There is an in-depth section on the use of the two most important tools, the cutter/beveler and the splitter, which should be referred to prior to preparing the bosal strings for braiding .

Once strings have been sized, the process is the same for all braiding materials including latigo, kangaroo and rawhide. Beginning braiders will find kangaroo strings can withstand the rigors of being removed and re-braided several times. Latigo and kangaroo do not require much moisture when braided. This gives the new braider as much time as needed to learn. Rawhide, on the other hand, needs to be braided damp. If the braider needs to back a string out, which is always the case when learning the heel knot, rawhide cannot take that much abuse, especially if it gets too wet. Braided rawhide items look best if the braider is proficiently skilled and can expeditiously follow through to the finish without error. Once the skills are competently developed, then braiding rawhide and battling moisture content will not be so conflicting. Rawhide is beautiful when braided, but for those new to braiding, it can be discouraging.

Several valuable resources can be found in the back of this book. A comprehensive braiding INDEX covering all the skills found in all the books in the series should be helpful as you acquire braiding proficiency. Also, the Materials, Tools & Supplies List can be a useful resource, when locating quality materials. A Glossary has been added to define notable terminology.

Although my work has become collectible, I still require it to be attractive, functional and to correctly fit a horse. My wish is that you will learn to braid a bosal with the care and precision that will produce a beautiful piece of tack worthy of display.

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