Adding the saddlecloth and other details
I still have some doubts about the tail I gave Mars, but I also still think that any changes are “tweaks” to be left until I have most of the piece finished and just need to balance it out.
And no, I’ve not forgotten that he needs reins and a few other pieces of tack, but those are details that I didn’t want to have to stitch around. I’m not quite sure how and where they are going to run, although as far as I’m aware William would have steered using reins held in the hands, rather than using the feet, as you see the riders of the the drum horses in mounted bands doing, or as I read the ancient Scythians did (although they were archers!).
I wanted to do the saddle cloth in William’s heraldic colours, and I wanted the extra interest from the points, but I am not entirely sure I’m happy with the colour balance and shapes. I am wondering whether I should make the red line a little wider, or even fill that whole section in red.
Another tweak I am considering is a couple of tiny stitches to highlight the blued steel horseshoes. I have light lines running down the horse’s leg, but not onwards, and while it’s the tiniest of details, I remember realising with some of the Thistle Threads pieces just how much of an impact a tiny detail can have..
I’ve couched several strands of silk together to make a headstall and reins, and again, there may be tiny details to add, when the shield is in place, to help create the right sense of William, as the wealthy and successful tournament winner, high in the favour of Henry The Young King, on a visit to the kinsman under whose auspices he trained, dripping in tournament bling, and generally showing off a bit.
He settled down as he got older, but given that his father was rather unsatisfactory, and even the Lord of Tancaville dropped him at an inconvenient moment in his youth, a bit of rubbing their noses in his success would be only human!