Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will the blueing on bits and spurs prevent rusting?

A) No. It does slow it down, but no, without proper maintenance rusting will happen all the same.

2. What is proper maintenance for bits and spurs?

A) The main thing to remember whether you use your piece or have it as a display in the house is moisture and acids are what cause rust. Keeping the metal clean and dry is the trick. If you are using the bit or spurs, make sure mud, saliva, manure, etc. is washed off after each use. Keeping the piece wiped down with a light oil also prevents the moisture from penetrating the steel as well.

3. Can I wax the bit or spurs to prevent rusting?

A) Yes, waxing helps prevent moisture and acids from contacting the metal. Renaissance Wax is a micro-crystaline wax that museums use to seal materials that works well. A simple furniture wax that is natural colored works too. Simply wipe down the metal with a small amount of wax on a soft cloth. Allow the wax to dry and then buff the metal with a clean soft cloth. Be careful not to apply too much wax. A little goes a long way.

4. What is the difference between inlay and overlay?

A) Overlay is soldered on to the top of the steel. Inlay is held in a dove tailed channel cut in the steel.

5. What is the difference between a solid mouthpiece and broken mouthpiece?

A) A broken mouthpiece is jointed and a solid mouthpiece is not.

6. What is the difference between a solid jaw and a loose jawed shank?

A) A loose jawed shank allows for independent movement between the shank and the mouthpiece. A solid shank does not.

7. How would a collector go about ordering a custom piece?

A) First contact the maker of your choice with an idea general idea of what you want. Purpose, style and budget will be answers a collector need to be able to answer.

8. How would a person get involved with the TCAA?

A) One way is to attend the TCAA show in Oklahoma City at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Another is to visit the TCAA website explore the options available for craftsman and collector/enthusiast.

9. Can someone living outside of North America apply for a TCA Fellowship?

Yes, the Fellowship Award is open to anyone striving for excellence in one of the four disciplines represented by the TCA.

10. Does the TCA plan to include horse hair hitching in the near future?

The members have no plans to add any more disciplines in the near future.

11. Do TCA members only make “collector quality” items?

All of the TCA members make high-quality, handmade horse equipment that is intended for every day use. Most of the members accept orders for custom work as well.