By Delores Kuhlwein
Recently we asked our readers:
“We’ve lost so many great ones lately, and we wondered – how do you memorialize those special #hearthorses of yours?”
This is a topic that hits home for many of us, so you can read everyone’s comments below. Even though Business Facebook has now restricted photo comments to an extent, some of our readers messaged us photos, so they are also included below.
Thank you to everyone who contributed with information about their special horses!
I have a very cool wrap bracelet with horse hair from 3 of my favorites!! I don’t wear it often but I see it every day in my jewelry chest!
I also have a few tattoos that represent a couple of the boys! 💗
My husband made me a wall board with my favorite pictures of the three we lost within 3 years. I have my shoes from my horse Bold Dose (aka Junior) Bill has the tail from his horse & my 3rd horse I also have his shoes. On the memory board is a saying “I thought of you today but that is nothing new. I thought of you yesterday and days before that too. I think of you in silence, I often speak your name. All I have are memories and your picture in a frame. Your memory is a keepsake from which I’ll never part. God had you in his arms, I have you in my heart”. I also have a custom painted model of Junior. The good ones never truly leave. ❤️
I have friends who own a pottery studio and I used my horse’s hair to make Raku pottery.
This one was really hard for me since I lost all of my horses in a fire. That meant there was no mane or tail hair to keep, their personalized halters and stall signs were destroyed, and 4 of my 6 horses were barefoot so no shoes to keep either. So I created a huge memorial garden near the entrance to the farm with a mix of perennial and annual flowers that added vibrant color all summer and fall. I also have a couple horse statues that I painted to look like horses lost in the fire and they sit in/around the garden. Ths statue of baby Lexi stands in the center because for those that remember all her videos of her crazy baby antics, she always had to be the center of attention! I found solar lights that are little trotting horses so we put 12 in the garden, 1 for each horse lost in the fire. I used rocks of various sizes that were found on my farm and my dads farm and made a rock border around the entire garden. I also took all of the salvageable paver blocks I could find from the barn wreckage (we used pavers in the stall doorways) and I made a little patio under the tree next to the garden with a table and chairs so we could sit there on nice days and enjoy and strung color changing solar lights in the tree above the patio. The garden gave me a place to focus my energy all summer and brought me joy instead of constant grief. I work from home and moved my office from the south side of the house where I faced the barn (used to watch the horses all day while I worked) to the north side of the house where I now see the garden every time I look out my window. It will be fun to see how it comes back this spring and what else I can add.
I had my mini horse’s tail made into a tail extension. If my others have nice enough tails when they pass I’ll do the same with theirs, the way I see it, I’ll still have a piece of them with me at every show and hopefully some of their special qualities will rub off.
Gems and Juniper made me an incredible ring out of my Phoenix’s ashes. I wear it every single day and it means more to me than I can put into words.
Heather Korpics Purcell
I have “Stella’s” Dovetail Star head profile tattooed on my arm and 7 stars representing the babies she gave us.❤️ Her Harris show halter hangs in my living room next to her Congress medals. She was a own daughter of Skipa Star ⭐️ She was a open and youth superior halter mare and ROM in youth showmanship.
I lost my great one a year ago. I had a ring with his tail epoxied so I rarely ever have to take it off. It’s nothing fancy and may not last forever considering how much I wear it, but I can keep Fonzie on my finger all the time.
Photo courtesy of Rachel Reilly.
When I lost my best boy, Kids Big Star (multiple World and Reserve World Champion- APHA) I knew that part of him always needed to be with his “team”. He had the biggest fan club. Although it isn’t standard to use their mane hair for memorial items, I had as many keychains made up as I could from his mane. People such as his vet, farrier, his biggest supporters, my husband, and trainers that had led him at the world show were given a keychain. I still haven’t been able to do anything with his tail… And I don’t know when I will. Julia from goldun creations took special care of his mane hair for me to created the keychains.
My favorite was a dream catcher we did with a horse shoe from the horse for a client.
There are so many options out there. When it’s my youth horse’s time I want a ring made from his tail.
Designs for You by Lou Lou Petty has made me some beautiful bracelets and keep sakes for a few special horses of mine that have passed away.
Awe. So very sweet. I just lost Javah Mon’s full sister this week.
I owned Clus Freckle Olena for 26 years. I won the Congress with her in 1996, and Justin Rookie of the Year in 1997. I had to lay her to rest in 2019. I had a picture drawn of me feeding her her last peppermint. The reason I chose this picture is I immediately had a dream after finally falling asleep after her body was taken to be cremated. In my dream, she was eating the peppermint from my hand and I literally felt her nibble on my fingers. It jerked me awake. She seemed so happy and at peace in my dream. Peppermints were her favorite. She was one of a kind.
I recently lost my heart horse, Itsgoodtobearebel, January 4th- I cut a piece of his mane and put it in a Christmas ornament and plan on getting jewelry made out of his tail. The new horse that I bought, only purchased because he was the only horse that ever felt like my heart horse, will also be getting a fake forelock that is made out of Rebel’s hair so a little piece of him will always be with me.
I was gifted a custom vase with my horse’s hair burned into it. I also have a ring with her hair in it, so she’s always with me. I have a memorial wall in my room that has her neck ribbons, pictures of her, belt buckles, and lots more. But my favorite thing I have to remember her is a painted Breyer horse that looks exactly like her. It’s very comforting to be able to see her still.
I had my aunt, Andrea St John draw beautiful piece for my mom, of Red Sonny Love, “bunny,” who lived with our family for over 20 years. She taught the littlest how to ride, and helped many reach their dreams from fair championships to Congress Top Tens! The comments won’t let me share a picture, but the drawing is a perfect tribute.
My childhood show horse suffers from EPM and heaves. I thought I was going to lose him three years ago. I cut my favorite chunk of his mane off and stowed it away just in case. Luckily he is still with me but I’ve since got that chunk of mane made into a key chain (I’m not much of a jewelry wearer). I also still have his very first halter he came to me in. I plan to make a shadow box with pieces of him to hang above my work desk. Halter, a shoe, a photo I’ve taken, and a chunk of hair.
I have them tattooed on my arm!
Heather Korpics Purcell
I have tattoos…
My ‘heart horse’ memorial:
Bay – One Hot Paint (Knockout) carried me through most of my youth career. Winning several championship world titles and other national awards in Western Pleasure before being laid to rest in 2020.
Paint – Obligated Invited (Moe) had a short but successful show career, winning nearly $15,000 before an early retirement due to injury.
Knockout was laid to rest at my family farm, where Moe is living out his retirement days!
Kelly Revercomb Wheat
My son has a momento from each of the horses he has ridden-
Bracelet- The Mouse Is Talkin (a gift from Jamie Oakley and made by Lou Petty)
Bracelet- Pipe Dreamz (a gift from the Holliday family made by Lou)
Ring- Miss Potential Zip (made by Lou(
He never takes these off!!
And he has a tattoo on his leg in Morse Code of all of his 6 show horses barn names! Forever in his heart💜💜💜
My mom gifted me a locket shortly after Javah Mon passed away. It has his and my childhood pony in it with their hair/ashes.
I wore it on my wedding day and it has been with me on every major ride yet. Javah Mon (who was multiple world and congress champion in his own right) is still getting to win trophies and both of them are still a part of all my major life moments. I’ve had several absolutely incredible show horses since their passing, but those two left a hole a littler bigger than can be filled.
Carly Mae Holcomb
I had 2 mecates spun for my dad and I from the tail hair of a horse we put down years ago.
My brown eyed boy was my wings for 26 years and at 32 years old, he finally gained his wings. I had a special macrame horse shoe and tail memorial made in memory of him.
The creator went into deep detail and I will always be grateful to her. She used two amber beads as representation to his nick name of “my brown eyed boy”, she wrapped 32 chords around the shoe to represent his age. 🤎 I have never shared a photo of the memorial piece because it’s very sentimental to my heart as he was my best friend for 26 years but I would love to share with you.
My halter gelding wore bar shoes and my uncle made them into picture frames for me, and I had a Peter stone ideal stock horse model painted with his exact markings, and of course I have a piece of his tail ❤.
I have a blanket with my paint horse on it.
I have multiple necklaces and earrings. I also have tattoos for those I’ve lost 💔.
Deonne Patterson Furness
Elaine Weidauer Peterson personalized horse ornaments!
I have a bracelet made of my boy’s tail hair. 💜
I have gotten several jewelry pieces from Equine Keepsakes Horse Hair Jewelry, I have also started putting together a shadow box.
I have a horsehoe necklace and a cuff from 2 of mine that were part of the family for 20+ years. ❤️
We have done bridles with their horsehair, paintings, drawings, and other artwork.
Heart made of horse show ribbons with small crystal globe filled with horse hair. Great for display or Christmas ornament.
Thank you to all our readers who were willing to share these little pieces of your heart!
If you have a great question of the day for our consideration, please email Delores.Kuhlwein@EquineChronicle.com.
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