My horsey tribe has sadly lost several special horses in the past months. I’ve gone years without losing a horse at my barn, and all of a sudden, some of my absolute favorites have passed away.
Can you call it “passing away” if they died a tragic, painful death? Their lives cut short, wreaking havoc on the hearts who loved them?
I don’t think you can really call it that. They did not slowly fade because of old age. They were not peaceful deaths, solidified by happy memories.
My eyes sting when I think about these beloved horses. So, we’ll just stop talking about them now, and instead, focus on how to remember and honor them.
How can you possibly tell someone you’re sorry for such a tragic loss? Flowers? Cards? Home-made brownies? I’ve been at a loss on how to offer my condolences. I’ve done a little of all three, until I saw some really pretty horse-hair keepsakes online. The first time around, I ordered a couple. They turned out beautifully, and I felt like they were an appropriate memorial. When your horse dies, you want to forget the pain, but you never ever want to forget THEM. What they looked like, how they felt. So, a horse-hair memorial was the perfect choice.
This last time Rocking E lost a beloved companion, I decided to try my hand at the keepsakes myself. Handmade gifts are always a better choice, in my opinion. Did they turn out perfectly? Did they look professional? No, but they were from-the-heart!
Grab some tissues, because the first step in the process is to retrieve some horse hair. Obviously, this is not always possible. But, often times, your vet will help you with this task if need be. You don’t need much, just a few inches depending on what kind of keepsake you’re making.
**This is a good time to remind you, that you don’t have to wait to make these keepsakes as a memorial! Make them now!
Then, wash the hair.
Next, braid the hair. Or don’t! There are many options for making your keepsake.
Then, I glued the ends so they didn’t fray. I also cut the ends blunt so I could stick them in these special caps I found at Hobby Lobby. Excuse me, “bullets with lobster and chain.”
I used Krazy Glue to adhere the ends to the, uh, “bullets.”
After letting them dry overnight, they were very secure. Voila.
The professionally-made equine keepsakes I ordered before were not nearly as rough as mine… If I ever make one again, I’ll work on making my braid extra smooth. But, not too shabby for my first time!
While I waited for the braided bracelet to dry, I made a couple other keepsakes with extra hair. I didn’t braid these. I envisioned hanging these keepsakes someplace where she could see them, like from a mirror, or shadowbox, or just someplace in her house.
Side note, always use Hello Kitty duct tape when crafting.
And then I wrapped them all up!
Along with the keepsakes, I gave her one of his shoes. My daddy helped me take it off before we buried him and my husband cleaned it and straightened it. They’re good men.
Crafting is therapeutic to me, but this project was especially healing. I hope it helped her, too.
I also hope it gives YOU some ideas to honor your horses. Or, if the need arises, to bless your horsey tribe when they’ve lost a horse.
In memory of our beloved Dakoda.