For centuries, the best writers have tried to describe the magic of riding a horse. William Shakespeare wrote in Henry V, “When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk. He trots the air, the earth sings when he touches it.”
The magic that you felt when riding your equine friend may now only be a pleasant memory. Let us help you keep that memory alive by giving you ideas for horsehair keepsakes.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What’s a Horsehair Keepsake?
- How Much Do Horsehair Keepsakes Cost?
- Types of Horsehair Keepsakes
- Where Can You Purchase Horsehair Keepsakes?
Let's go over a few types of horsehair keepsakes (some that you would have never imagined on your own) and where to shop.
What’s a Horsehair Keepsake?
Horsehair keepsakes are typically made from the mane or the tail of the horse. Although this article is written assuming that your horse is deceased, you can also get horsehair keepsakes made from living horses.
One designer of horsehair jewelry recommends keeping as much hair as possible. Having more than enough hair will give you flexibility when choosing a keepsake, whether you chose a piece of jewelry or something to display in your home or barn. While mane hair can be used, tail hair is preferred due to its durability.
Try to get a section that is at least 28 inches long and the width of your little finger. The best hair is higher up in the tail.
As you consider the look of your keepsake, keep in mind that your horse’s hair is not uniform in color. Like human hair, horsehair lightens in the sun. The outside strands of your horse’s tail may look lighter or more reddish, but the longer strands underneath may be darker.
Talk with your keepsake designer about whether or not they wish you to sanitize or wash the hair before submitting it to the artist. Some may ask that you gently wash and dry the hair before packaging it for the mail.
It may be too emotionally difficult to harvest the hair on your own. If this is the case, ask a friend or veterinarian to complete the process for you before or after the death.
Even the tiniest section of horsehair can be used as a keepsake item. If you have a small lock of hair from your favorite horse, you might also want to research lock of hair keepsake ideas.
You may no longer be able to obtain segments of horsehair from an animal you cherished. If this is the case, you can still purchase horsehair keepsakes in a similar shade as your equine friend. Not all horsehair keepsakes are custom-made with hair from a specific animal.
How Much Do Horsehair Keepsakes Cost?
Horsehair keepsakes range significantly in price. A custom-made horsehair bracelet may cost $35 on Etsy, but a custom-made diamond may cost thousands. Keep reading to find the range of online prices for each type of keepsake.
Types of Horsehair Keepsakes
You can find many different types of horsehair keepsakes. Some are custom-made with your own horses’ hair, or some can be made using the hair of multiple horses. You can also purchase a keepsake made from hair belonging to another horse, especially if you plan to purchase the item as a gift for someone else.
You can personalize these keepsakes by including your horse’s name and birth/death dates. You may further personalize the keepsake by adding a favorite quote about horses.
The most common type of horsehair keepsake is horsehair jewelry. You can find many different styles available. Some are easy enough to complete yourself.
Horsehair bracelets can be made from the mane or tail of your animal. They can vary in width, depending on how much hair you collected or your personal preferences. They can also include charms, metal beads, pieces of leather, or other embellishments.
If you would rather not have the hair directly touch your skin, you can purchase a custom-made horsehair bracelet embedded in metal or leather.
Artisans can also shape tiny braids into hearts, loops, or different designs and make them into earrings or pendants. You can also create a small “ponytail” or horsehair necklace or keychain.
Small locks of hair can be placed in jewelry-grade resin. These pieces can be custom-designed and used for a variety of decorative purposes.
Small locks of hair can also be placed in clear or metal lockets. These items are often personalized with an engraved name or tiny picture.
Reach out to a local artist or one on Etsy, especially if they specialize in hair artwork or western jewelry. If they can’t complete the project for you, they can probably point you in the right direction.
Custom-made horsehair jewelry ranges in price from $50 to $150.
2. Memorial diamonds
You can also have memorial diamonds made from hair. While a diamond may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “horsehair keepsakes,” it certainly fits the bill.
Memorial diamonds, made from the carbon in the hair of your horse, can be the cremated remains of an animal or person.
As you would expect, it's expensive to grow memorial diamonds from the hair or cremains of your horse. At the same time, the diamond is “real” and you can pass it down in your family for generations.
The memorial diamonds can vary in size, shape, and color. The price depends on those factors but can start at $3,000. Note that it will take months before you will receive the finished product.
3. Custom-made pottery
If you don’t typically wear jewelry, you may consider using the hair you collected from your favorite animal to create a custom-made piece of pottery. The hair can be seared into the ceramic and create a beautiful and meaningful texture in the piece.
You are only limited by your imagination when you order a custom-made piece of pottery using horsehair from your favorite animal. You can hire a designer to sculpt your horse, using the hair in the sculpture. You may also consider having a custom-made urn created to hold the remains of your equine friend.
The cost of custom-made pottery depends on the size and intricacy of the piece. It is also dependent on the skill of the artist. Expect to pay from $75 to several hundred dollars for custom-made horsehair pottery pieces on Etsy.
4. Horsehair wall hangings
A horsehair wall hanging can be a perfect DIY keepsake. You can find most supplies at any local craft store, and wall hangings can be easily personalized.
You might consider using a shadow box to hold a small horsehair braid, a photograph of your favorite horse, and ribbons or medals you won together. Some hang the horsehair braid from a horseshoe and forgo the frame. If you are a skilled artist, you may consider incorporating hair into a painting of the animal. It can also be added to dream catchers.
Where Can You Purchase Horsehair Keepsakes?
Since most communities don’t have horsehair keepsake stores on every corner, you will probably need to turn to online sources to find a designer. On the other hand, don’t overlook the artists who live in your local area.
You might discover horsehair artists when attending local art fairs or open studio nights. You can also do a simple search to find horsehair or western artists working in your community. Talk with others in the riding community for ideas.
Take a look at the following companies or individuals who can help you with your memorial project.
Western artists often utilize Etsy to market their craft. A simple search of “horsehair” yields dozens of ideas. Look at examples of their work and their online reviews before trusting an artist with your special project.
Besides finding artists on Etsy, you may also find small businesses that specialize in horsehair art. Check out Custom Horsehair Art, Equine Keepsakes, Spirithorse Designs, or Tangled Tails.
Cavender’s and other western stores also sell horsehair jewelry. These are not custom-order pieces, but it would be a great place to buy a horse memorial gift for someone who recently lost a horse. You may also be able to find horsehair hatbands and other similar items at these western stores.
Memorial projects take special meaning if you complete them with your own hands. Even if you aren’t crafty by nature, you may consider searching for online instructions on making a horsehair braid bracelet or how to affix a horsehair ponytail in a shadow box frame.
Go to your local crafts store and ask for advice or check out YouTube instruction videos.
Unique Ideas for Horse Memorial Items
If your horse is gone and you cannot obtain any hair for a project, consider purchasing or making another memorial item.
Create a special memorial for your fallen horse from a horseshoe to personalize and easily attach to a barn wall.
You may also consider hiring a pet portrait artist to create a drawing or painting of your animal based on photographs.
Finally, remember that you are not alone in your grief. Others also miss the companionship of their favorite animal. Some express their grief by writing poetry to publish online. Consider using some of these written tributes when creating a memorial item for your favorite animal.
- Navarra, Katie. “From Hair to Eternity.” In Stride Edition. 22 May 2018. https://instrideedition.com/from-hair-to-eternity/