Win a $25 Gift Voucher!

Subscribe! 1 winner/month

Socialize with Us!

Socialize with Us! Google Plus Follow us on Twitter

Share this Page

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn


Buy our Beads on Etsy


Top-100 Award

Bead blog top 100

Bead of the Week

red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.


Search This Site


Sandy BrunkToday I want to talk about a wonderful colleague on -- Sandy Brunk.

She does the most original beadwork – for horses!  Here's
her story.

Sandy makes 'horse necklaces', commonly called 'rhythm beads' or 'speed beads'. These are wonderful adornments for horses, with bells that jingle in time with the horse's movements. The gentle tinkling sound of the bells on these necklaces has been shown to calm spooky horses as well as help both the horse and rider develop a natural rhythm.

She also makes other types of adornments for horses. Decorating horses or ponies with beads, feathers, flowers and shells originated with the Native Americans. The belief was that these "charms" and natural "jewels" warded off evil spirits and brought peace and harmony to their lives. They also believed that such adornments held great powers that would keep a horse and its rider safe during times of danger -- as well as assisting them in moving as one with the horse. The various decorations placed on a horse during those early days would also show the rider's rank in the tribe.

In modern times, the gaming horse (a term for horses that perform in rodeos, etc.) has shown benefits from wearing rhythm beads. Besides the calming effects noted above, a lot of barrel racers have sworn that while wearing their beads, horses seem to be much more focused -- and even push themselves to a bit faster pace. Plus, riders using rhythm beads are sure to become the crowd favorite -- as all eyes are drawn to the horse with the beautiful "necklace".

Even trail riders use this lovely device. The soft jingle of the bells provides just enough noise to announce an arrival to the local critters, thus avoiding surprises! Rhythm beads have also become popular in the sport of endurance riding in the past few years. These horse and rider teams are traveling long distances; the calming and relaxing benefits of the rhythm beads are very welcomed.

Recently, there is yet another group of equine enthusiasts that is discovering the many benefits of using rhythm beads with their horses. This group consists of those riders and trainers who work with gaited horses. This group has been noticing that the addition of the bells has seemed to encourage their horses to accentuate their gaits even more than usual. Many have commented that it is almost like the horse is enjoying the rhythm of the bells and really getting into the musical rhythm that they are producing.

When Sandy makes one of her standard or custom-designed necklaces, she considers the impact of various colors on a person or animal's mental/emotional state. For example, blue is symbolic of peace, trust, and relaxation. What a wonderful element to consider when working with an animal as special as a horse!

Find this most original item at Sandy's Etsy store JewelsforHorses, at:

If you enjoyed this blog post, you might also enjoy The new rock star of BEADS.

p.s. Don't forget about The Bead's 3-day EXCLUSIVE SALE for newsletter subscribers only, running now and only through Sunday. Contact me for the secret code if you want to take advantage of this rare opportunity for 30% off a purchase of $90 or more.


0 # Vintique Jools 2013-04-22 17:55
I so enjoyed this post! I never knew about the symbolism of the beads and the effects of the sounds of the necklace have on horses. I can't wait to tell my cousin about this as she has 2 horses....pleas ure riding only...I know she will love it!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Sheila McLaughlin 2013-04-22 22:57
Thank you Ellen! Sandy is a sweetheart - always 'liking' my stuff on Pinterest - and my first volunteer 'guest artist'. Please let me know when you're ready for me to tell YOUR story! I have been loving your things...
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Tiffany Berardi 2013-07-25 18:52
Hey thats me and my horse Sergeant First Class in that picture! Sandy made us a wonderful set of modified beads for a breast cancer benefit! I also have another pair that I got from her with bells that I love!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # so mclaughlin 2013-07-25 23:06
Wow, thanks for your comment! And a beautiful horse and rider they are! Sounds like we're a joint admiration society for Sandy! Love her work and the whole concept! Thanks again --
Hope you'll join us here or refer any friends interested in beads, beading, artisans, etc., etc.!
The more attention we get here, the more we can get the word out about wonderful women artisans/entrep reneurs like Sandy!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
Copyright © 2018 The Bead Collection. All Rights Reserved.