Today I want to talk about a wonderful colleague on Etsy.com -- Sandy Brunk.
She does the most original beadwork – for horses! Here's
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: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JewelsforHorses?ref=seller_info
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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.