Horsehair jewellery is a great way for riders to always have just a little piece of their beloved pony or horse with them all the time.
Horsehair can be incorporated in a wide range of jewellery items - bracelets, key rings, stock pins, necklaces and brooches. People who have more than one special horse sometimes have the hair of each of the horses plaited together. Using contrasting strands from, say, a grey and a black or bay looks really stylish. Chele Clarkin and Geoff Taylor of The Cambridge Collection are always interested in hearing about horse owners’ own horsehair jewellery ideas. To see some of the exciting jewellery that they have already created with horsehair, go to our horsehair jewellery collection.
Providing the horsehair for personalized jewellery
If you cut the hair from the back of the dock, the cutting mark will be less noticeable. Mane hair is not suitable for jewellery as it is too fine. (If you are unable to provide hair from your own horse, The Cambridge Collection can supply horsehair for your jewellery.)
The strands of hair need to be clean and of the same length. That enables the binding of the hair to be secure and to wear well.
For bracelets and necklaces, the hair must be at least 30cm in length and about one thumb thickness through. Any leftover horsehair, it is returned to the person who has ordered the jewellery. Bracelets usually finish up at about 19 cm or 7 ½”, but can be made to any suitable length.
Stock pins and brooches take about 10 cm of horsehair and the bundle should be the thickness of a little finger.
Once the hair is cut, bind it with a rubber band. Carefully lay the bundle on paper, wrap it and send it to The Cambridge Collection for plaiting.
Turning the horsehair into jewellery
Making hard-wearing and attractive horsehair jewellery is a task for experts. Bracelets are made to each person’s individual requirements. As one-off pieces, they are time-consuming to make and produced with care and love. The Cambridge Collection people are, themselves, horse-mad so they understand how precious the horsehair jewellery they make will be to each owner.
A range of precious metals can be used - yellow, rose or white gold, or sterling silver, or any combination of those metals.
Designs may be plain, or could include snaffle bits in the centre or maybe a plaque that can be hand-engraved. Bracelet ends are solid and the slide clasp is a handmade, so it is tough. The Cambridge Collection produces hand-carved caps with a horse shoe nail on each end. Slide clasp catches are handmade and hammer-hardened to make sure they will stand up to the rough life they often get around horses.
Long term wear
The workmanship that goes into The Cambridge Collection’s horsehair jewellery ensures that each piece wears well. However, horsehair can become a little tatty over time. If this happens, the hair can be removed, a fresh bundle of hair can be plaited, and that can be reattached to the existing ends.
Famous riders who have horsehair jewellery
Katie Laurie (née McVean) has two items of horse hair jewellery – one from Flower Power, the mother of all her homebred show-jumpers, and the other from Delphie, who was one of Flower Power’s babies and a special horse for Katie. Delphie has since been sold to Saudi Arabia, but she stays close to Katie in a special piece of commemorative jewellery.
Katie’s father, Jeff McVean loves his key ring made from hair from Flower Power’s tail.
Owners and breeders often appreciate a thank-you gift made from one of their horses.