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History of Shine Designs

"Horses fly witout wings and conquor without swords."

I was 5 years old when I took my first riding lessons on a pony named Mary. She taught countless children the love of horses. From there, when I was 9 years old, we moved to the farm. On move-in day, we were unloading the trailer of furniture when I heard a neigh of a horse coming from the barn. I went running to investigate the sound discovered a horse standing in the stall looking at me. Astonished and confused, I asked if it was our neighbors. My parents laughed and told me no, he was all mine. I was thrilled, to put it lightly.

Throughout the years we acquired more and more horses.  I had friends, and still have, friends that would spend hours a day with me in the barn cleaning tack, cleaning stalls, and riding. I showed in many disciplines of English riding, and eventually became involved in Pony Club.

One day my dad that asked if my friend and I wanted to go to an auction several hours away in New York. This translated to road trip- which we didn't hesitate in saying yes to. When we got there we walked in and I immediately started scanning the pens. My eyes quickly landed upon him. He was in a pen with about 6 other horses and was casually eating hay. Immediately, I called attention to my dad pointing to that pony saying, "him!". My dad- much less enthused- scrunched his face and said, "Him?". That was the beginning of Shadow's life with us.

Shadow- who we all referred to as "Big Head" was a pony like no other. Not only was he a rare blue roan color, he had the personality that exceeded that of a typical "pony attitude". He literally caught treats out of the air, he'd hold the water hose in his mouth when I'd give him a bath. We competed in games, show jumping, jumpers, hunters, eventing, hunter paces, foxhunts, we had our go at polo-cross, and eventually he became a lesson pony where he introduced several children to the love of horses and riding.

There were several years that went by where Shadow went unused. I moved down south and brought my two horses down with me. I couldn't bring Shadow with me until I had a barn built. After five long years, my barn was built and I was able to bring Shadow down with me.

It was a great four months of having him with me before that Sunday happened. I woke up to feed the horses and I saw him in the field separated from the other two laying down. When I called to him, he awkwardly turned his head to look at me. As I approached him, I saw the circular area of beaten down grass where he clearly had been rolling around all night. If you're a horse person, you probably know that not only is that a sign of colic, but the sign of colic where your gut tells you it's not going to have a happy ending. 

After I made a decision I never thought I'd have to make. I cut a chunk of his tail as a keepsake, unsure what I was going to do with it. 

Each horse has a special place in your heart. You form different bonds, and have different experiences with each of them. Shadow was a pony that not only left a mark on me, he left a mark on everyone he encountered throughout his life- and there were many of them.


I knew I wanted to make something with the hair I had cut. I brainstormed ideas and finally came to a decision. Whether you ride English, Western, Side Saddle, pull carts, etc. All must be performed with the horse and tack, and almost all tack is made up of leather. It was that thought process that began the transformation of braided horse hair incorporated with leather. I have always loved the look of leather jewelry and decided to take the tragic event of putting my beloved horse down and creating a company that would commemorate other horses as well.  It was then that Shine Designs evolved into what it is today.

I know the loss of a horse, and know how hard it is to go out to the barn and not be greeted by them. Therefore, It's my goal to create unique keepsakes for each customer so they can carry their horse or horses with them in their daily lives. My advice to you, don't do as I did and wait to have a keepsake made after they are gone. Have one made now while they're still able to greet you in person rather than in dreams.

personalized horsehair jewelry
Horse hair jewelry, horsehair jewelry, horse keepsake
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