December 13th is the National Day of the Horse.
Horses are amazing creatures. We live in Paradise Valley, near Yellowstone. We are surrounded by beautiful horses, spectacular wildlife and majestic mountains.
Recently, my husband’s sister, Sue, started making rhythm beads for friends and family. She’s been creating beads for them for personal use or for their horses.
I’ve loved horses since I was a little girl and have had Tara and her daughter, Rosa, for 31 and 26 years. Rosa is modeling the very first rhythm beads that Sue made.
I have been drawn to Native American décor and culture since I was young. So, I was very surprised that I had never heard of rhythm beads before.
Native Americans viewed the horse as a blessing and partner in spirit that should be protected at all times. They believed the rhythm beads kept a horse and rider safe in times of danger.
For the horse, the rhythmic beat of the bells can help train or desensitize horses. They can have a calming effect for both horse and rider.
Spiritually, with their incredible elements, the rhythm beads can represent a blessing, sacred connection or memorial for a person to hang in their home or office.
Each rhythm beads Sue has created have contained unique elements, with that person or horse in mind.
Components of her rhythm beads consist of items such as colors, feathers, hair, horn, crystals, bells and beads.
The four colors of the medicine wheel represent aspects such as:
- Yellow: “Spirit”, the east, the morning, Spring
- Red: “Emotion”, the south, the afternoon, Summer
- Black: “Physical”, the west, the evening, Autumn
- White: “Mind”, the north, the night, Winter
Other colors can also be used such as:
- Blue: wisdom, calm, future
- Green: harmony, mother nature, life
- Brown: values, duty, family
- Gold: sun, pride, confidence
Native Americans believe that a feather signifies honor and connection between the owner, creator, and bird from which it came from. Feathers can symbolize new life, healing and a connection to the divine and spirit world.
Hair and Horn
- Sue has used hair from my heart and soul horses, including my black mustang, Spirit Chief. Hair can be used from an individual horse, to honor them. The horse symbolizes traits such as loyalty, kindness and support.
- Bison tufts of hair and black horn beads are used. The bison symbolizes traits like strength, bravery, and life’s sacredness.
Sue uses various crystals such as:
- Turquoise: Assists with protection and wisdom and is known as a master healer.
- Yellow Aventurine: Helps with confidence and self-worth.
- Montana Agate: Aids with personal power and enhancing the mind, body and spirit connection. Pictured are some of Sue’s polished agates.
Bells and Beads
Rhythm beads wouldn’t be rhythmic without tinkling bells. Beads of different materials such as wood contribute to the harmonious flow between the various components.
One of the first rhythm beads that Sue made were in honor of the passing of her dear friend Rose, a senior draft horse rescued by United in Light draft horse sanctuary (where Sue volunteers and I provide items for fundraising.)
Sue’s magical creations just warm my heart as they are made with such heartfelt love and contain such soulful energy.
I have enjoyed watching her work, as she looks out the windows to a landscape that brings her peace.
Perhaps you’ll be inspired to create your own rhythm beads for yourself, your horse or someone else. Sue has already hinted about my Christmas present – I can’t wait to receive such an incredible blessing!
Kim & Allison
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