It’s never easy to lose a much-loved horse.
But memorializing him through ceremony, art or other keepsake can be a meaningful way to celebrate his life and the relationship you shared. This article covers some simple options and ideas.
Equine artists can work from photos of your horse to create a commissioned painting or drawing. Different portrait sizes, styles and framing choices will typically present a range of pricing options. With artwork, you have the freedom to choose the painting’s background, and could also opt to have other horses or companion animals included in the picture. If you have quality photos of your horse, you can simply have the images enlarged and framed for display in your home.
Sculptures can be made from a variety of materials such as cast bronze, wood or clay. Raku pottery uses your horse’s hair to create a special and unique piece of art. Hair placed on the molded clay before it goes into the kiln leaves interesting patterns that become incorporated into the sculpture.
There are many artists who can work with your horse’s hair to create beautiful pieces of jewelry. Bracelets made with tail hair are most popular, and are a special way of keeping your horse near. There are a range of designs and styles available. You could also have your horse’s name or initials engraved on a ring or pendant.
A memorial service, wake, or other gathering with friends and family can be a special way to honor, remember and celebrate your horse’s life. Share stories, memories, tears and laughter as you come together to say goodbye and give thanks for all your horse has given you and those who have been a part of his or her life.
Memory board or box
With photos, ribbons and other special items you can create a collage in a large picture frame or put them together in a shadow box with your horse’s picture on the front. Items to include might be registration papers, a lock of hair, your horse’s halter or lead rope, a shoe (if he wore them), or any other keepsake from your time together.
Thanks to digital photography, it is easier than ever to create a book of photos that can be printed and bound. Many print shops have online services that allow you to create a customized book with the photos, text and layout of your choosing.
A memorial space
If you have buried your horse on your property you might mark his grave with a stone or flowers. Even if this is not the case, you can still create a special place of remembrance. Plant a garden with perennial flowers or a tree in his honor, or put a bench with a placard in a favorite spot.
Donation in memory
Enable your horse’s legacy to live on by making a donation in his or her name to an equine research fund, welfare foundation, or rescue facility. Initiatives like Equine Guelph’s Hoofprints Tribute program allow you to share a photo of your horse and a tribute message on the website.
Sponsor a class
Another option is to sponsor a class at your local horseshow series, or at an event you and your horse often attended. If you and your horse competed over fences, you could also donate a special jump in his or her memory.