On Grief and Losing Your Equine Friend

We’re going to get a wee bit serious today, okay?
There’s something that I’ve been encountering that I feel I need to address…

You all know I make jewelry from hoof clippings, naming them Equi~Gems. I am a Goldsmith by trade.
My shop is small but mighty 🙂 …uh, okay, its my kitchen table. My actual “shop” hasn’t been built yet. It’s on The List of Things To Build.
I have done many, many pieces of jewelry, from the classic design and cast pieces, to the more eclectic wire/stone/claw pieces.
I prefer the eclectic, one of a kind pieces. That why Equi~Gems are perfect for me. Every piece is unique. Just like the horses they come from.
I have even had the honour of setting a pair of LifeGems.

One of the things I have always believed the Equi~Gems could be, and should be, is the Equine version of LifeGems. A tangible piece of jewelry, made from your equine partner’s hooves as a memorial when they pass.
Much like having horse hair jewelry made.

Lately, in our smallish horse community, there have been a few people who have had to let their horses cross The Rainbow Bridge.
I have been asked why I don’t use that opportunity to sell Equi~Gems. To advertise them as the perfect memorial piece. By more than one person.

Here’s the answer to that…

I am not in business to take advantage of a horse owner’s grief.
Yes, if I did push the Equi~Gems at that time, I would likely have more sales, and would be busier with client’s pieces.
I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.
Okay I don’t sleep much anyways…lol.
What sleep I do get, I want to be good sleep, and I can’t sleep well without a clear conscience.
I cannot, in good conscience, intrude on someone’s grief, just to sell a product.
Yes, the jewelry is a perfect memorial.
Yes, I want to be able to make that memorial for the grieving horse owner.
I don’t however, want to play the vulture…
Too many people see someone dealing with losing a loved one, two footed and four footed, and think it’s the perfect time to sell them a product. I hate that, and it’s not how I do business.
But, that’s just me.

What I will do, is offer my sympathies and words of comfort. I know how hard it is to lose a beloved pet.
March will be 3 years since we lost our OldWoman, our german shepherd, and I miss her every day. Every damn day.
I would not have wanted someone to be in my face about how to memorialize her right after, or just before, she crossed. It was hard enough making the trip to the vet, let alone anything else.
I cannot imagine someone trying to sell me a product at that time…

The other thing I will do, is leave a list here, on what to do, should you be facing the death of your Equine friend, and you think you might, sometime, want an Equi~Gem made.
I’ll also add the information to the F.A.Q page.

  1. Take your piece of hoof after your equine friend has crossed over. This way, there are no worries about holding up a foot, balancing, or causing further distress.
  2. Take as big of a piece as you are comfortable with. As cold as it may sound, the bigger the piece, the better. It will give us more options for jewelry when you are ready. Take pieces from all 4 feet, if you can. Every hoof will polish up different. Again, it’s options. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with this.
  3. Rinse off as much of the muck and mud as you can. Pat dry, and place in zipper bag.
  4. Put the bag in a cool place. A fridge, or freezer is best. If you don’t want to store the clipping(s) yourself, contact me. I can, and will, store it for you, until you are ready.
  5. Grieve.
  6. Contact me when you are ready. Give yourself at least 6 months. Be ready to talk about your equine friend. I’m going to ask you about them. I want to be able to make you the best piece possible, to represent your relationship. Something you are going to be proud to wear.

When we talk about your Equi~Gem, I don’t want you to be thinking how pushy I was advertising my skills. How I intruded on your personal grief to convince you to do this…I want you to be remembering the times you had with your partner, the good things you did together, the love, the laughter, and yeah, even the tears.

When you have an Equi~Gem made as a memorial, it should hold the memories of your and your horse.
I will do my very best to make sure that’s what you get.