1. A violin/cello bow.
Let’s start with the classic use for horse hair. It’s easy to forget just how clever it is to use a horse’s tail hair to make some of the most beautiful music in the world.
2. Horse hair bracelets.
Braiding horse hair allows you to put together interesting patterns that can then be turned into bracelets.
We love the style of these bracelets; simple, neat and wonderful.
3. A horse hair cross.
This relatively simple project makes use of some braided horse hair. For the more pious of you, this is a fantastic way to feel close to your horse while also feeling close to your religion.
4. Horse hair earrings.
Beautiful, simple and elegant – these earrings look excellent. Horse hair can also be dyed to give it a little bit more design character.
5. A horse hair handbag.
Horse hair can be woven into a highly durable fabric. This handbag is a fantastic example of the design possibility of horse hair – often overlooked and forgotten.
6. Horse Hair Tassles.
Of the easiest things to do with old horse hair is to turn it into a tassle. Tassles can be used for a number of things, but most often they’re decorative, bringing a little reminder of your horse into your day.
7. Wristwatch straps.
Although horse hair isn’t used very regularly, it can be a very versatile material. These watch straps are decorated with braided horse hair.
8. Horse Hair Pottery.
Applying horse hair to an un-fired pot can have exquisite results once you do fire it. This is an old technique that results in complex, beautiful works.
9. Horse Hair Jewellery.
We love this idea; setting little cuts of your horses hair into resin to create charms for necklaces.
Believe it or not, horse hair was often used for upholstery. It’s shine and durability gave it a unique appeal.
11. Let birds build nests with it.
A clever, fun little way to use your left over horse hair is to leave it in piles for the birds to pick up.
They’ll take it back to build their nest. If you’re observant and patient enough, you’ll be able to watch the process.
READ MORE: 10 Masterpieces of Art With Horses In Them
READ MORE: 10 Best Horse Films Ever Made
The 10 Best Dressage Horses & Riders Ever
10. Juan Manuel Munoz & his horse Fuego de Cardenas.
9. Laura Tomlinson-Bechtolsheimer & her horse Rosalie B.
8. Kristina Bröring-Sprehe & her horse Desperados.
7. Adelinde Cornelissen & her horse Parzival.
6. Anky van Grunsven & her horse Bonfire.
5. Carl Hester & his horse Wanadoo.
4. Isabell Werth & her horse Gigolo.
3. Steffen Peters & his horse Ravel.
2. Edward Gal & his horse Totilas.
1. Charlotte Dujardin & her horse Valegro.
How Quarantine & Television Is Ruining Australia’s Equestrian Sports
Megan Jones, 36 at the time, rides Flowervale Maserati, a powerful horse with a dark coat. As rain begins to fall, the pair of them continue to push themselves, hoofs beating ground and throwing grass into the air.
A variety of interesting jumps have been set up; huge logs balanced over low stumps, trimmed hedges and neatly crafted wooden huts. For this moment, Megan’s entire focus is paired with her horses. Their speed and their movements counterbalance each other’s as they hurtle over obstacles.
The exhilaration of the ride drives them both forward to win the event; a trial held in Ballarat. The skill it requires of the two of them is enough to take Megan to the Olympics, where she won a silver medal in Beijing in 2008. If that skill fails, the risk is severe – with injuries and fatalities occasionally appearing in the news. While Megan has suffered from the intensities of riding (she has a stress fracture in her back that required a 12 week rest from riding), others have lost their lives in the controversially dangerous sport. It is, by any sense of the word, an extreme sport.
With so much danger, intensity, skill and tradition, what kind of an audience does equestrian riding have in Australia? SBS made news recently for scheduling coverage of some of the top international equestrian events, including jumping and eventing. It’s a break from Australia’s surprisingly reticent history of equestrian sport coverage, which rarely makes news unless in the context of the Olympics. Yet equestrian events alone make up a $362 million dollar contribution to the Australian economy, and the equestrian industry in total contributes $6 billion. World-class athletes are being trained in Australia, and a nearly $1 billion a year goes into breeding high class horses.
So why isn’t the equestrian industry covered by television programming? It has everything; excitement, interest, an existing market – there seems to be no reason why equestrian events shouldn’t be all over our screens. And there’s one big reason; quarantine.
Horses coming into Australia are required to be in quarantine for 3 weeks in their country of origin and then for another 2 – 3 weeks when then land in Australia. That’s a potential total of 42 days of quarantine. Horses going into American, as a point of comparison – require only 3 days of quarantine, and 7 days for a small selection of limited countries. Australia is already geographically distant from Europe, where horse riding is more popular, but delays like this make it near-impossible for international competition to take place in Australia.
That means Australia ends up isolated and it becomes much harder to increase the quality, value and competition of the industry. There are no five star events held in Australia, only the four star Adelaide three-day event. Australian riders can become successful; Edwina Tops-Alexander of Australia was the first person to earn over $2 million in an equestrian event. But, much like Tops-Alexander, they move overseas to a European base in order to reach that kind of success.
What Australia is doing is exporting all of our equestrian talent. We’re not completely without hope. Grand Prix rider Lone Jorgensen moved to Australia from Germany and set up base here; proving again that the country has promise in the equestrian field.
The only way to invigorate the already solid industry is to modify quarantine laws to allow more efficient imports. If we can encourage world class internationals to compete in Australia, events will grow and television coverage will follow, unlocking the potential the market already has.