Readers Respond: Remembering Lost Horses Poll

Nearly 1,000 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "How do you remember a beloved equine you've lost?"

Memorial

Results were as follows:
  • Compile a scrapbook: 41.96% (412)
  • Other: 36.15% (355)
  • Install a memorial bench or marker: 30.45% (299)
  • Plant a tree: 27.09% (266)
  • Make a donation to a charitable group in his/her memory: 22.71% (223)

Some of the frequent comments included using hair from the horse's mane or tail for a bracelet or decorative object, commissioning portraits, saving halters and other tack, and memorializing the animal by naming a farm, show class, or award after them. Many readers have also gone high-tech, creating remembrance Web sites and participating in online grief support groups. All comments submitted by poll respondents are listed below.

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Reader comments:

  • I always have my Horses cremated
  • I have her pictures all over my house and her halter on my bed post.
  • Had hair made into a bracelet.
  • built a jump with a memorial plaque
  • I made a shadowbox for Cinder with his photo, his registration papers and his bit.
  • tail in a shadow box
  • Paint a portrait of my dear friend
  • Keep a set of their shoes
  • Braid strands of tail into a bracelet
  • Frame a favorite photo, plus, buried in my 'horse' cemetery
  • always in my heart
  • When I was twenty one years old I met my second husband who was a trainer. A year previously I hadln
  • I remember him everyday in my heart
  • I snip some of the mane hairs before they die and tie it with a ribbon. I have been known to write a
  • we have Buddy's Leather halter hanging in our office, pictures in the living room
  • Commissioned a portrait of him
  • Want a visible memory of her within reach for poignant days.
  • From a marker to scrapbook to horse hair jewelry
  • i choose a Christmas tree ornament that resembles the loved one either canine, equine, or feline.
  • make jewelry from their hair.
  • Braid a lock of hair into a bracelet or put lock of hair in frame with picture.
  • Post a note on my web site
  • A HAND CARVED HORSE HEAD AND USED TAIL HAIR FOR THE MANE
  • I have not faced this yet, but I plan to save his tail & have a bracelet made.
  • I make a donation to UCDavis Center for Companion Animal Health - Equine Research
  • i made a website dedicated to all of my past horse friends.
  • pictures and a lock of their tail
  • I make a painting or sculpture
  • Have not lost my best friend yet. A memorial in his name/honor will be erected someplace close by
  • I have a large river rock engraved and plant a flowering tree to set the rock under.
  • I always keep a lock of mane.
  • We hold a memorial/life celebration. I wear a braided bracelet made from a section of my mare's tail
  • Have instructed in my will that my ashes be scattered over my horse's grave.
  • braid with colorful ribbon a section mane an trim off. Glue on mat around photo.
  • Plant perennial flowers on the grave.
  • I would probably to some of each of the choices i get teary eyed even thinking about losing my baby
  • I haven't had to deal with one yet, but will bury him in the paddock he loves when his time is up,
  • watching my kids enjoy horses
  • My dear friend and trainer painted my mare Millie's portrait for me
  • Named our farm after her.
  • My beloved 25 yr old NSH mare died from laminitis. She is buried on the farm with a marker , wild fl
  • My TB filly is part of my EM address. and she has been gone 21 yrs
  • I have not had this situation yet
  • Make something out of the mane hair
  • Keep a lock of mane hair
  • Take out an ad---a memorial tribute---in an appropriate breed journal. Sponsor classes in memoriam
  • Thankfully, I've yet to lose one
  • I've saved locks of tail hair to be braided into a bracelet, with a charm bearing the horse's name.
  • Planted a white rose in memory of my white mare.
  • We quietly bury our horses on our own property.
  • My friends and I go on the "Rainy Ride" every June 20th - the sad day we lost her.
  • Have artwork done
  • Put photographs on Shutterfuly and sent a link to family and friends to view slide show.
  • look at the pictures of our happy times, close my eyes and relive them; smells, snorts, everything!
  • Framed Photo's
  • cute off the horses tail and save it!!!
  • I had a 12 x 12 granite marker with custom photos and text etched into it.
  • I never forget them - I mourn them everytime I see my current horse
  • had a ring made w/name
  • western pleasure
  • May sound strange, but we cut the hairs off her tail, tied it with a ribbon, & hung in our den.
  • save some of his mane, braid it and hang it with his picture or in my car on the rear view mirror.
  • Having a fly whisk made from his tail. Laying carrots on grave for birthday, aniv of death, Xmas
  • I always keep a lock of their hair.
  • keeping a lock of mane
  • I also still have his tail hair.
  • Named the "Silver Sioux School of Equine Studies" after her.
  • Hang a picture of Him/Her in the barn office
  • Commissioned master woodcarver Joe Leonard to create a head & neck study as a remembrance of her
  • On the day he died my sister and I go out and have a beer and tell stories about him
  • Haven't had one died- just had to give her away-hardly see her now:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(
  • i had a collage portrait of him made & i have a little shrine in his honor.
  • A photo on my bedroom dresser that I see first thing every morning.
  • pictures;videos;shared memories with others
  • In a place that I can see often
  • Jewelry made from a lock of mane/tail hair
  • plant flowers on his grave
  • look at photos
  • memories/pictures
  • publish her bowel cancer story for others to learn from
  • I save a horseshoe and part of tail, and plan to be buried with these items.
  • As crushing as such a loss is, I keep going - to stop riding is a disservice to them.
  • When I die, I will have my ashes mixed with hers and spread over the mountains where we use to ride.
  • My Beloved 31 yo TB died 2 wks ago We are building a Garden with arbor & bench in her memory
  • we just always keep them in our thoughts and hearts.
  • Pictures around the house, but I don't need them to remember. He's in my heart.
  • Lots of Tears--Kept his tail, shoe
  • have a key chain made of mane hair or a ceramic bowl inlaid with tail hair.
  • Display their leather halter with their nameplate
  • One eye jack was a rescue. I loved him very much. I found him dead on new years day 2001.I miss him!!
  • we have a little cemetery on the property
  • I have had my horses cremated and spread their ashes and put some in the tree I plant.
  • with a headstone
  • Remember them on their "anniversary".
  • I keep her pictures around and think about her everyday. I make sure to tell others I meet about he
  • Take pictures and videos, spend quality time... make memories while you can!
  • I hang her halter w/nameplate in my mudroom.
  • I sponsor a class in which my horse has won or create an award that best exemplifies his character
  • I plan on taking her mane and tail and having it put on a rocking horse. I also plan on having a sma
  • I frame their picture and have one of their brushes and ropes set-up for them on a shelf
  • Fancy Boots died giving birth. She is the dam of War Boots now racing in PA under Tommy Paver.
  • keep a lock of hair
  • when i lost my horse in Katrina I registered him at Rainbows bridge, a grief website
  • The holes they have left in my heart are readily available.
  • I have a charm or pendant engraved with the horses name date of birth and death
  • Pict. drawn, retired tack hung next to pict. tail braided, hung with rest.
  • We had a pencil drawing done by an artist and framed and hung in our living room.
  • I make a donation to my local Humane Society in memory of my animal.
  • Thankfully I haven't had to face this yet.
  • Photos and dreams are all I have off my beloved horses and pets too. It feels good view pictures.
  • I've not lost one of my horses yet but I have lost a couple of my old dogs before
  • We take the tail hairs and have them made into a fly wisk made with a nice wooden handle with a cap
  • My APHA Champion died at age 34 she was buried in front yr with butterfly bushes on her grave was m
  • PURCHASED A SADDLE
  • Pictures on the wall or on computer, locks of hair.
  • I cut his tail and will have a full time bracelet on my wrist. He was my best friend & I miss him
  • I have done all at some point.
  • I have a tattoo of a horse head on my chest.
  • Spend a day in a place close to our hearts reliving our adventures.
  • In my heart -- I will hear their hoofbeats in Heaven.
  • I lost a gelding to colic several years ago. I donated a book to the library in his memory.
  • A box with her halter,bit,bridle,piece of mane,forelock&tail,also a cloth with her sweat&my tears
  • tail braid, landscaping her gravesite& talking about her
  • I have photos of him next to my desk, and i think about him every day
  • Donate a trophy at a charity show.
  • I have him buried on the hill at my farm, when I ride by him, I think of him.
  • pictures everywhere
  • Trim some mane hair and make a bracelet or hair tassel for a bridle
  • I save mane and tail hair and braid the hair into a necklace or bracelet. Also woodburn boxes.
  • I have a beautiful rearing horse tattoo on my shoulder, I added his name, "Vegas" , to the tattoo.
  • My beautiful leopard appaloosa's hide is now hanging in my living room. Too pretty to let rot !
  • I made a key-ring using one of her navicular bones, it´s always in my bag or pocket
  • My husband had a gold pendant made of her that I always wear.
  • I cut off some of his tail hair and had it made into a tail extension which I keep!
  • I have a portrait done with lock of hair
  • http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Hoofbeats_in_Heaven/
  • I havent lost one yet but i am planing as i have a 34 year old horse
  • Compose a poem, frame it with pictures
  • portrait tatoo
  • keep a lock of their mane
  • I still dream about him, he lives in my heart. My heart went out to the people who knew John Henry.
  • joined Hoofbeatsinheaven,light a virtual candle,wrote a memorial,and get to talk with others like me
  • I keep my special memories in my china cabinet, old ribbons, pictures, shoes, leadropes & memories
  • keep nametag on a necklace
  • Pictures to remind me all that he taught me and top notch TLC for those still with me.
  • All of the above for my late/great Arabian stallion; also his bridle is mounted on LR wall.
  • I'm a quilt maker, so I will be making a memorial quilt for my late mare,whom I owned for 27 years
  • I make a slide show set to music and my hubby made a memorial stone.
  • hang his picture on the tacktoom wall with his stabledoor nameplate underneath
  • He lives in my HEART everyday.
  • I retire the halter or collar of the lost friend to a box with photos.
  • Donate to The brooke hospital www.thebrooke.org and help horses a lot less fortunate than yours
  • Thank Gawd, We have not lost a horse yet.... I am not looking forward to this day.
  • My email address
  • Perpetual trophy awarded in his name
  • horsehair bracelet made from the champions own hair.
  • I have photos everywhere he was 36 and we had 30 great years together
  • Local horse rescue gets memorial donation. (Not often, thank goodness! And at other times, too.)
  • Cut off a lock of their mane and keep it on the wall with their picture
  • picture,pictures and writing memories down
  • also enlarge my favorite photo
  • Made a plaque with her bridle, halter, stall name plate, and a picture. I love you Posey!
  • I kept the head of my favorite horse and preserved it. I fondly remember him every time I walk by it.
  • As a child, I walked through my pasture to the bus stop. My horses often "saw me off" and greeted me
  • I made a memorial page on my web site.
  • Have piece of forelock braided and mounted along with a photograph in a shadowbox; portrait
  • Morris Animal Foundation
  • I have memories of his birth through his death ingrained in my heart.
  • We made a plaque to hang on his stall the read "Here stood, many will come,but none will compare
  • We wrote an obituary with her photo and printed it in the local newspaper
  • My Taz is buried next to my house with a fenced off area with plants around it.
  • Frame an 8 X 10 of a school horse and have the kids in the barn sign it (on the mounting). Display
  • Framed pictures -- we've lost many
  • commissioned portrait
  • Pick Out A Star In The Sky and Name That Star After Your Beloved Friend.
  • I have many trees that memorialize departed horses that have been in my care.
  • Included photos on our wall with family pictures
  • Have photos as my screensaver.
  • ive never lost one yet
  • plaque w/shoes & photo
  • Write the horse's name in baling wire and hang it on the wall.
  • a lovely stone memorial with horses name and date
  • Look out where he is buried daily and remember him as he was.
  • have a bracelet made from his tail hair.
  • I take a piece of mane/tail hair and place it for future use in making a necklace or bracelet.
  • To never use horses for any sports, man is selfish when it comes to animals
  • I had a bracelet made from pieces of my horses tail. www.ponylocks.com. that way he is always with
  • Keep them in our hearts, memories and conversations.
  • I have had paintings done of my horses and pet that have pasted on to greener pastures
  • we lost a great old friend at 32 this year we will make a memories book and a memory angel picture
  • He was abused, so we sponsor local equine rescue groups in his name RIP Bojangles
  • Keep a part of their mane or tail
  • You keep them in your heart
  • Also compiled all 8mm films of that horse 1964 - 1992.
  • I also cut hair from their mane, forelock & tail
  • I keep a journal on each horse while living and write a memorial essay after their death. I
  • when my 22 year old paint sooner passed in March we waited until spring to plant a tree in his honor
  • Frame a plaque for home.
  • I also made a keychain from some of her tail hair. Also pictures...
  • I put them on the Hoofbeats in Heaven website.
  • braid a lock of their tail and place it in my house
  • I clip a lock of mane hair, braid or band +ribbonss, and hang it on the wall with their show ribbons
  • I planted a tree over the grave of our beloved gelding
  • My artist husband painting a picture for me and made me a piece of jewelry
  • tattoo
  • I immortalize them by sending my horses hair to Hairlooms incorporated and having something made.
  • A donation was made to UC Davis in Teddy's name for DSLD
  • Scarpbook, trophy shelf with pictures and also a web site.
  • Daily thnx to God for being blessed with the experience of having them in my life & memories
  • I keep a piece of their forelock if it is a horse and picturesand I have a memorie thatlasts a life t
  • My husband bought a star with the National Star Registry and named it after my best friend.
  • we initiated an annual fundraising golf playday to raise funds for animal related charities
  • horse hair pottery
  • I wrote a book due out in the Spring entitled My Black Mare. Available through Amazon.com
  • An In Memoriam ad w/photo in Chronicle of the Horse
  • we cut a braided piece of mane and tail
  • A wooden heart engraved with name & picture put on a tree by our favorite riding path.
  • Tattoo
  • I normally make a donation to the Marion Dupont Scott Equine Medical Center (aka Morven Park).
  • pictures
  • I keep a small portion of mane
  • I write about my experiences with the horse.
  • Had vase made using hair from tail in design donated body to vet school for autopsy she had heaves.
  • donate money to vet school who tried to help my horse when she was sick. They were wonderful.
  • Call the knacker, help get the body on the truck, and then get very, very drunk.
  • tie his tail and mane with ribbons, take the hair and send it to a potter to make into pottery bowl
  • a place to sit,remembering him..my Cowboy
  • My beloved Bucky is buried in the pasture where he romped as a foal. I remember him in my thoughts.
  • cremations and keep in a box labeled with a plaque
  • When my horse died. My friend made a beautiful quilt with pictures of my horse.
  • My favorite foxhunter was euthanatized last year at the age of 29. It was wrenching.
  • I have a picture of him on my frig so I see him everyday. I also go to his grave site to say hi.
  • I made a Memory Book of the past 22 yrs. Also having a bust made w/ his tail hair burned into it.
  • We have not lost one yet
  • i try to give to an appropriate charity
  • Kept a braid of hair from the mane
  • we have memorialized many in painted sculpture for clients
  • http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Hoofbeats_in_Heaven/
  • I run a large boarding operation & we feel it is important to remember those who gave us so much.
  • Cry
  • In the memories we made together, They live in my mind forever. Telling others story of the horses
  • He's so much a part of me that I don't "have" to remember him -- I carry his memories with me always
  • I generally write an eulogy to the horse remembering the good and the bad, but mostly the funny.
  • shadow box w/tail, championship ribbon, bit and pics ...my boy just passed 10/6/07
  • a braided lock of mane with a photo-our business is burying horses, we make one for the owners
  • kept her tail, she's buried at home, visit daily
  • ordered a bracelet made from his tail hairs.
  • I have the property to bury my horses and have markers on all.
  • He was 32 just like John Henry...I planted an apple orchard.
  • I used a stone & seedling to mark grave. Also selection of photos mounted on wall.
  • We plant colorful flowers over the grave (we can bury at home). They bloom each spring/summer.
  • as the wind gently touches my face, I remember my gallops of my now gone best friend as a teen
  • A collage of pictures
  • shadow box with halter, lock of hair, picture, ribbons won, etc
  • have had paintings done
  • Keep halter and mane/tail hair.
  • I had a painting done of my mare.
  • The beloved Standardbred gelding is now our computer monitors wallpaper
  • Our sweet friend, Lang Carel Piaffe, has a Memorial Trophy for the Best Dressage Horse.
  • Have his picture mounted over his stall.
  • plant a beautiful garden
  • I have had to put down two of my horses. I took a bit of hair from their tails and had them braided
  • Pictures on the wall not in a book
  • Have some or all of the horse hair braided into jewelry.
  • framed a horse shoe, pictures, pieces of mane and tail - enclosed in barnwood frame
  • We put a cross with our horses name on the gravesite in our horse pasture.
  • farm named after mare of 34 years - send $ to cover expenses of mare that resembles her at rescue
  • I keep framed pictures.
  • web site tribute
  • we took a lock of mane and had it braided as a keepsake
  • I braided a section of his tail and cut it out and saved his halter
  • I like painting a rock, something I can take with me if I move.
  • I hung his halter on the tree under which he is buried. It was his favorite corner of the pasture.
  • used tail hair to make a bracelet.
  • I have Pegasus's tail hair, I'll eventually have it made into a bracelet.
  • Keep framed photos out
  • had a mane hair mecate made with some of his hair
  • webpage
  • Sponsor Championship horse show class in the horse's memory
  • I remember her every day.
  • Prepare a portrait or photo montage. I also have an oil painting of one of my horses.
  • Have a bracelet made of their tail hair.
  • Talk about Henry - never forget him.
  • I keep a braid of my beloved horses to remember them.
  • I always keep a horseshoe and some mane and/or tail hair.
  • Take some tail hair, braid it and frame it along with a special picture of that particular horse doi
  • The horses fore locks and a picture
  • oil painting
  • Have custom horsehair jewelry created
  • And I have never removed his name plate from his stall.
  • Rockabilly was a beautiful, 17 hand, white
  • Keep them forever in your heart
  • For one old friend we planted Blue, Red & Yellow tulips to represent all the ribbons won at shows.
  • Painted memorial portraits
  • Make a shofly out of some of the hair so they can be with me going forward.
  • Wore a brass bracelet with his name for 1 yr
  • I keep there baby molars and a lock of there hair with a favorite picture
  • cremated
  • I have a stone engraved with their name and dates w/hoof print
  • picture with tail hair
  • I just lost a horse that I had for 13 years. I'm planting an apple tree & a small flower garden over
  • I had a leather bracelet made with my beloved horse's name engraved on and I wear it all the time.
  • have them cremated and then plant a tree over their ashes
  • Cremate him and keep the ashes
  • Lassie was my best friend in my teens years and helped me to survive illness and my parent's divorce
  • Memorial Marker & scrapbook & photos
  • Burn a candle annually to mark their date of passing
  • Purchased a brick at the Saddlebred Hall of Fame with her name on it
  • STORE ALL TACK THE HORSE USED AND SEAL IN TUB ALONG WITH PICTURES, VET RECORDS, ETC.-JULIAN ,NC
  • helped to found a horse rescue to save other great horses
  • The Morris Animal Foundation is my favorite
  • Kept some of his mane & tail, had a long trail ride in his honor.
  • Plant bulbs where each is laid to rest; with Spring, there's a great reminder of each horse.
  • a museum with the awards/ribbons/trophy saddles they won over the years and photos
  • photograph
  • Memorial tribute on Hoofbeats in Heaven website
  • I talk about him with anyone that will listen!
  • Silver maples
  • they are always on my mind what wonderful memories i have
  • Take a long solitary walk in the woods remembering.
  • Flowers
  • After 26 years together, I'm having a bracelet braided from my sweet mare's mane.
  • custom portrait and I also wear a pewter angel horse necklace every day in his honor
  • I keep their braided tails and plant flowers.
  • My Quarter horse mare that I purchased at 4 months old went to horse heaven after 28 great years. S
  • As Mrs. Jackson said "Grief is the price of LOVE"
  • Buried at a pet cemetery with headstone.
  • light up angel resin/bench/tree area set up

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care.

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