Our Story

Hairloom Treasures

The story behind Hairloom Treasures – long but worth reading. Promise.

The Horse Song of the Navajo
Holy wind blows through his mane,
His mane of rainbows.
My horse’s ears are of round corn,
His eyes of stars.
I am wealthy because of him.
I am eternally peaceful.
I stand for my horse.

The journey to Hairloom Treasures started with a boy named Andrew and a horse named Nebo. The two found in each other that very rare, very magical connection only a human and a horse can have. But Nebo could not stay here long. He died, leaving a broken-hearted boy behind.

I could not bring Nebo back to Andrew, son of my dearest friend. But we had saved some of his tail when he died. And I knew I could make something special from that. Something that would, as much as possible, bring the horse and his boy back together.

Many years later, Nebo and Andrew’s legacy became Hairloom Treasures. Logically, I should not be where I am now. I started with a lock of tail hair and an idea. That turned out to be the ONLY easy part.

The gift I gave Andrew the Christmas after he lost Nebo was nice enough. There was no reason to keep exploring. But, I couldn’t stop coming up with new designs. I was obsessed with finding better silver, creating the perfect braid, building a bracelet that could be put on the arm and never need be taken off. Something else was driving me. A purpose, perhaps? A calling, maybe? My logic often reminds me those things are crazy talk.

But then, somebody comes to me with a plastic bag that they haven’t been able to open since the horrible, painful day the veterinarian handed it to them. I am the first person to  open the bag and touch the tail inside that once belonged to a deeply loved horse. As I work with that tail, I am often overwhelmed with grief, brought to tears.

And when I present the piece I’ve created to the human who loved that horse; when I am there to witness that moment when horse human are once more together again, THAT is when I KNOW the skill to make the things I do has very little to do with me. It comes from someplace else.  

I’ve always loved horses. Can’t remember a time when I didn’t. They are like no other creature on the earth. No other of God’s beings move like the horse, possess the energy and strength, and the mystery of the horse.

We are bonded to them in a relationship we share with no other animal. They make us work for their love. Prove to them we are worthy of it. Horses never just give it up like a dog. Or are as inconsistent with it as a cat (and I LOVE cats). But once you’ve truly earned a horse’s trust and love, once you and the horse bond, you never experience anything like it again. It’s almost supernatural, that connection.

God also gave the horse something he blessed no other creature with: It’s tail. Think about it. No other creature is born with such an exquisite piece of natural jewelry. It has a purpose. Fly swatter. Balance keeper. Communicator.

But is also also there just to be beautiful. Watch a horse run free, head held high, all four feet for just one mere instant free from the earth’s gravitational pull, flying – you will also see it’s tail, arced and glorious. It’s like nothing else in the world.

That tail, I’ve also come to believe, is one of many of the horse’s gifts for us. In the past, it was used to make ropes, fishing lines, mittens, reins and belts. Violin bows are strung with it.  The Native Americans celebrated a horse’s tail, made pottery with it, and handed down those crafted pieces as an heirloom to honor the horse from which it was made.

A horse grows tons of tail, and give it to us freely. A peace offering, if you will.

If you are lucky enough to be one of those humans who have connected to a horse in that magical way, I encourage you to help yourself to some of the horse’s gift, and do something for yourself with it. Your horse would approve. I promise.

And if you’re horse is gone, if it has left the earth to go back to the spiritual world from whence it came, definitely spend some time with the tail your horse left behind. You don’t have to DO anything with  it. You can simply take it out of its plastic bag, touch it again, weep over it, smell it and spend a moment remembering how much you and that horse loved each other.

I fully believe your horse would want you to let that tail loose and hold it close for a while. Your horse may not be with you anymore, but its energy, power, personality and beauty is still there: caught within its crown jewel. Remember, the tail was his or her gift to you. Treasure it. Do something with it when you are ready, whether its to make a piece of Navajo pottery, or a bracelet to wear on your wrist, close to your pulse. And I promise, with everything I’ve come to believe since that first piece I created to reconnect Andrew and Nebo, your horse will be with you again.

And you will feel its presence.


— Giselle Rec, Hairloom Treasures

Copyright July 2009.

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Giselle Goodman Rec and her beautiful 20-year-old retired Saddlebred show horse named Lily. We live in beautiful Kennebunkport, Maine, where lobster is cheeper than ham. Giselle rides at Hi Stepping Equestrian Center, a family friendly place that has been her horsie home since 1998.

She is the mother of two children, a boy and a girl. She is an animal lover – be it horses, dogs, cats, chickens or fish.
Please e-mail her at gisellerec@gmail.com for conversation or questions.

She looks forward to working with you, and, more specifically, your horse.