How to make rhythm beads for horses

How do you make rhythm beads for horses?

While it seems like a simple task, similar to stringing beads to make a necklace (on a larger scale only), there are definitely some things to consider when making rhythm beads for horses.

First, measure around your horse's neck. The rhythm beads should sit just in front of the withers and fall on the chest just below the base of the neck. How so:

Make sure that your horse has enough room to move with the rhythm beads and that it is not so tight that it restricts movement or is so loose that it can easily get caught on something.

Once you have this measurement, collect your materials. You will need:

  • Leather cord. (about a foot longer than the measurement you took earlier).
  • Beads (make sure the beads have a hole wide enough to fit on the leather cord!)
  • Any additional design elements that you want to add. Bells are extremely common in rhythm pearls. Feathers and tassels are also.
  • Alligator clip
  • Jewelry glue.

The most important thing about your rhythm beads is that they have to break if they get caught on something on your horse! It is for this reason that leather cord is the most commonly used because under sufficient pressure, the leather will lock into place and ensure the safety of your horse.

The easiest way to thread the beads is to first thread a center bead (or a bell or a tassel or whatever you want to be the centerpiece of the rhythm beads) and then work from both sides at the same time and place the beads in a pattern to thread of your choice. For example, if I put 3 red, 2 blue, and 1 black strings on the left, I'll do the same pattern on the right too. This way, your rhythm beads will be evenly patterned on both sides. When adding bells or tassels, these are usually placed every 6 to 8 inches, but that's a personal preference, of course. So feel free to experiment! Stop beading about 6 inches from the end on either side (that's the extra foot of string you measured earlier).

Once all of the beads on the string are stitched, tie double knots on both ends to keep the beads in place (as close as possible to the last beads). Glue the jewelers onto these knots to secure them and let them dry for about 24 hours. You should also tie the alligator clip to the end of one of the cords (and glue the jeweler's glue to the knot) about 3 inches from the last bead.

Finally, wrap the rhythm beads around your horse's neck, check the fit and tie the ends of the string together in the right place. The alligator clip is used to stabilize the rhythm beads by clipping it into the mane, staying centered and not slipping off when your horse lowers its head.