Horsehair Turns into Works of Art for Tatum Kimzey | TheFencePost.com

Horsehair Turns into Works of Art for Tatum Kimzey

Gayle Smith
Gering, Neb.

Photo By CoCoTatum Kimzey shares a moment with one of her horses. She makes horsehair jewelry and mementos. Tail hair from your horse can be crafted into numerous useful and decorative items.

Growing up on a working cattle ranch near Hays, Kan, Tatum Kimzey watched her parents spend their spare time crafting leather and rawhide for use on the family ranch. When Tatum was 14-year-old, she decided to find her own niche, and became interested in braiding horsehair. Working from a book, the self-taught artist mastered the craft, and later added hitching to her work. Now, as an adult, Tatum crafts custom pieces for customers across the nation.

“I am totally self-taught,” Tatum explained. “I learned from a book. I have never met anyone who does the same things I know how to do with horsehair,” she said. “I haven’t really been around anyone else who does it. I learned from trial and error.”

Her business, called Equine Memories, evolved from the custom memorials she makes for customers to honor their horses. The custom memorials can be made up of a variety of things from pieces of the horse’s hair, to poems, cards, and pictures honoring the horse. They are arranged and mounted inside a picture frame to hang on a wall. “When I was trying to think of a name for my business, I started thinking about the custom memorials I make, and just thought the name was suitable for everything I do.”

Tatum said she worked with horsehair for at least 10 years before she started to make items for other people. “It was in 2005 that I sold my first items,” she said. “In 2007, I got a website, and I have tried to grow my business ever since,” she added. “What is interesting about this process, was at first I tried to keep stock and have things made up. Since then, I have found most people like to have something made from their own horse’s hair. Most of the braiding doesn’t require a lot of horsehair, so they can take a little hair from their horse’s tail and you won’t even notice it.”

Most of the items Tatum creates require hair from the horse’s tail. “I only use mane hair for the tassels I make,” she explained. “The mane hair is soft and short, and harder to work with, while tail hair is more course and long, which makes it easier to work with.”

Tatum can make a variety of horsehair items including jewelry, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, hat bands, stampede strings, and key chains. She also makes some tack items.

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Many of the items can be braided or hitched. “Braiding is cheaper because it is less intricate,” she said. “Hitching is more expensive because it is more intricate and time consuming.”

Most of her custom orders have been traditional items, although she has had at least one interesting order. “I had a lady once who really loved purple,” she explained. “Her boyfriend wanted to buy her a necklace, so I dyed some of her horse’s hair to make her a purple and white necklace. Fortunately, her horse was a palomino, so the hair was easy to dye.”

Tatum can also make Bosalitas, which are a thin bosal that goes underneath the bridle on a horse. “I made my first one, using hitched horsehair, for my own horse. I wanted my own unique hackamore to use for a show,” she explained. “Since then, I have made some for other people. What I like about hitching, is there are endless opportunities to make an item with several different designs.”

Tatum said she really enjoys hitching and making anything that has a new pattern. “I try to make some really unique hitched designs in the bracelets,” she said.

Another item that is popular are hitched horsehair crosses. “They vary in price depending upon what size they are, and how long it takes me to make one. Some I have made are small enough they can be used as a necklace. I am working on one now that is large enough to be a wall hanging,” she said.

Tatum hopes to expand her business in the future, by attending a few of the bigger horse shows and setting up as a vendor. “Right now, I have a young family, so most of my business is by word-of-mouth,” she explained.

Tatum takes custom orders or gift certificates are also available. To see her work, check out her website at: customhorsehair.com. She can also be contacted by phone at (785) 635-8219, or by email at equine_memories@yahoo.com.

Growing up on a working cattle ranch near Hays, Kan, Tatum Kimzey watched her parents spend their spare time crafting leather and rawhide for use on the family ranch. When Tatum was 14-year-old, she decided to find her own niche, and became interested in braiding horsehair. Working from a book, the self-taught artist mastered the craft, and later added hitching to her work. Now, as an adult, Tatum crafts custom pieces for customers across the nation.

“I am totally self-taught,” Tatum explained. “I learned from a book. I have never met anyone who does the same things I know how to do with horsehair,” she said. “I haven’t really been around anyone else who does it. I learned from trial and error.”

Her business, called Equine Memories, evolved from the custom memorials she makes for customers to honor their horses. The custom memorials can be made up of a variety of things from pieces of the horse’s hair, to poems, cards, and pictures honoring the horse. They are arranged and mounted inside a picture frame to hang on a wall. “When I was trying to think of a name for my business, I started thinking about the custom memorials I make, and just thought the name was suitable for everything I do.”

Tatum said she worked with horsehair for at least 10 years before she started to make items for other people. “It was in 2005 that I sold my first items,” she said. “In 2007, I got a website, and I have tried to grow my business ever since,” she added. “What is interesting about this process, was at first I tried to keep stock and have things made up. Since then, I have found most people like to have something made from their own horse’s hair. Most of the braiding doesn’t require a lot of horsehair, so they can take a little hair from their horse’s tail and you won’t even notice it.”

Most of the items Tatum creates require hair from the horse’s tail. “I only use mane hair for the tassels I make,” she explained. “The mane hair is soft and short, and harder to work with, while tail hair is more course and long, which makes it easier to work with.”

Tatum can make a variety of horsehair items including jewelry, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, hat bands, stampede strings, and key chains. She also makes some tack items.

Many of the items can be braided or hitched. “Braiding is cheaper because it is less intricate,” she said. “Hitching is more expensive because it is more intricate and time consuming.”

Most of her custom orders have been traditional items, although she has had at least one interesting order. “I had a lady once who really loved purple,” she explained. “Her boyfriend wanted to buy her a necklace, so I dyed some of her horse’s hair to make her a purple and white necklace. Fortunately, her horse was a palomino, so the hair was easy to dye.”

Tatum can also make Bosalitas, which are a thin bosal that goes underneath the bridle on a horse. “I made my first one, using hitched horsehair, for my own horse. I wanted my own unique hackamore to use for a show,” she explained. “Since then, I have made some for other people. What I like about hitching, is there are endless opportunities to make an item with several different designs.”

Tatum said she really enjoys hitching and making anything that has a new pattern. “I try to make some really unique hitched designs in the bracelets,” she said.

Another item that is popular are hitched horsehair crosses. “They vary in price depending upon what size they are, and how long it takes me to make one. Some I have made are small enough they can be used as a necklace. I am working on one now that is large enough to be a wall hanging,” she said.

Tatum hopes to expand her business in the future, by attending a few of the bigger horse shows and setting up as a vendor. “Right now, I have a young family, so most of my business is by word-of-mouth,” she explained.

Tatum takes custom orders or gift certificates are also available. To see her work, check out her website at: customhorsehair.com. She can also be contacted by phone at (785) 635-8219, or by email at equine_memories@yahoo.com.

Growing up on a working cattle ranch near Hays, Kan, Tatum Kimzey watched her parents spend their spare time crafting leather and rawhide for use on the family ranch. When Tatum was 14-year-old, she decided to find her own niche, and became interested in braiding horsehair. Working from a book, the self-taught artist mastered the craft, and later added hitching to her work. Now, as an adult, Tatum crafts custom pieces for customers across the nation.

“I am totally self-taught,” Tatum explained. “I learned from a book. I have never met anyone who does the same things I know how to do with horsehair,” she said. “I haven’t really been around anyone else who does it. I learned from trial and error.”

Her business, called Equine Memories, evolved from the custom memorials she makes for customers to honor their horses. The custom memorials can be made up of a variety of things from pieces of the horse’s hair, to poems, cards, and pictures honoring the horse. They are arranged and mounted inside a picture frame to hang on a wall. “When I was trying to think of a name for my business, I started thinking about the custom memorials I make, and just thought the name was suitable for everything I do.”

Tatum said she worked with horsehair for at least 10 years before she started to make items for other people. “It was in 2005 that I sold my first items,” she said. “In 2007, I got a website, and I have tried to grow my business ever since,” she added. “What is interesting about this process, was at first I tried to keep stock and have things made up. Since then, I have found most people like to have something made from their own horse’s hair. Most of the braiding doesn’t require a lot of horsehair, so they can take a little hair from their horse’s tail and you won’t even notice it.”

Most of the items Tatum creates require hair from the horse’s tail. “I only use mane hair for the tassels I make,” she explained. “The mane hair is soft and short, and harder to work with, while tail hair is more course and long, which makes it easier to work with.”

Tatum can make a variety of horsehair items including jewelry, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, hat bands, stampede strings, and key chains. She also makes some tack items.

Many of the items can be braided or hitched. “Braiding is cheaper because it is less intricate,” she said. “Hitching is more expensive because it is more intricate and time consuming.”

Most of her custom orders have been traditional items, although she has had at least one interesting order. “I had a lady once who really loved purple,” she explained. “Her boyfriend wanted to buy her a necklace, so I dyed some of her horse’s hair to make her a purple and white necklace. Fortunately, her horse was a palomino, so the hair was easy to dye.”

Tatum can also make Bosalitas, which are a thin bosal that goes underneath the bridle on a horse. “I made my first one, using hitched horsehair, for my own horse. I wanted my own unique hackamore to use for a show,” she explained. “Since then, I have made some for other people. What I like about hitching, is there are endless opportunities to make an item with several different designs.”

Tatum said she really enjoys hitching and making anything that has a new pattern. “I try to make some really unique hitched designs in the bracelets,” she said.

Another item that is popular are hitched horsehair crosses. “They vary in price depending upon what size they are, and how long it takes me to make one. Some I have made are small enough they can be used as a necklace. I am working on one now that is large enough to be a wall hanging,” she said.

Tatum hopes to expand her business in the future, by attending a few of the bigger horse shows and setting up as a vendor. “Right now, I have a young family, so most of my business is by word-of-mouth,” she explained.

Tatum takes custom orders or gift certificates are also available. To see her work, check out her website at: customhorsehair.com. She can also be contacted by phone at (785) 635-8219, or by email at equine_memories@yahoo.com.

Growing up on a working cattle ranch near Hays, Kan, Tatum Kimzey watched her parents spend their spare time crafting leather and rawhide for use on the family ranch. When Tatum was 14-year-old, she decided to find her own niche, and became interested in braiding horsehair. Working from a book, the self-taught artist mastered the craft, and later added hitching to her work. Now, as an adult, Tatum crafts custom pieces for customers across the nation.

“I am totally self-taught,” Tatum explained. “I learned from a book. I have never met anyone who does the same things I know how to do with horsehair,” she said. “I haven’t really been around anyone else who does it. I learned from trial and error.”

Her business, called Equine Memories, evolved from the custom memorials she makes for customers to honor their horses. The custom memorials can be made up of a variety of things from pieces of the horse’s hair, to poems, cards, and pictures honoring the horse. They are arranged and mounted inside a picture frame to hang on a wall. “When I was trying to think of a name for my business, I started thinking about the custom memorials I make, and just thought the name was suitable for everything I do.”

Tatum said she worked with horsehair for at least 10 years before she started to make items for other people. “It was in 2005 that I sold my first items,” she said. “In 2007, I got a website, and I have tried to grow my business ever since,” she added. “What is interesting about this process, was at first I tried to keep stock and have things made up. Since then, I have found most people like to have something made from their own horse’s hair. Most of the braiding doesn’t require a lot of horsehair, so they can take a little hair from their horse’s tail and you won’t even notice it.”

Most of the items Tatum creates require hair from the horse’s tail. “I only use mane hair for the tassels I make,” she explained. “The mane hair is soft and short, and harder to work with, while tail hair is more course and long, which makes it easier to work with.”

Tatum can make a variety of horsehair items including jewelry, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, hat bands, stampede strings, and key chains. She also makes some tack items.

Many of the items can be braided or hitched. “Braiding is cheaper because it is less intricate,” she said. “Hitching is more expensive because it is more intricate and time consuming.”

Most of her custom orders have been traditional items, although she has had at least one interesting order. “I had a lady once who really loved purple,” she explained. “Her boyfriend wanted to buy her a necklace, so I dyed some of her horse’s hair to make her a purple and white necklace. Fortunately, her horse was a palomino, so the hair was easy to dye.”

Tatum can also make Bosalitas, which are a thin bosal that goes underneath the bridle on a horse. “I made my first one, using hitched horsehair, for my own horse. I wanted my own unique hackamore to use for a show,” she explained. “Since then, I have made some for other people. What I like about hitching, is there are endless opportunities to make an item with several different designs.”

Tatum said she really enjoys hitching and making anything that has a new pattern. “I try to make some really unique hitched designs in the bracelets,” she said.

Another item that is popular are hitched horsehair crosses. “They vary in price depending upon what size they are, and how long it takes me to make one. Some I have made are small enough they can be used as a necklace. I am working on one now that is large enough to be a wall hanging,” she said.

Tatum hopes to expand her business in the future, by attending a few of the bigger horse shows and setting up as a vendor. “Right now, I have a young family, so most of my business is by word-of-mouth,” she explained.

Tatum takes custom orders or gift certificates are also available. To see her work, check out her website at: customhorsehair.com. She can also be contacted by phone at (785) 635-8219, or by email at equine_memories@yahoo.com.