About Rhythm Beads
Rhythm beads are an ancient Indigenous tradition. They decorated both themselves and their horses with shells, beads, feathers, painted symbols and protective amulets.
The beads were not only functional; they each served a specific purpose; the more common ones were to protect both horse and rider from danger in battle, to bring good luck, help ward off evil spirits, and show the status, and achievements, of both horse and rider.
Although, for many centuries - ever since we domesticated the horse - cultures all over the world have decorated and celebrated their horses, choosing to dress their equine partners for various purposes...physical protection, spirit protection, proclamation of wealth, harmonious communication, healing, etc.
The name rhythm beads is important because rhythm is perhaps the single greatest attribute to use. Being a good rider/partner involves understanding and feeling gaits, lead changes, etc. Rhythm beads help the rider (simply by hearing) determine the proper cues and responses to gait changes.
They help the horse by minimising distractions as the horse focuses on the steady sound of the necklace bells rather than the often startling sounds of the arena/trail.
Of course, with all this, they also look great!
IN THE ARENA:
What can a string of beads and bells do to help you in the arena?? You may be surprised. The sound of the bells helps to centre your horse and divert his attention from outside distractions. These bells also allow riders to learn the natural rhythm of their horse's footfalls, so that it is apparent when the horse needs to use more of his/her body, pick up the pace a little or collect.
Rhythm Beads help them to learn their timing. They are able to "count strides" better, improving their confidence. They are great for children to share something personal with their friend also as letter beads can be added with names, etc. They make a great gift.
JUMPING / CROSS COUNTRY:
Rhythm and timing are everything in this discipline. If your horse missteps, it's essential that you are able to make lightning fast corrections in stride.
TRAIL RIDERS / ENDURANCE RIDERS:
Rhythm Beads help trail/endurance horse(s) to focus on cues, rather than outside distractions. They warn off nearby animals in the area of your horse's approach, so you don't have as many birds, rabbits, squirrels, etc. jumping in front of your path at the last minute. They also warn other riders, pedestrians, cyclists of your approach on the trail, especially if your horse is barefoot! The less surprises the better!
NERVOUS / SPOOKY / LOW CONFIDENCE HORSES
Depending on the colours chosen, rhythm beads have the ability to influence the horse. The bells mainly help to calm nervous or spooky horses, aid concentration and give courage to those who may need it. The sound of the bells helps the horse focus (and helps the rider to focus on the sound also).