Because my horse died...



Is usually how I start my answer when I'm asked - How did you get into this?

For the first few years my answer was sugar coated, a bit embellished and padded to protect the emotions of those who were curious how I got my start in the peculiar world of horsehair jewelry. Over time my answer became more blunt and to the point with the harsh reality of why I started doing this flashing like neon sign to the poor person who asked me.


We've established that the main reason is because my horse died.

He died.

Seaver died.

And when he did I felt crushed. A part of me desperately wanted to keep a piece of him close to me, I just wasn't ready to completely let him go. I had heard about horsehair jewelry and started my search online for someone I could trust to send my precious boys tail hair to.

After days of scouring the internet I came to the conclusion that I was A - not sending his tail hair overseas, B - terrified of getting scammed like the people on the horse forums had, and C - it can't be THAT hard, I'll just do it myself!

I quickly learned that doing it myself was not as easy as I had assumed it would be. (let's all go back to our parents old saying "Don't assume. It makes and ASS out of U and ME)


Being the stubborn person I am, I spent months attempting to make a bracelet with his tail hair. Each time I thought "I got it!" it would end up scrapped for being not perfect enough. This is another problem I discovered I have. I want the things that I do, that I put out into the world, to be something I'd be proud to give, it needed to be perfect. When I finally created what I thought was the first horsehair bracelet I was proud of I realized it was the last of his tail hair I had left. I packaged it up in a neat little box and sent it off to the girl who had loved Seaver for most of his life. It was so hard to let that piece of him go, but the sense of purpose it gave me when I sent him back to his original owner is what sparked me to do more.

I began asking friends for their horse's tail hair, not telling them why, then surprising them with bracelets and key chains. From there this little side hustle took off.


As time went on my designs became more intricate. Word of my horsehair jewelry was spreading fast and the orders were coming in quickly. I decided to put myself into debt and picked up a booth at the great equestrian trade show, The Mane Event, little did I know that debt would be paid off by the middle of the first day there and my hobby officially became a small business.

I was often asked if I could make rings for horsehair. I did some digging and found suppliers that I could buy pre-made blank rings from, but something about it just didn't feel right. The jewelry I was making was made FOR someone. To celebrate the bond that person had with their horse, it was special and unique. It wasn't generic like the ring blanks that were available.

So the search began to find someone that could bring my ideas to life. In 2017 I began to offer rings and over the last three years Verstara has transformed from a side gig to a full blown, six-figure business gaining worldwide recognition.

Through my jewelry I have been able to help countless people, and THAT is what matters to me. It all comes down to the reason I started this in the first place. Helping to heal broken hearts, keeping families together, and providing a piece of comfort is the real driving force behind what I do. It's a passion that burns so deeply that I never want to quit.




  • Debbie Maurer

    I read your story a couple days ago with some tissues next to me. I couldn’t reply to your story right away as just losing my own horse, Ricky, less then 2 months ago I couldn’t even reply without losing it. I’m just so sorry for your loss. As I was searching the internet for horse jewelry I came across a couple jewelers but your selection stood out from all the rest as far as quality. As other people have written your jewelry is just beautiful and I also wanted something nice that I know I would have for a long time. I can’t wait to see what I know will be beautiful keepsakes of my horse of 21 years. Thank you so much. ~ Deb Maurer

  • BEv DAvis

    Out of grief you gave so many people something so beautiful I thank you. Congratulations on a great job 👏👏👏👏

  • McC

    Devastation does not begin to describe what I was feeling the day I unexpectedly lost my beautiful Cirinity to colic. She gave me the best 15 years of my life. When I wanted to create a lasting memory piece, I scoured the internet for something fittingly elegant. Colleen’s pieces far and away surpassed everything else I had seen. And the ring is far more beautiful in person than I could have imagined.

  • Glenn Milana

    Just received my ring and couldn’t be more happy. Colleen is a true artist and captured my Maverick perfectly, I will wear this ring in his honor and can’t thank you enough for this great keepsake. Thank you. I woul highly recommend Verstara to anyone looking to memorialize my beloved Maverick

  • Ainsley Gray

    I got colleen name from my neighbor. Out on Lincoln hall road near lacombe. She had said she had gotten a piece made by her when her daughters horse had passed. This was before we had lost our beloved old man Buck. It was the coldest day of the last of December in 2017. Our poor 29 year old played down and never got back up. It was a sad day in our house. It was a even sadder day in the field as Bucks beloved 7 year old mare watch over as he takes his last breaths. Watches her master in tears. Then whinging so loud a cry of a horse I will never forget. While they losd him away to lay to rest. She paced the fenced for hours singing for her mate. She did this for days. I contacted Colleen about making us a few things. It took me till the mane event to get it to her. As I didnt trust the postal service. She was absolutely amazing took her time with us. She made me a key chain that I care with me every where. A necklace that Seana wore to her cap and gown part of grad. Seana would take the necklace and let licorice smell it and you could see the light come out. Colleen also combed out all the extra hair I had. As that old horse would carry my little around the yard from the age of 3 and a half to 7 it was amazing. I made a shadow box with it.

    On feburary 6th I needed to contact her again. As that day we lost a horse that we had resuced. This horse was only with us for a short time. She was so loving after she knew she was here to stay. The transfermation I was able to do. Was amazing. She was older then we where told and it was just her time. So once again at the mane event we will bring the hair. As i like to hand deliver it.

    Thank you so much for doing what you do. This keeps our biggest babies alive in us. I love knowing i have a piece of my beloved Old man Buck with me everywhere.

    Thank you Thank you

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