By Muriel Tissonnier
With a nick name like “America’s Horse," it is clear that the American Quarter Horse is America's most popular and beloved horse breed. They are also the horse of choice for jewelry-maker Ben Nighthorse, who uses Quarter Horses in all his designs.
The first Quarter Horses were bred during the colonial era by cross breeding the English Thoroughbred with “native horses.” This small, quick and sturdy horse was used to work during the week and to race on the weekend.
As Americans moved west so did our horses. Out West the Quarter Horse was cross bred with wild horses, Mustangs, adding a natural instinct for working with cattle to the breed.
Today’s Quarter Horse stands betweein 14 and 16 hands high, has a strong, muscled body with a broad chest and powerful rounded hind quarters. The quarter horse wears many different hats; a show horse, race horse, ranch horse, reining and cutting horse, rodeo competitor and all-around great family horse.
The contemporary jewelry of Ben Nighthorse has been heavily influenced by his own respect for and his wife’s love for the American Quarter horse. Ben and his wife Linda have raised quarter horses for years, including a Supreme Champion and AQHA Champion, Sailors Night. Today the horse plays a major role in his designs.
Just to note a few, the Reversible Running Horse Pendant, the Heavenly Horses Bracelet and the Walking Horse Earrings. Please come visit the gallery or our website to see more of Ben Nighthorse’s jewelry.