I like to fasten riding bells to my saddle because we live in bear country and letting a bear hear us coming can prevent a sudden surprise meeting! But even during the seasons when we aren't likely to happen upon bears or when riding in the arena, the bells are a nice rhythmic accompaniment to a horse's gait.
Jingling is nothing new - it is a horseman's tradition. Buckaroos have jingle bobs on their spurs that jingle jangle jingle. One of the breast collars I use has a loose enough roller buckle so that when my horse is trotting, a nice jingle comes up from her chest.
We recently made up some riding bells for our saddles and for some of our friends and thought you might like to add some to your gear.
All of our Riding Bells are strung on leather. The bells range in size from 1/4 " to 2 1/4" and come in solid brass, solid copper and chrome and brass plated steel. The sounds the various bells make range from clanging for the very largest bells to a jingling ring for the medium sized bells to a soft tinkling for the smaller bells and for the rusty bells. We use crow beads and some wooden and brass beads as slider beads and for decoration.
As always, it is a good idea to accustom your horse to this new item before mounting up because, depending on the size bell you choose, your horse's lope or canter could generate quite a new sound! So, start with some small bells, and lead your horse around, then maybe even longe him with the bells before you mount up.
Where should you attach the bells? I've found that anywhere on your saddle works great - breast collar Ds, rear cinch rigging, saddle horn, the center of your horse's breast collar, the D rings in the middle of your horse's cinch, in the mane or tail . . . but for safety sake, not on the bridle.
You can attach the bells by using the slider bead to adjust the size of the loop or you can open up the loop, run it through the ring you want to attach it to, drop the bells through the loop and snug it up, as shown at right.
Have a great ride and . . . I'll hear you out there on the trail,
At left is a size comparison of the bells we use to make our riding bells.
Length of each finished set of riding bells is measured from the top of the loop to the lowermost hanging part.
Bigger bells are louder. Vintage rusty bells are quieter than shiny bells.
Click on an item below for details and to order.
"I ride in the national forest with not only bears, but cougar, wolf, coyotes, badgers-all of which we have seen. One of our riders has a set of these bells and we all LOVE them so I've ordered three. Thanks." - SS
"I found a lot of the bells that I liked and had a cart full of them and had over $100.00 picked out. hahaha!! So I had to cut my order down some. They are all very pretty. It was a hard decision. You really did a great job on making all of those." - Deb
"I love the riding bells! They're all made very well and so pretty! All of you did a great job with your ideas." - D