Horse Blanket

About this object

History of use

Used as a protective and decorative covering for a horse, under a saddle or pack frame. The horse blanket is shaped to be positioned on the horse’s back, with provision for accommodating the horse’s neck. Because it is so decorative, it may have been used at ceremonial occasions, but as the horse is such important and revered property in a nomadic culture, it is also just as likely to have been used for more practical purposes.

Physical description

Large, very heavy, multi-coloured, decorative horse blanket made from rough wool warp-faced textile and backed with a thick layer of felted wool fleece. It is roughly rectangular in shape, with a deep squared-off indentation (57 cm x 52 cm) at one end (the end close to the horse’s neck). Loops made of red and white braided wool or cotton are sewn near the bottom inside corners of the indentation. Two long, narrow triangular pieces are sewn at the outside edge of the opposite end of the rectangle. The predominant colours are red, brown, blue, yellow and greyish white, and the textile is woven in vertical stripes; red and blue stripes alternate with patterned stripes with blue, yellow and greyish white geometric forms. All outside edges are finished with brown wool braid and brown twisted fibre fringe. The fringe has been mended with orange fringe in a few places. The heavy layer of felted fleece (light brown with dark brown spots) that is used as a backing over the entire underside of the blanket is quilted to the top layer with running stitches.