what makes Yonder Horse Blankets special
The Yonder Horse Oaxaca saddle blanket collection is hand-loomed in Teotitlan Del Valle, a weaving village in Mexico rich in history and renowned for using all natural dyes and 100% wool yarn. We are honored to collaborate with a remarkable women’s cooperative who are carrying on the traditions of the old world while making an important economic contribution to their community. These extraordinary artisans blend each color by hand using only treasures found in nature; leaves, nuts, bark, ashes, indigo, fruits and even bugs. Yes! The cochineal insect which lives on cactus leaves creates all shades of blush and berry! Check out the natural ingredients used to create the vibrant colors in each Oaxaca saddle blanket design listed under each product photo. The historic Oaxaca valley also happens to be the region where some of the very first horses were introduced to North America by the Spanish as early as 1519. The patterns in your blanket, however, have their origins in ancient Zapotec designs dating back centuries before the Iberian horse first set foot in the Americas. What else makes them special? The finer weave is lighter weight than most blankets you will find in the market and the slimmer profile eliminates any unnecessary bulk between you and your horse.
Woven in the ways of the old world
Yonder Horse works with extraordinary women and men in communities around the world who are carrying on weaving traditions that have played an important role in their culture and livelihood over generations. Our saddle blankets are woven on wooden treadle looms much the same way as they were centuries ago. The “treadles” refer to the foot pedals used to separate the “warp’ threads strung longitudinally on the loom and which create the framework for each weaving. By stepping on the pedals the weaver can separate alternating warp threads creating a channel, (the “shed”) to pass the yarn, called the “weft” through horizontally. Sometimes our weavers use only their hands to send the weft and sometimes a “shuttle”, a wooden boat shaped hand tool that sails back and forth between the warp threads as the weaver works the pedals to move on to the next row. Our experienced weavers work fast and efficiently yet each blanket can take anywhere from 1 1/2 days to 3 days to make depending on the complexity of the design, the number of colors and the size.