Horse and man has been friends and companions since time immemorial.
It is said that their association dates back to almost 5,500 years ago. Initially used to carry loads, was later used as the main means of transportation, for wars and then for recreation.
The horse when used in wars needed protected gear like the knight or the soldier mounted on it.
For this horse armour was needed.
As came the middle ages, and Europeons used horses for wars as well as transportation their armours were metallic carved plates which rided on each other to give flexibility:
As times changed, horse use in the wars reduced. The horse remained as man’s companion and their decorations became less protective and more decorated.
The Arabian horses ( here Moroccan) had their touch of embroidered decor:
European decorations differed, thus:
In a recent visit to Royal Ontario Museum I was stunned to see the horse decoration from Iran, which could easily put to envy any woman’s jewellary. This elaborate set of straps and coverings were made of silver, with gold plating,
The head dress had huge agates giving it a more terrific contrast.
The details of the design were mesmerising:
The austere decorations seen in South Asia using beads, colorful threads and wool tassels have their own charm:
While the Bedoiun horse decor from Egypt still uses tassles of wool and bead work:
The art of decoration does not end here. The places where other aanimals like camel, ponies are used, they are similarly adorned.
And as buses, trucks and rickshaws replace animals as the mode of transportation, even they too are as ferviously bedecked with decorations.