‘Homage to the horse and other steeds’

This is a life sized ritual horse from 19th century India, part of the Trappings exhibit at the Mingei Museum.

‘Homage to the horse and other steeds’

San Diego hosted the equestrian events of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, during which time Mingei International Museum presented “The Horse in Folk Art.” A new exhibit called “Trappings: Homage to the Horse and other Steeds” is providing another experience through which to appreciate the beauty and nobility of fascinating creatures profoundly connected to the daily and festival rounds of human communities.

San Diego has long been home to a significant horse culture of both Western and English saddle traditions – a culture that continues vitally today. Multiple saddle and bridle makers still practice their craft in the county, and the Del Mar Racetrack’s summer and fall seasons are known across the country and around the world.

This blanket is a Navajo creation of wool and aniline dyes from Arizona, circa 1885-1900.

Timed with this year’s racing season and the first ever Breeder’s Cup event in Del Mar in November, Mingei International Museum is presenting an exhibition of beautiful objects from around the globe that celebrate the speed, power and serviceability of the horse and other noble beasts of burden.

Pulled from the museum’s permanent collection and private lenders, this original exhibition highlights classic horse figures and accoutrement of Asia and Europe; clay and wood horses of India; and artifacts of U.S., Native American and Mexican horse culture. Trappings for bullocks from Afghanistan to Indonesia, and camel trappings from Asia to the Middle East are also shown, including a group of Iranian saddlebags.

The display is on exhibit now through Nov. 12.

Located in San Diego’s Balboa Park, Mingei International Museum collects, preserves and exhibits “art of the world, art of the people,” including folk art, craft and design from all eras and cultures of the world. The Mingei is located at 1439 El Prado. Visit mingei.org.

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