A man’s horse was often his most prized possession. For special occassions, men decked their horses with large ornamental horse covers, saddle bolsters, headdresses, and bridles – trappings that also imparted prestige to the owner. In 1924, the Austrian adventurer Gustav Krist was befriended by the chief of the Yomut Turkmen and lived with his tribe for a time. He wrote, “Second only to his love of hospitality is the Turkmen’s love for his horse.”
The khans kept stables full of fine horses that they gave as gifts, often with elaborately embroidered trappings that gleamed with gold and silver threads.
The two-humped Bactrian camel was the most common Central Asian camel and they too had their special trappings. In a Turkmen wedding procession, the bride would be ensconsed in a specially constructed tent-like litter atop the camel’s back. Colorful patchwork hangings, or wool-pile weavings hung from the camel’s flanks, while a long trapping, also made of patchwork, rested on the camel’s head and draped down its neck. Small trappings were tied around its knees, often with little bells attached that jingled as the procession moved slowly along.