Karen Lovell started hooking wool and cotton saddle blankets because she wanted to make sure her animals, and her customer’s animals—horses and mules—would be comfortable when saddled. Saddle blankets were hard to find and never available in stores so she researched and learned to make them herself. Being that I am also a crazy animal lover (in addition to just being Color Crazy), I just had to reach out to our customer, Karen, and learn more about her designs and business.
Karen is the owner of Rocky Mountain Mule & Saddle Co., a mule and cattle ranch near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada. She grew up riding horses and competed in donkey and mule shows. Knowing that quality equipment was hard to find, she started making her own. In addition to saddle blankets, she now makes cinches, headstalls, blankets, britchin, belts, and even dog collars. We asked her what she looks for when making her saddle blankets and here’s what she said:
Creating with all Natural Fibers
Karen likes to use mohair, 100% wool, leather and cotton for her designs. All her items are personally tested right at the Rocky Mountain Mule Ranch. She feels it’s important to know how the product will stand up to everyday use. “My goal is all natural fibers. I use (Color Crazy 3.75 Mesh) rug canvas made from 100% cotton as the base. It is a hardy material that will not break down over time like burlap. The rug canvas is easy to use and it’s easy to apply a pattern too with a felt marker, “she continued. “I use 100% wool roving that I purchase from Custom Woolen Mills, a local mill in Alberta, Canada, with a standard rug hook. The natural moisture wicking ability of the wool make it the most suitable material to use under saddles. It keeps the animal’s back cool and prevents scalding of the animal’s skin.”
We asked her what kind of designs she offers and she shared that she does different designs of her own, but also offers branded blankets with monograms or initials. She added, “I tend to keep my blankets pretty simple for the most part, and believe the quality of the product sells itself as they are hard to find in stores. The fact that you can customize them makes them very appealing.”
Karen ships her saddle blankets worldwide. Visit her site at www.rockymountainmules.com. You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook at: @rmmules, www.facebook.com/Rmmules.