Equestrian Upcycling on the Midcoast

Early this year, MSSPA was contacted by the two wonderful horsewomen of Horse Blanket Bags who generously offered to use their time, skill, and materials to turn a couple of worn out horse blankets into a fabulous tote bag.  Looking at the dirty, worn blankets, it is hard to believe that Alexandra Doan and Katie Swenson were able to transform them into a gorgeous navy and raspberry tote–but they were!  That bag was raffled off to great acclaim and raised significant funds for the rescued horses in the shelter.

In addition to being community-minded MSSPA supporters, Alexandra and Katie are passionate about caring for the natural environment in Maine by diverting blankets that would otherwise end up in the landfill.  Since 2019, the pair have been working together to create high-quality bespoke bags from blankets that are no longer usable or that were kept for sentimental reasons.  The two business partners first met in 2017 when Katie came to Alexandra’s barn in Lincolnville, Moose Ridge Farm, looking for dressage lessons.  With a shared love of horses and art, Alexandra and Katie soon became friends.  Katie made the very first Horse Blanket Bag as a gift for Alexandra.  It was made from a blanket that Alexandra had saved from her beloved dressage horse, Radu, as a memento.  Each hand-crafted bag is truly unique–a real heirloom–and many are imbued with the special memories of a favorite horse.

If these amazing bags tickle your fancy, please consider supporting this local cottage business that supports the MSSPA horses.  You can provide your own blankets or have a bag made from retired blankets sourced by Alexandra and Katie.  Please visit Horse Blanket Bags on Facebook to learn more.

Native to Owl’s Head, Katie Swenson grew up in Maine with a passion for animals. Her first horse encounter as a young child was with Rusty, her cousin’s horse.  Later, the locals would often see Katie riding her beautiful Tennessee Walking Horse, Madam, all around Owl’s Head.  She was also into arts and crafts and was a Knox Lincoln county 4-H sewing champion when she was in high school.  It’s easy to see that incredible skill reflected in the beautiful bags she creates!

Alexandra Doan grew up in New York City, but her love of horses started on Long Island at the age of 5, where she learned to ride a Shetland and drive a donkey.  In 2005, Alexandra opened her own barn, Moose Ridge Farm, in Lincolnville. She teaches Dressage lessons for children and adults, runs Horses & Art Day Camps, and most recently started incorporating her Click, Treat, Reward Training Method for her boarders and for her own horses.