A Good Horse and A Warm Dress-Essentials of Ranch Life

By Virginia Schmidt- Storyteller, Horsewoman & Wyoming Native Instagram-@beingvirginia

Tara is my go-to. She is a big, friendly (if sassy) giant – a mare I can count on to mother anyone I hoist up onto her long, wide back. She’s the nursemaid of our herd here at the Double Doc Ranch: our oldest, biggest girl.

Our Tara has carried countless first time riders, a gaggle of toddlers and adolescents, a number of scared-stiff-of-horses folks, and a great many riders in between. She leaves every person who hops back down the long distance from her back to the ground with a firm impression that horses are the best thing that ever happened to man.

So after careful consideration of who I want to catch from the frost-bit field in the rosy dawn of Saturday morning – which horse I ought to enlist to help me capture the essence of some deliciously prairie-hearted, hardily handmade outfits from RevivAll Clothing – I figure on Tara. Hell, she’s our old faithful, and she’s damn beautiful to boot, with her fine palomino coloring and stout-and-straight boned build.

I crunch through the grazed-down hayfield in my brand new handmade navy cotton overalls, halter in hand and treats in pocket, heading toward Tara. I field nine other horses along the way, handing out snacks and pets and calling to Tara across the crisp morning, promising her grass to graze and all my best scratches if she’ll come along with me.

When I get to her, I rub vigorously along her creamy mane and ask if she wants to be a model today. I swear she answers – immediately nuzzling right into my overall-ed hip, clearly nodding her huge head yes, not just nosing for treats. She lowers her head, and I slip the halter on, then turn to ease my old Pendleton blanket onto her gilded rump. The yellow blanket sports stripes that perfectly reflect the marine of the overalls and the crimson of the pinafore I’ll wear atop Tara’s back, against the prairie’s backdrop.

Out in the sage and cactus and grama grass, Tara stands solid while I mount and lie and straddle and stretch and sweep across her back in the cotton overalls. I slip treats out of my right pocket for her as she bends her muscled neck to nibble at my palm. Both the overalls and Tara grant me any movement I wish in the divinely still and warmlit morning.

I drop off her and zip out of the overalls and into the coziness of the thick, ruddy wool pinafore: a glorious combination of overalls and dress that I had never known existed before opening the package of RevivAll treasures Laura sent me. The pinafore withstands the test of hopping atop and maneuvering astride Tara – it is plenty spacious enough to ride a horse in. In fact, were I to take a longer ride in the saddle on a cold day, the pinafore would layer ideally atop a pair of jeans to add extra insulation for the journey. It’s essentially a wool blanket that wears like a dress, with its delicately fitted waist and flirtatiously slim bib making it absolutely darling rather than even remotely lumpy. Oh, and it has precious little front pockets, perfect for warming cold fingers or holding Tara’s slowly diminishing stash of treats.

Tara again proves herself to be the best, most versatile and ever-patient horse we’ve got, and RevivAll’s hand-crafted, made-to-last-AND-be-lived-in creations once again prove to be elegant as well as functional. Will I be wearing my new overalls on my next bareback jaunt, hike up the hill, shift at the bookstore, or night on the town? You bet: All of the above. And watch out for moving cows in a pinafore becoming the next big winter trend – trust me, it’s happening J.

All photos by John Wells

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