Making Do

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A few weeks ago, we conducted a photo shoot for a tack-makeover feature (it's in the January issue). We tried and tried to setup shoots at show barns with slick, fancy, photogenic horses. All of our go-to local trainers were out of town at big year-end events, and once they'd returned, we had one snow day after another. That left us desperate for an equine model.

We wound up using my mom's mare, Ruthie, for the shoot. She's far from slick, on the tubby side, and not the most cooperative model (who wants to give ears when a November wind is whipping in your face?). To top it off, she was covered in mud from all the melting snow.

Mom and I spent hours brushing and combing and brushing some more (it was too cold for a bath), clipping whiskers and eyelashes (but not ears--Ruthie needs that hair to keep them warm during Colorado's cold winter), and shining up

We didn't want to be out in the cold wind any more than Ruthie did.

We didn't want to be out in the cold wind any more than Ruthie did.

white socks. By late afternoon, when the light should have been at its best, we were ready to go.

But then clouds blew in with a cold wind. We couldn't put off the shoot any longer, or my art director was going to have me strung up. So we worked with what we had: A plump mare with a puffy winter coat who didn't want to be out in the cold wind any more than we did.

But the new tack items in the "after" shot sure looked nice!

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