After 13 months and a massive $5.5 million renovation, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame’s second floor is opening the brand-new permanent exhibition It’s Never Just a Horse.
“The horse can be a partner, a competitor, a muse, a lifesaver, and more — and it serves as a springboard for us to talk about those women who are shaping the West and changing the world,” says Diana Vela, associate executive director of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, about the It’s Never Just a Horse exhibition.
It’s a bond found among all Cowgirl Hall of Fame honorees.
Click on the image above to view the slideshow.
The new Kit Moncrief Galleries employs thematic “islands” to explore the different types of partnerships between women and horses. “Healing” highlights include Temple Grandin; paralyzed barrel racer Amberley Snyder; and the Chisholm Challenge, a North Texas competition for equestrians with disabilities. “Business” displays toy horses designed by Kathleen Moody and a Game of Thrones saddle, and a tribute to decorated war horse Sgt. Reckless, who held official rank in the U.S. military and served in the Korean War. “Inspiration” features an autographed pink hummingbird guitar from Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire costumes, and a Willa Cather novel. “Competition” salutes cutting-horse champ Lindy Burch, horse trainer Stacy Westfall, barrel-racing champs Mary Walker and Mary Burger, and others. “Ranching” honors former Supreme Court judge Sandra Day O’Connor, who grew up on the Lazy B cattle ranch, and Henrietta King and Helen Kleberg Groves of King Ranch, among other ranchers.
Every 20 minutes, the lights dim and life-size horses are projected on 180-degree, 11-foot screens. An immersive interactive room allows visitors to create a boot, shirt, hat, or other horse-inspired item on a 64-inch smart tablet using a variety of design elements, then project it on the wall and take a selfie. And, of course, the popular bronc ride continues to anchor one end of the gallery.
It’s Never Just a Horse opens March 9 at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas.
Photography: Still frames from Horse Movie/Courtesy National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
From the April 2019 issue.