Category Archives: Western Riding Gear

Best Trail Riding Saddle Features

Poppy and me out on the trail.
Poppy and me out on the trail.

Being out there in the wilderness, the wide open spaces, or steep mountain trails, the rider should first think comfort for his horse and himself. Knowing what best trail riding saddle features to look for will make for a more enjoyable ride.

There are a lot of saddle styles out there. For me, I start thinking of the lightness of the saddle. The Australian types and the Abetta style are two that are lightweights. Continue reading Best Trail Riding Saddle Features

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These Boots Were Made for Riding

 

Me and my brand new cowboy boots, back in the day.
Me and my brand new cowboy boots, back in the day.

I was getting my first pair of cowboy boots. Needless to say I was excited. With a pair of real cowboy footwear I’d be the real deal. After all I had a pony, saddle, everything a cowgirl needed…except those boots. I even had the hat, cowboy shirts, and everything else cowboy. It was past time to have a pair of real western boots like all the cowboys and cowgirls wore.

 

No More Tennis Shoes

I didn’t realize at the time, but tennis shoes is probably the worst of the worst in footwear for riding a horse with saddle. They are okay if riding bareback, but not with stirrups. I’m sure my parents didn’t have a clue either. The only thing worse would be sandals or flip flops. Continue reading These Boots Were Made for Riding

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Cowboy Spurs and History

A slip on pair of spurs.
A slip on pair of spurs.

 

 

Off the top of my head what do I know about spurs? Not a lot. I’ll tell what my experience with spurs has been then I’ll share some brief and interesting history.

Cowboys wore them out on the range and in rodeos.

There are different kinds of spurs, meaning some have big round rowels with kind of ugly looking spikes that I wouldn’t want to use on a horse. I’ve read that these aren’t used on horses and are more for show.

Other spurs are small rowels or a single piece of metal with no rowel. This is round and solid, no sharp points.

I grew up hearing a song called I’ve Got Spurs that Jingle, Jangle, Jingle sung by Gene Autry. It’s a fun catchy tune. I’ll share a video here.

I used to have a pair of spurs because I thought they were part of the cowboy’s natural attire like his hat and boots. So of course I needed a pair too.

I liked the spurs I had because they were simple, small rowel and the points were little and smooth. I sold them for $5 at a yard sale. Wish I hadn’t of done that. One of my moments when I wasn’t thinking.

It’s not that I used these spurs because I don’t remember using them much. It’s just that they were a nice little pair and I should have kept them. Since then I have looked for a similar pair. The price has certainly went up. When I found a pair the owner wanted $50 bucks. Needless to say I passed on that deal.

I like those spurs that slip on the heel of your boot. They are small too. I have a pair of those now. I have not used them as yet.

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How Were Spurs Used?

Which leads me to the question of what are spurs used for? Do you really need them?

Spurs were used way back in the day for steering and directing the horse while the rider was busy fighting the enemy. Thankfully we don’t need them for that now. In modern use they are used in rodeos when the bronco rider spurs the horse to keep him bucking. The bull riders wear them too for basically the same reason.

They are still used to give the horse direction along with leg signals and reins.

In my case, seems my little mare is antsy, prancey enough without putting spurs in the mix.

Some barrel racers wear a slip on type with a squiggly piece of metal attached to the side. They want the most speed they can get and this little spur has the encouragement.

A Short History:

Now to that history I promised. Spurs were used as far back as the Celts in the 5th century B.C. The Romans used them too. Medieval knights had to earn their pair and were usually gold. Depending on what level in society you held, your spurs would tell. Esquires wore silver and pages wore tin spurs.

In the United States the English style was popular in the colonial days. This one was a small metal knob at the end of the shank part of the spur. In 1882 the US Calvary had regulation spurs that continued into the Civil War. They were similar in design.

Now days there are so many styles all the way from the fancy to wear as a piece of jewelry to the everyday use.

Thanks for stopping by my hitching post. Please leave a comment or ask a question. I’ll do my best to answer.

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