In 1952, Arthur A. Callister began trading wool with his father in a little shop on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, Utah. Noticing how many customers were in need of quality tack to outfit themselves and their horses, AA Callister's Western Wear and Tack was born! Over 50 years and many satisfied customers we are still a family owned tack shop still located on the original site. We are proud to represent the traditions and lifestyles that made the West famous. We are also proud to feature some of the finest tack, clothing, and equipment made. Come live part of the American West today!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

HOW TO BRIDLE A HORSE

Bridling a horse is usually the last step of tacking up a horse. The horse should already be saddled and secured to a hitch posting, cross-tie, or perhaps a trailer with a halter and lead rope.

Next, I will remove the halter from the horses head and tie or fasten it around the horse neck (but not too tight). This helps to prevent the horse from wandering off while you’re putting the bridle on.

Most people like to stand on the horse’s left side to bridle a horse.

Check your bridle to make sure the throat latch is unbuckled and that the bit is properly position for inserting into the horse’s mouth. I also like to make sure the bit is clean and smooth with no traces of grass or hay on the mouth piece.

With the crown piece of the bridle (also called headstall) in your right hand, place your right arm or wrist between the horse’s ears. This will help encourage the horse to drop its head. It will also put your right hand in a good spot to lift and guide the bridle.

Then, use your left hand to place the bit at the horse’s mouth or lips. If your using a curb strap or chain, then move it behind the horses chin so it won’t slip into his mouth.

When inserting the bit into the horse’s mouth it’s very important not to bump or bang the bit against the horses teeth or lips. This can be painful to the horse and cause you and the horse frustration. You may need to encourage your horse to open his mouth by using your left thumb and while holding the front of the bit with your fingers, insert you thumb into the corner of his mouth. In most cases, this will cause the horse to open his mouth.

Now that the bit is in his mouth, the slip the top part of the bridle over the horse’s ears. I usually fold the right ear under and then the left ear. If necessary, adjust the length of the face strap so there are one or two wrinkles in the skin at the corner of the horse’s mouth.

Adjust and buckle the throat latch under the horse’s neck. I like to see about two fingers width between the leather strap and throat.

Bridling a horse correctly and comfortably is very important. I would also check to make sure the brow band of the bridle is not pinching the horse ears and that the bit is fitting comfortably in the horse’s mouth.

If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact me (The Tackguy) @ rcaldwell@callisters.com.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cowboy Hats: Which One is For Me?

When choosing a cowboy hat one must ask themselves, "What am I going to use it for?"
Once you have established the answer then it is time to decide what style. Am I going to use it for summer or winter?

Summer Cowboy Hat:

If you are looking for a great summer hat then you are probably looking for sun protection. The types of summer hat materials I would reckoned are:

  • Palm Leaf- recognized for there great durability, flexibility, and versatility.the come in several different types Mexican, Guatemalan, finished, and bleach finished.
  • Rafia/ Sea Grass- most popular among the urban crowds, most known as the "Beach Cowboy". They are very light weight and most are flexible and have a "shape-yourself" feature.
  • Straw- most "straw" hats are no longer made of straw any more most of them are made of a Japanese paper yarn called Shantung, these hats are usually a finely woven white or off white material the weave is very exact. But, there are different varieties such as bangora which is a less expensive way to weave shantung or the most famous is Panama straw(fun fact: most "Panama" straws are made in Ecuador!), There is also still classic straw hats,but, all of these *western hats* are known for there breath ability security and classic style.






Winter Cowboy Hat:

When winter roles around you are going to of course want some thing that is going to keep your noodle warm. I would suggest only the best! Examples of great brands are: Stetson, Resistol, Serratelli, Milano, or Greeley.

Types of Felt Cowboy Hats:

There are two major categories in felt hats, they include wool and fur felt.

Wool Cowboy Hats:

Wool felt is made from most obviously wool but, it also includes bison felt as well. The characteristics of the wool hats are typically rough to the touch with a dull finish. they are very cheap but very warm they are also not very weather resistant. A good wool hat will last you typically one to two seasons at best.






Fur Felt Cowboy Hats:

Fur felt hats come in all variations of pure and mixed furs from an even larger variety of animals. the best and most popular fur to make a hat out of is beaver a pure beaver hat is going to make the most weather resistant and durable hat available. They also makes them out of rabbit, mohair, cashmere, angora, hare, nutria, and the list goes on and on.

Some are better that others but all of them with have the appearance of a slight silky cast, rich in color, and light weight, thin, but dense with a smooth feel. If you take good care of a fur felt hat it will last for many a year.

Cowboy Boot Work:

>You have the pull on work boot that make it easy to take on and off by using the looped straps on the sides of the boot.


Then you have the lace style that are great for people you have high insteps or need more support. With the laces you are able to secure the boot to a comfortable fit.




Both styles of boots come with rubber soles to prevent slipping out in the work field.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR WESTERN SADDLE

Usually, the purchase of a Western Saddle is a significant investment. Most saddle owners take pride in the saddles they own and treat them with respect. In some cases, saddles become family heirlooms and are handed down from generation to generation. A little bit of effort to care for a saddle can help make it more comfortable and extend its life.

The following are some tips for caring for your saddle:

• Do not store saddles in plastic bags or other air tight containers.
• Keep it clean.
• Wet or damp saddles should be air dried naturally away from sources of heat.
Oil or condition your saddle with light oil. Do not use waxes, silicone, or other preparations that prevent the leather from breathing. Regularly recondition your saddle to prevent it from drying out and cracking.
• Protect your saddle from mildew or excessive humidity.
• Never use household chemicals to clean leather. Avoid chemicals that contain alcohol, turpentine, or mineral spirits. Also, using mink or animals fats will darken leather and can turn rancid, causing the stitching and leather to rot.
• Check your saddle for cracks, breaks, or excessive wear. Check the lining for excessive wear or protrusions.
• Properly hang your saddle on a saddle rack or rail so that it will maintain its shape.
• Cover the saddle with a blanket, soft cloth or a saddle cover to keep it clean.

By using these tips, your saddle will help to retain its original value, be more comfortable and safe to ride and show the pride you to take in your horses and tack.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Care for Cowboy Boots

Since cowboy boots are a big investment whether they cost $80.00 or $2000.00, the right care is the best way to protect your investment. It is not really all that hard to care for cowboy boots but important. You always want to wipe off any mud you may have on them immediately while the mud is fairly damp, and use a soft damp cloth to wipe off any dust that could be left on your boots. For boots that may be very dry, shoe cream or leather conditioner can be used and is preferred over saddle soap which could hurt the finish on the boot.

There are all sorts of different kinds of cowboy or cowgirl boots as in cowhide cowboy boots are very strong maybe the toughest of all the cowboy or cowgirl boots. Cowhide can be cleaned by brushing off any loose dirt & dust and then use approved leather conditioner to clean. You may want to use a matching shoe color cream, brushing into the leather and then use a soft clean cloth to buff the boot.

Some boots are durable but softer to touch as in rough out or suede cowboy boots. With this type of boot you want to avoid the mud, then clean with a nylon brush and you should treat with a stain protector fairly often.

Full quill ostrich cowboy boots have a very unique grain. The smooth ostrich leather is soft to the touch due to reduced indent contents. The ostrich cowboy or cowgirl boots are very strong and versatile. To care for the ostrich leather brush off any loose dirt with a brush or a soft cloth, apply Reptile Conditioner with a soft cloth and then let them dry followed by thin coats of conditioner as needed.
Cowboy boots made from snakeskin are smooth and very delicate to touch. To care for snakeskin cowboy or cowgirl boots wipe against the scales to remove dust and dirt. When applying matching cream polish make sure you polish with the grain of the scales. Yellowing of snakeskin is caused by the sun and cannot be reversed with cleaning products.


There are cowboy boots made from alligator and to keep them in good condition you simply brush off any loose dirt with a brush or a soft cloth. Apply Reptile Conditioner with a soft cloth and then let them dry. Buff the leather and apply thin coats of conditioner as needed.

There are other exotic cowboy or cowgirl boots like elephant & lizard to care for these types brush off loose dirt then clean with a leather conditioner. Then you would apply a thin coat of a matching wax polish and buff.

Some of the boot makers that would make these types of exotics, or cowhide would include Ariat, Lucchese , Justin, Tony Lama, Charlie 1 Horse, Olathe, Chippewa. Cowboy boots come in a wide range of sizes for any lifestyle. The exotics are generally the most expensive compared to cowhide or rough out leathers.

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