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!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Should I Buy New or Used Horse Supplies?

For those of us on a tight budget, buying used horse equipment may be the way to go. Before stopping at your first "barn sale" however, there are a few things you should know before you buy. You want to make sure what you are buying is worth the price you are paying or you'll just be throwing your money away.

Remember the importance of safety. First off, you want to make sure that used saddle fits you and your horse. After that, look closely to make sure it's safe and that nothing is broken or in poor condition.

Check the tree on the saddle; some are made of wood and others of plastic. The tree is what the saddle is built on and is the most important piece to check. If the saddle has a flexible tree, the "give" should be even the whole way through. Watch for wrinkles in the leather as they may indicate a cracked bar.

Check the webbing to watch for wear. Make sure the girth is strong and won't give out while you're riding. Remember to also check the stirrup bars, they should be secure.

During your inspection, turn the saddle upside down to check out the underneath side as well. The panels should be smooth, indicating that the material inside hasn't broken down. Watch for any screws or nails that may be popping out - your horse will appreciate it!

What is the general appearance of the horse equipment? Does it look like it has been well cared for? Is the stitching intact and strong? Watch out for anything that looks like it's rotten, as there will probably be rot in other areas as well.

Make sure to check things out thoroughly when buying any horse equipment, but especially if you are buying used. You want to make sure what you are buying is going to last. If it started out as a quality saddle and is still in good condition, buying used can be a great deal.

If you buy something that you have to spend a lot of money repairing, you may not end up saving money after all. Remember to check for any worn parts that could become a safety issue. Saving money on equipment isn't a bargain if you have to spend time in a hospital bed.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cowboy Boots Are a Popular Back to School Shoe Option

With school getting back in session it is important to make some choices. School means more coming and going, with less relaxation. There are a lot of options for back to school shopping. Back to school shopping can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work.

It is important to choose the right shoes for back to school. The shoes you decide to use will affect more than just the way the shoes look with your outfits. It will also effect how comfortable your child will be at school.

Cowboy boots are a great option for back to school shoes. First, children love wearing them. They get a lot of good attention from others. Your child will love being complimented.

Boots also are versatile. They go with a lot of different clothing choices, unlike tennis shoes or some dress shoes. Children have a lot of clothing options, so have versatile cowboy boots can help make dressing them in the morning easier.

Cowboy boots are a great option for teenagers and college students as well. They are attractive shoes to wear. Even better, they are comfortable to wear.

Boots are durable. Having durable shoes means you won’t have to keep buying new shoes constantly. It can be a real pain having to go out and buy a new pair of shoes when school has only been in session for a few months.

Boots work for both boys and girls. There are a lot of different styles and types of boots. Your student can have a lot of fun looking through the different styles that are available and being able to choose a style that fits their tastes.

Your child’s experience in school doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You can make it a fond experience. Find your children shoes that are both attractive and useful, like cowboy boots.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dealing with a Grown-Up Halloween

Growing up it always seems easy to decide what to be. We either had something in mind, or our mom did. Now that we are adults it isn’t that simple since we don’t have mom there to help us out now. We have to make these decisions on our own.

First, we have to find a costume that is comfortable to wear. Not all materials are going to be comfortable to wear. You want to be sure that you can actually stand wearing it for longer than a few minutes.

You also need to be sure that the costume is not going to overheat you. A lot of costumes will work outdoors in the cold fall air, but when you go inside for a themed party you can quickly get extremely hot. To avoid hot flashes find a costume that caters to the temperature you need it to.

Another thing to consider is whether the costume fits you or not. Some costumes are more specific to the size of the costume than others. Unless it is a costume that caters to the “one size fits all” category, be sure to find a costume that is the correct size for you.

Modesty is another thing to consider with adult clothing that you don’t really have to think about as a child. Now it seems that all women’s costumes are made to be “sexy”. If you don’t want to show off that much skin at your work party, you might have to do a little more digging around with your costumes to find one you like.

Some costumes are always going to be classic fallbacks. One classic fallback is the cowboy or cowgirl costume. Dress up in cowboy hats and cowboy boots, and add a plaid shirt or vest and you have a costume. You can make it fun by choosing a fun cowboy hat. There are a lot of different options with cowboy hats, like leather, straw, or even felt.

Other great options are ghosts, vampires and witches. Each allows you to use your own interpretation as far as coming up with the costumes. They also can be found both in stores or can be handmade.

Celebrate Halloween this year with a great costume. Perhaps your costume is already waiting for you in your closet, or maybe you can find accessories at the local store. Whatever your decision, find a costume you feel comfortable with and really love wearing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Magic of Cowboy Parties

All children love to dress up. One of the most popular children’s costumes is the cowboy costume. Children cannot get enough of the western wear attire that comes with dressing up. They love wearing cowboy hats and cowboy boots and pretending to be someone that they have grown up knowing and loving ever since they were little.

There is something magical that happens when a child puts on a cowboy hat. It is like a transformation actually happens. The child is brought in to a fun world of imagination.

When you have a party with a cowboy theme all the rest of the guests behave the same way too. They proudly display their western wear gear. Western parties are popular for boys and are becoming even more popular for girls as well.

There are plenty of designs and styles available for kid western dress up parties. There are a variety of colors that are available to choose from. You can find some that are catered towards bright parties, and others that are more antique.

Costumes also come in different quality levels. Some costumes are cloth or plastic designs. Others are intricate and come with embroidery and embellishments.

If you are hosting a party with both girls and boys be sure to have fun with colors. You can usually find western gear that come in different shades of pinks, blues, greens, etc. Having different colors can be good for co-gender parties.

Cowboy hats can also be a great option if you are having an outdoor party. They are able to protect the kids really well from the harmful rays of the sun. No parent can complain about that.

Kids love dressing up. Dressing up as cowgirls and cowboys has always been a favorite for children. The western movement will always be a classic choice.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reasons to Get Your Toddler Cowboy Boots

Toddler cowboy boots are a fun footwear item. They look great, but they are also recommended for infants and toddlers. The reasons they are so great is because they not only offer protection for the child’s feet, but they also offer stability.

There are a lot of benefits that toddler cowboy boots can provide. They hold up really well, for one thing. They offer great durability and you know they won’t easily break down and fall apart.

They also can be part of a fun tradition. Some families love to pass the boots along from siblings to siblings, or from cousins and other family members. Since the boots hold up so well some grandparents are even able to pass their toddler cowboy boots on to their grandchildren.

They come in a variety of designs, styles, and colors. They also come in different materials and textures. Usually they are made out of leather, but other materials can also be used and be less expensive.

They are easy to maintain. They look great with any wardrobe piece. You can still look classy in them, whether you are wearing a sweatshirt or a dress shirt and tie.

They also have the ability to be worn any time of the year. You can wear them easily during the wintertime or during the summer. Unlike a sandal or snow boot, cowboy boots work with all seasons of the year.

The problem with children at this age is that toddler’s feet grow very quickly. When purchasing toddler shoes it is important to remember that factor. Getting the boots a tiny bit on the big side may mean they can wear them a little bit longer. Be sure to not get them too big, however.

The other nice thing about purchasing toddler shoes or boots is that they don’t come with adult fastening systems. A lot of the boots come with zippers, flaps, or Velcro, which allows them to be tightened. This may be a great option to look in to as well for your cowboy boots when you are searching for shoes for your toddler.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Using Your Hat as a Fashion Statement

Through out history people have wanted to wear hats and caps. The reason was usually because they needed protection from the harsh environment. While the hats were used for a practical purpose, that did not mean there were all drab.

Hats do make a fashion statement. They make one today, just like they did in the past. Caps a worn in the winter to protect our heads from freezing, and protect us in the summer from the sun. But a lot of headwear is worn simply in the name of fashion.

Women and men use hats today as a fashion accessory. The popular styles for men are cowboy hats and baseball hats. Other types of hats that are rising in popularity are messenger and newsboy caps.

Women appreciate a variety of hat styles. Baseball, sun, paige, and cowboy hats are all types women like to wear. These types of hats come in a variety of styles and materials.

Cowboy hats are made out of many materials, though the most popular choice is leather. Other materials include straw, cotton, velvet, wool, and felt. Men like to use these materials, though the wool and leather hats are the most popular.

Women like embellishments. They like having bows, ribbons, and furs with their caps. Having a hat embellished adds a lot of fun to the outfit and cap. Women like these types of glamorous embellishments, but men usually do not. They like it better when it is free of embellishments. That is why baseball caps are so popular with them.

Hats are a popular costume choice. With Halloween coming up, hats and caps are often used to represent the costume and tie all the costume together. For example, a cowboy hat pulls the costume of a cowboy together really well. With out the cowboy hat the costume would not make a lot of sense.

Wearing hats is a fashion statement. It is nice because there are no rules that garner exactly how you have to wear the hat. The wearer gets to decide how the hat is to be worn, and what type of style they want to wear.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stretching Your Fashion Cowboy Boots

When you are dealing with fashion cowboy boots, you want to be sure to take care of them correctly. By taking care of them properly they will last longer. Everyone likes having his or her items last a long time, right?

One way to take care of your women fashion cowboy boots is to start wearing them. When you wear your cowboy boots you will naturally stretch them. Stretching makes them a lot more comfortable when you wear them.

Stretching them by yourself is easy to do. It does not require a lot of effort to do it on your own. Even better it does not require any additional money to do it.

You can go to your local shoe repair store and have them stretch them for you. This usually comes with an additional fee. If you do not want to spend the money, you can stretch them yourself.

There are a few different ways you can perform the stretching yourself. Before you take that step, however, you should check to make sure that they are clean inside. You can clean the inside by using a damp cloth.

Cleaning your cowboy boots before wearing them is always a good idea. The shoes might not be clean for very long, but it helps with their appearance. Cleaning them removes lines or marks that may be on it’s inside or outside.

When you are wearing your boots start by wearing socks on your feet. Socks keep your feet warm. This can help the leather get warm and loosen them.

There are other techniques that people can use to stretch after that. Some people use damp newspaper, while others use an actual shaper to soften the boots. Ask your cowboy store if they have any recommendations for you, or how much they charge for this service themselves.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Top Halloween Costumes for the Ladies

Halloween is coming up quickly. If you really want to wow your friends with your amazing costume, now is the time to start planning. Dressing up has always been fun to do, and this year should not be an exception. Here are the top girl Halloween costumes to look for this year.

The Ultimate Cowgirl - Thanks to today's amazing variety of western wear there is no better time to dress up as an adorable cowgirl. Check out western wear shops for authentic western wear, cowgirl hats, and cowgirl boots. Many second hand stores will have western wear options as well. Plaid shirts, vests, and wranglers are in this year.

Superhero - There is nothing more attractive to a guy than seeing his lady dressed up as a superhero babe. There are plenty of options for you to choose from, with the many superhero flicks that have become blockbusters the last few years. Good places to search for inspiration are the heroines from X-men, Fantastic 4, Batman, Spiderman, Tomb Raider, and the like. There are literally hundreds of options to choose from, and you just might impress your date by researching a little more and finding one a little less well known.

Pirate or Wench - This is the decade for pirates! Thanks to the ultra successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, pirates have never been more popular. Dress up as a daring pirate or a beautiful wench this year. There are plenty of costumes you can find online, or come up with one on your own.

Geisha - This is another popular costume option for women this year. For people who want to be cute, but not ultra sexy, this is a great costume choice. There are very beautiful kimonos and Asian accessories that you can find online, or search through costume shops to find one you like. Makeup with this costume can be a lot of fun as well. Ask a friend to help you come up with the perfect geisha face.

Classic Star Wars - Whether you are a nerd at heart or not, everyone recognizes the classic star wars characters. You can dress up as Princess Leah or Queen Amidala. However, you don't have to limit it to just these two. There are plenty of aliens to dress up as in the Star Wars universe, including Yoda, Chewbacca, and most of the Jedi characters in the first 3 Star Wars films.

Fairy - Dress up as a beautiful fairy this year. Fairy wings and sparkles are all that is needed to pull this costume off. If you want to be extra creative you can dress up as a particular fairy, such as the tooth fairy.

Vampire - It is no surprise that vampires are in this year. Thanks to the ultra successful Twilight series, vampires are going to be a very popular costume choice this year. The costumes will not be limited to slicked back hair and wearing all black this year. The most popular telltale sign of vampires this year will be the pale skin and the eyes. Will you be a good vampire with copper eyes, or will they be black or red? The choice is up to you.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Old Western Country Singers Wore Cowboy Hats

The cowboy hat is a defining piece of western wear for farm workers in the United States, Canada and northern Mexico as well as for country singers. It is recognized around the world as part of Old West cowboy lore. Nothing says Wild West more than a cowboy hat.

Classic country music is still popular today, and not just among country music fans. You can still hear country music legends such as Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers played on classic country radio stations all over the world. If you're new to country music, here are some classic artists who wore cowboy hats that you should know about.

Willie Nelson by far is one of the most classic western singers in the business. He’s been around for ages and still rocks the hat as well as the guitar with a style unlike any other. His hat is only outdone by his famous braids and you will be riveted watching him when he sings “On the Road Again.”

Another famous singer who wore the hat with panache was Johnny Cash. What would “Burning Ring of Fire” be without the man in black? He is easily one of the most influential musicians the country music world has ever heard.

“Your Cheatin’ Heart” could be won over by the infamous Hank Williams and his hat. With a career that began at age 14 from winning a talent competition, he won the heart of many. Mr. Williams was one of the first three people to be inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Think it was only the men who wore the hats? Even while “Walking After Midnight,” Patsy Cline wore a cowboy hat from time to time. Only some of her amazing outfits could ever detract from her amazing talent.

Today, singers such as Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw show off classic designs with a modern flair. Cowboy hats add a little something special to those who perform while wearing them. It gives drama to a performance like nothing else can.

In the early days, the cowboy hat was valued for being functional, with the wide brim protecting working cowboys from the sun and rain. While the hats can still serve these purposes, most people wear them for aesthetic value as a part of Western lifestyle. Country music wouldn’t be the same without the hats.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cowgirls and Cowboy Hats

A cowgirl is not just a word; it is a way of life. Their tools of the trade are their cowboy hat, their horse and their heart. You can find these special girls anywhere all over this great earth.

Cowgirl’s favorite accessories are her boots and her hat. Cowgirls like to match their hats to their outfits, so you know the number they own is many. They range from inexpensive fun varieties to more upscale hats that cost a pretty penny.

The cowboy hat is her number one fashion statement. The come in numerous colors and styles. Go to any rodeo and you will be amazed at how different they all can be.

The hat serves her well in keeping the sun off her face. This comes in handy when you are spending all day up in the saddle. No one likes to have a chapped red face exposed from the hot sun.

There are many different places that you can buy cowboy hats at. These places range from a variety of high end stores to small town department and grocery stores. Most of these places have some to choose from, a specialist hat store is the place to go if you are considering making a hat an investment piece.

The hat should fit well on you. Too loose and it might blow right off of your head or dip low in front of your eyes. If it is too tight is can give you a headache or fall off the back.

As you look at the different types of hats that people wear you will notice why women love wearing these hats. They give a woman an air of confidence and make her feel good. Nothing is more appealing than a woman who embodies the cowgirl spirit.

It doesn’t matter if you live in the Wild West or just wish you did, you can still be a cowgirl. You may never get up on a horse, but you can feel the cowgirl spirit by wearing one. That is the idea that draws women to cowboy hats.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What Country Singers Wear Cowboy Hats

Cowboy hats are one of the most iconic symbols in history. These hats are known all over the world, no matter what your background or culture. There are few items that represent cowboys as well as it do.

People of all ages and ranks have worn these hats. Everyone from young boys playing cowboys and Indians, to little girls dressing up, to ranch hands and country singers wear them. Even people who have never set foot on a ranch and have no desire to be a cowboy wear them as fashion items.

Most people who wear them don’t even know how long these hats have been around. And they probably have no idea who it was that first invented them. Few people know that it all started as a joke.

It was John Stetson that first invented the cowboy hat. While on a hunting trip with friends, Stetson tried to amuse his companions by creating various items out of fur. During this time, he created an odd looking hat: it had a brim so large it could shield a man from the rain, the sun, and anything else Mother Nature saw fit to throw his way.

Stetson wore the fur hat for the rest of his trip. And because it worked so well, he wore it throughout the rest of his time traveling through the west. In 1865, just a few months later, he began making copies of his new headwear.

The first of Stetson’s cowboy hats were sold for five dollars. The hats have jumped a little in price since then. Today they are sold at prices ranging anywhere from $16 to $170.

Hats that were once worn for hunting and working outside, are now worn by country stars. Singers such as Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and Brad Paisley all sport these hats during their concerts. They each seem to have a style of hat that they prefer, one that sets them apart a bit from other performers, but they are all cowboy hats just the same.

The cowboy hat is an icon of the western culture. It is the perfect and most recognized representation of the country spirit. Whether your hat is made of fur or felt, whether it’s brown or pink or covered in spots, it represents and keeps that spirit alive.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The History of Cowgirls

Even though they are named after cowboys, cowgirls wore cowboy boots, too. In fact, in the early days, cowgirls even worked in the cattle drives. Some even ran them.

Women made large contributions to the development of the west. Women worked side by side with men on ranches and farms. This was especially common among small ranches and farms that could not afford to hire a lot of workers outside of the family.

However, it was Wild West Shows that brought what we now know as cowgirls. In these shows, cowgirls were performers. They would ride, shoot, and rope for audiences everywhere.

Before these shows, sidesaddles were the respectable option for women. But soon, split skirts made it possible for women to ride astride. This allowed women to compete alongside men without offending the audience.

Cowgirls soon became a part of rodeos, too. Women and men competing for the same titles became more and more common. In many instances, women were taking the same risks as men, riding the same rough horses and bulls as the men did.

But in 1925, women were excluded from men’s events. Many of the events for women were dropped, too. That practice holds true for most events even today, even though women can technically compete in any event they wish.

All women rodeos, however, give girls in their cowboy boots a chance to shine in all events. Women compete in bronco and bull riding. These rodeos do not have a lot of the restrictions for women that normal rodeos do.

This does not, however, mean that cowboys and cowgirls are not equal. While cowboy boots were named after the men, women have been just as influential in the western culture. While the color of their cowboy boots might be different, they are fit for the same work.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

These Boots Were Made For…

Cowboy boots aren’t just made for walking, they are made for riding. You’ll be hard pressed to find a cowboy with even minimal experience riding or working without them. They are, without a doubt, a staple of a cowboy’s wardrobe.

Riding boots originated in the 19th century by various manufacturers. Many boot makers take great pride in their product and guard their trade secrets quite carefully. This secrecy results in a varied fit between brands in their boots.

The name cowboy boot refers specifically to a certain style of riding boot worn by cowboys, riders and ranchers. Although in years past boots have been increasing in popularity. More and more people are wearing cowboy boots as a fashion statement and not just for practicality.

Most often they are made from cowhide leather. If you are willing to pay a more premium price, you can find them in such materials as ostrich, alligator, snake, eel or even elephant. They materials take extra care but can be well worth it if you are looking for something different.

There are two different kinds of cowboy boots, Western and roper. The Western style has a tall boot shaft, an angled heel over an inch high and a pointed toe. The roper style is a newer design that has a lower boot shaft, lower heel and has a round toe box.

The Western style boot is better for safety and protection. The pointed toe of the boot is designed to slip in and out of your stirrup with ease, making mounting and dismounting your horse safe and easy while the heel keeps your foot from going too far into the stirrup. The tall boot shaft helps keep our dirt and debris, while giving better ankle support and protecting the leg from rocks, brush and thorns.

The roper style boot is better for using in more everyday settings. They were actually designed for use in the rodeo as they were a bit more functional when roping, however designers what take them even further. Their popularity has really pushed the industry into creating more style options with boots.

Regardless of the style, cowboy boots are far from simple. Boots have a lengthy construction time, often necessitating dozens, if not hundreds, of individual steps until they are fully made. But, the cliché "you get what you pay for" really applies when it comes to this product.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Playing Cowboy For Real

Ever dream of escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city for a slower paced life? Sometimes the pressures of our lives make us look to the easier times of the past. A great way to really relax and rejuvenate is heading out west – for real.

Grab your favorite broken in jeans, a soft flannel shirt and of course your cowboy hat. Horse, saddle and cowboy boots will be provided for you. The willingness to turn off your electronics and technology is a must.

People are drawn to the Western frontier lifestyle for the many things it has to offer. Any day could give you a quiet calm, a days hard work and a relaxing evening around a campfire sharing stories with friends and family. Who doesn’t like spending an evening with their cowboy boots propped up and enjoying the night stars on the open range?

Dude ranches are a great way to experience this way of life. Even though it might be temporary, the escape exists if you want to give it a try. You can go anywhere from a long weekend to a month or more with the new title of “ranch cowhand.”

Playing cowboy for real gives you the chance to escape reality and go back in time. Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Utah are only some of the states that offer this on dude ranches. A quick search on-line can bring up dozens of establishments waiting for give you the experience of a lifetime.

You need to decide if you want to play cowboy on a working ranch or if you are expecting more of a relaxing fantasy vacation. Guest ranches are for families, but more and more programs are being offered for adults only to enjoy downtime. It is a growing trend on the ranch vacation front.

Many of the ranches offer an assortment of classes, such as roping or horsemanship. If you choose a ranch where you will be riding a lot, you might consider buying your own pair of cowboy boots. Be sure to properly break in the boots prior to your arrival so they feel comfortable.

Fall is the ideal season to head out to a ranch since all the summer crowds are gone. Dude ranches pricing often includes lodging, meals, horseback riding lessons and trail riding. The priceless items you will take away are a sense of adventure and relaxation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Most Famous Cowboy Hats

The American cowboy hat is recognized all over the world as the quintessential part of a cowboys outfit. The hat literally defines the word cowboy. Many have worn this hat over decades; the rare few have made it famous.

One of the first to make the headpiece popular was John B. Stetson who designed and made the first one. He created the hat for a hunting trip with friends. Later he began selling the hats after demand for them came pouring in.

It has been over 100 years since the cowboy hat made its debut. There are more instances now of the hat making the person who wears it famous instead of the other way around. Many an actor who has taken on a western role has worn the hat to fame.

Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Gene Autry are three very famous actors who wore the cowboy hat. Rogers’ white Stetson with a silver hatband was one of the most famous cowboy hats. With the starts of television, The Lone Ranger was known as the masked cowboy with \his white hat who brought justice to the Wild West.

Ronald Reagan is a very likely one of the most famous actors who wore a cowboy hat. From his early movies and his years spent in California to the campaign trail taking him to the White House, he looked like a natural wearing the hat. He spent many happy times on his land, Rancho del Cielo, his home for nearly twenty-five years and the true Western Cowboy estate.

The booming popularity of Western films had actors such as John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford all wearing hats. John Wayne would be one of the most popular wearers due to the memorable way he would tip his hat. Clint Eastwood’s style was more subtle, an attitude if anything else.

Cowboy hats can look good on just about anyone. An unlikely star, Bret Michaels of the band Poison is famous for his white hat with black cross embellishment. Orders for his now famous hat come pouring in all over the country.

While it started as a basic need, the hat has now taken on an iconic image of its own. These days, it is mostly worn for the appeal of showing a Western lifestyle. With the right attire, anyone can claim the Wild West as their own.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cowboy Hats on the Big Screen

The Western genre in film has been a popular one for decades. Hollywood has done well promoting the rural West to the masses. A good looking, rugged cowboy up on the silver screen has only added to the allure.

Much like the colors red, white and blue, the state fair or mom’s apple pie, a cowboy hat symbolizes the freedom that the Wild West offered. Nothing is more American than a genuine cowboy. It’s a character that is rough around the edges and complex to boot.

One of the first films to feature the cowboy and his famous hat was The Great Train Robbery in 1903. After being played four consecutive times in the theatre that day, the venue turned out the lights and sent patrons home. Film fans have been enjoying western films ever since.

No cowboy is more famous than John Wayne. His coolness was only emphasized by the tip of his hat when he was up on his horse. It’s a hard act to follow, but what’s the harm in trying?

While Western movies are far from the cutting edge of fashion, many hat styles have been made popular by the actors and actresses who wear them. Like Audrey Hepburn in her famous black dress and strand of pearls, a cowboy hat can bring the same classic feeling to the big screen. You instantly know a character wearing one is someone to be reckoned with.

Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and Paul Newman all carried the hat off well. Their films are wildly popular and their talents highly revered. Although who is to say how memorable their characters would have been without the ultimate western accessory.

John B. Stetson was the first to construct the original cowboy hat in 1865 for a hunting trip. It was so successful to wear and with his traveling companions that he continued to wear it on other travels. He began making them for friends and selling them for a whopping $5.00 a piece!

The main plot of the Western film is simplicity at its best, the goal of maintaining the law and order on the wild frontier. It has a solid foundation of the most basic idea, good vs. evil. You cannot have a Western film without guns and gunfights, horses and train robberies, holdups, shoot-outs, outlaws and of course, the sheriff with the cowboy hat.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Calf Roping

Modern rodeo competitions can be a lot of fun. Calf roping is one event that has always been a rodeo favorite. Calf roping, or tie-down roping, is a timed event where a rider on a horse catches a calf by throwing a lasso of rodeo rope around the calf's neck.

After the rider throws the lasso around the around the calf's neck he quickly dismounts his horse. He then runs quickly to the calf and ties up the calf's legs. The rider needs to do it in as short a time as he can and tie at least three legs together.

Calf roping had its origins in ranch work. Working cowboys used to have to catch their calves and restrain them in order to brand them. They also sometimes needed to catch them to administer medical treatment.

Ranch hands began to make a sport of the event. They liked to time each other to see how long it took them to lasso the calves and tie them down. This contest eventually made its way in to the rodeo.

In today's rodeo calves are put in narrow runways that have spring-loaded door chutes. A chute operator pulls a lever to open the chutes door and the calf is released. When the calf reaches a certain point a rope is lowered signaling the rider can chase after it.

The rider needs to work quickly. They have to put their horse into full gallop mode immediately after the rope lowers and chase after the calf. The rider needs to be very careful not to move too quickly, however, and break the rope barrier before it is lowered because they will get a 10-second penalty if they do.

The rider lassos the calf by roping the calf's neck. They then need to stop their horse very quickly and dismount it to get to the calf. The rope should stop the calf, but it still needs to be on its feet. If the calf falls down at all the rider loses time on his score time because he will need to wait for the calf to get back up.

It is up to the rider to flip the calf on its side by picking it up and flipping it. After the calf is on the ground three of the calf's legs need to be tied together. After he ropes the legs the rider throws his hands in the air to signal he is done and the clock is stopped. Timer waits for six seconds to make sure the calf stays tied up and then an official time is recorded.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Team Roping

Team Roping is a popular rodeo event that uses a steer and two cowboys or cowgirls mounted on horses. The first cowboy uses a rodeo rope to rope the front of the steer, and the second cowboy uses a rodeo rope to rope the steer's feet. Team roping is a unique rodeo event in which both men and women can compete with and against one another.

The cowboy who ropes the head of the steer is known as a "header". The header uses a rodeo rope to rope the front of the steer. The rope is usually wound around the horns, though it can also be done around the neck, or around one horn and the steer's nose (known as a "half head").

The cowboy who is in charge of the feet is called the "heeler". The heeler ropes the steer by its hind feet. The heeler is supposed to rope both of the steer's hind feet, though they still qualify with one. If only one leg is caught they receive a five second delay on their time.

Steers are put in a runway with spring loaded doors in a place called a chute. The header is on one side of the chute, and the heeler is on the other side of the chute. A rodeo rope, known as the barrier, is placed in front of the header and connected to the neck of the steer. Once the steer moves out, the taut rodeo rope releases. It is there to make sure the steer gets a head start.

At the start of the event the chute is opened to release the steer. Once the steer reaches the end of the barrier rope the barrier in front of the header releases. The header then moves in on the steer to rope it.

There are three ways the header can rope the steer. First, they can throw the rope around both horns (clean horn catch). Second, they can do a neck catch. Third, they can do a half-head catch which is around one horn and around the nose. He then wraps the rope around the horn of his saddle, known as a daily, and turns his horse with the steer following him still running.

This is the heeler's cue to throw a loop rope under the steer's hind legs to catch them. He dailies his rope and the header turns his horse to face both the steer and the heeler. The heeler and header back up their horses to stretch out the steer's hind legs. After the legs are stretched immobilizing the animal the time is taken and the competition is complete.

The steer is quickly released and trots away unharmed. Times are penalized five seconds if only one leg is roped behind, and there is a ten second deduction if the barrier rope is broken through. All other mistakes made with team roping are instant disqualifications.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Tool of the Cowboy

Rodeo Rope itself is pretty self-explanatory. It’s the rope the cowboys use in their various sporting events, be it calf-roping, team roping, or even trick roping. As you’ll notice, it’s different from the regular rope you might be used to.

Rodeo rope is stiffer than a rope you might use for say, rock climbing or water skiing. When you’re roping cattle, you need the noose to stay open so that it can properly fall around the animal’s neck. Just think how much harder roping would be with a limp rope – you’d be lucky to catch a horn.

Another vital aspect of having a stiff rope is that it allows the user to both push and pull with ease. Pulling tightens the noose, which is pivotal to catching your calf and other roping events. Being able to push the noose open is important, as well, as it would be otherwise be impossible to release an animal while on horseback.

The Noose

A Lasso is this important tool that cowboys use in real life as well competition. We’ve already discussed the aspects of the rope itself, which is often called a lariat or just plain rope. What makes it a lasso is the loop, which allows it to be thrown at an object and then tightened when pulled.

Influence of the Spanish

Lariat, riata, and reata all come from the Spanish word, “la reata,” which translates as the rope which ties two horses or mules together to make them travel in a straight line. Much of cowboy terminology comes from Spanish words or phrases, as both cultures become intertwined with each other when it comes to roping and herding cattle. Riata and reata, as well as the lariat, are just other names for the lasso or rope.

The Reata

The distinguishing feature of the reata or riata, however, is that it is made from braided or (less often) twisted rawhide of about 50’ to 100’ long. Most rodeo rope in the arena is only 28’ to 35’, or 45’ to 70’ for California-style roping. Instead of rawhide, most lariats are made from stiff nylon or polyester.

Now that you know the difference between the looped lasso, the lariat, riata, and reata, you can stay up-to-speed when an otherwise unfamiliar word hits you in a conversation or event. Knowing the terminology lets you focus on what’s going on rather than wondering what the speaker is talking about. You won’t have to worry about being left in the dust – unless, of course, you’ve just been bucked off a bronco.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cowboy Rodeo Terms

Are you attending a rodeo soon? Do you want to know some fun phrases or words that are associated with rodeos? We thought so. Here are some of our favorite rodeo terms.

1. Suicide Wrap - A bull rider uses a suicide wrap to wrap their bull rope around their hand. Today, suicide wraps are not usually allowed in rodeos. The reason? It is extremely dangerous since it is very hard for cowboys to get out of suicide wraps once they fall off the bull or bronco.

2. Pulling Leather - When a cowboy says they were pulling leather this means they were holding on to the saddle horn. Cowboys need to hold on to the saddle horn to prevent getting thrown off a bucking horse. Another term that is used for this is known as grabbing the apple.

3. Dragger or Trotter - You will more often than not see this at your rodeo. A dragger is a steer that stops running after it is roped. A trotter is a steer that stops running full speed, and trots instead while hanging its head.

4. Crow Hop - A jump by a horse with stiff legs. Usually this happens when a bucking bronco is not trying to buck his cowboy off anymore. This term is also known as frog walking.

5. Lasso - Cowboys use a braided rope, known as a lariat, for their rodeo ropes. A lasso is a lariat that has been tied with a special knot that is used with steer or horses. The special knot of the lasso can be tightened once it is thrown over the steer or horse's head. A clove hitch is a knot that cowboys often use when they tie their lariat or rodeo rope.

6. Fanning - If a cowboy fans your stock after a ride it can often times be considered an insult. Cowboys sometimes remove their cowboy hats and wave them over the stock animal after a ride. It usually signals that the animal was an easy ride.

7. Arm Jerker - This term is used to describe a rodeo animal with a lot of bucking power. Cowboys often use this term to warn other cowboys about the animal before they ride.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Calf Roping in the Rodeo

Rodeo competitions are a lot of fun. A popular rodeo competition is calf roping. Riders lasso a rodeo rope around the calf's neck and have to tie-down the calf for this event.

The rider throws a lasso around the calf's neck to stop him from running. After the lasso is thrown the rider needs to stop his horse and dismount it to get to the calf. The legs are quickly tied up and the event is finished.

Calf roping began on ranches. Cowboys needed to catch calves and restrain them while they branded them. They also used this method when they needed to give them medical treatment.

It soon became a sporting event. Ranch hands like to time each other to see how long it took them to lasso the calves and tie them down. These contests evolved to what is seen in today's rodeo.

Rodeo calves in rodeos are put in narrow chutes. When the rider is ready the chute operators opens the chutes door to release the calf. A barrier rope is in front of the rider to give the calf a head start.

Once the calf reaches a certain point the barrier is lowered. Once this happened, the rider needs to work quickly. The rider and his horse have to get into an immediate gallop to shave as much time from their score as possible.

The rider ropes the calf by lassoing its neck. After this they have to stop their horse, dismount, and run to calf. The calf should still be standing on its feet at this point, otherwise the rider has to wait for the calf to get back up on its feet.

The rider completes the event by picking it up and flipping it. He then ropes three of the calf's legs and throws his hands up in the air that he is done. The clock is stopped, but the official time is not recorded until six seconds are up to make sure the calf is properly tied.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rodeo Rope Lassos

When you hear cowboy, you might think of several things. Those things
probably range from cow, horse, and wagons to cattle herds, campfires, and lassos. Cowboys are not the only ones that have used lassos though.

The Egyptians used lassos as well. There is a hieroglyphic in the temple of Pharaoh Seti depicting the Pharaoh throwing a lasso around a bull. This hieroglyphic is dated about 1280 BC.

The word lasso is both an object and a verb. The object of lasso is a stiff rope. The verb is to throw this rope around an object.

The rope of a lasso is properly called a lariat, but cowboys still call it a rope. The lariat is stiff so that the noose or hole stays open in mid-air to catch its “prey.” Because it is stiff, it is also easy to release the cattle on horseback. All you need to do is push it a little and the noose widens. High quality lassos are generally weighted.

The sizes of lassos vary depending on the location where they are used. Modern lariats have a diameter of 5/16” or 3/8”. Arena-style lariats come in lengths of 28’, 30’, or 35’. California lariats range from 45’ to 70’. Lariats are generally made of stiff nylon or polyester rope.

Lassos are great for cowboys because it allows them to move the animal where they want it to go. They lasso the animal and wrap the other end of the rope on their saddle horn. Then the cowboys can use the horse like a tow truck and bring the animal where they want it.

Lassos are also used in competitive events. They can be used as rodeo ropes. These rodeo ropes are used in events that are either rough stock or timed events. Rodeo ropes are used on horses and other livestock.

You can also do tricks with lassos. Trick roping is where you do various spinning tricks with your lasso. One well-known trick roper is Will Rogers.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cowboy Hats Create Your Unique Style

It’s so fun to find your inner cowboy! With dozens of western wear styles, accessories, and fashions, the possibilities are nearly endless. But did you know that just by revamping your cowboy hat or by accessorizing your current one you can achieve any western style you want? To learn how, read on.

Your cowboy hat in many ways defines your cowgirl or cowboy style. It’s never been easier to find a cowboy hat that perfectly defines your individual style. For example, the following 5 cowboy styles can be attained just by changing up your cowboy hat.

Rugged Riding Cowboy— Real leather cowboy hats or felt hats with braided leather bands will be your goal if you want a rugged statement. Leather basically is the best way to get a rough and tough cowboy look. An Australian cowboy captures this perfectly with the “outback look.” Raw, natural, and misshapen leather hats display a rugged riding cowboy.

Southwestern Cowboy—to understand this look, keep in mind the South Western States of New Mexico and Arizona. One accessory that sets these states apart from the rest is turquoise. And so, a South Western cowboy hat should be ornamented with turquoise stones. Turquoise adorned hats will catch eyes and turn heads and will surely bring out a South Western or Native American flair.

A Rhinestone Cowboy—does your promenade need a little glitz? Then you may be ready for a Rhinestone Cowboy look. Simply jewel up a cowboy hat with gems, rhinestones, or even pearls for the ladies to get this look. These decked out hats are perfect for rodeos, parades, and shows. Adding glitter or sequins to your hat’s band is an affordable way to add a little extra bling.

Lone Star State Cowboy—don’t you dare mess with Texas! Inexcusable, irrefutable, and still oh-so distinguished are way to describe the Texan look. Hey, that’s why this style has passed the test of time. To start this style, go for a bigger cowboy hat. Make sure to choose a wider brimmed cowboy hat with a taller crown. Adorn your hat with sterling silver (lone star or longhorn Conchos) to complete the look.

The Desperado—this rebellious, heartbreaking, bad boy defines this cowboy style. Recently the Desperado has been called the “Cowboy Casanova.” Either way it’s who men want to be, and women want to be with. To change into this style find a low-profile cowboy hat in black, gray or charcoal tones. This is a simple and subtle style that screams mysterious.

As you chose your favorite cowboy style, have fun! And remember if none of these styles seem to fit your personality, there are a host of other styles out there. You may even want a different look for every occasion.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tips For Finding a Good Rodeo Rope

Ropers know the importance in finding the perfect rope. When starting out with roping it is important to test out several types of rope until you find one that works well with you. Choosing the right rope is an important step that needs to be made.

There are different varieties of ropes out there. For example there are differing lengths of strands in rope. There are 3-strand and 4 strand ropes.

4-strand ropes usually have a tighter feel than 3-strand ropes. The reason is because 4 strands have smaller ridges in between the strands. 3-strand ropes only have three strands wound around each other, so it will be looser than a 4-strand rope.

Test out both 3-strand and 4-strand ropes. See what works best for you and which ones you feel most comfortable with. One of the main differences between the 3-strand and 4-strand ropes is the difference being felt between the two kinds.

A good starting rodeo rope is the "Mach III" or "Mach III Plus" by Fast Back. Mach III ropes are a little longer than other rodeo ropes, but are nice when you have to reach a bit to get to steers. Mach III Plus was invented for the famous rodeo man Speed Williams.

The Inventors who designed Mach III recently designed a 4-strand rodeo rope. Mach III is a 3-strand rope, but their new roped called the Instinct is a 4-strand one. It has been tested as a fast, lightweight rope that is also very smooth. If you would like another 4-strand rope choice, the "Ultimate 4" is another good choice.

Heelers can take advantage of 3 and 4-strand rodeo ropes as well. Look for a rodeo rope that has a lot of body, but also a lot of tip. Some recommend getting a rope with a color that stands out so you can see your loops easier.

You also want to be sure that your rope is sturdy and dependable. You don't want a rope that will start unraveling after a few throws. Also be sure to take weather in to effect, since cold or hot weather will affect the way your rope moves and performs.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Finding Your Cowboy Style

Finding your very own inner cowboy has never been more fun. So many kinds of western wear styles are available that the possibilities seem endless. That being said, you are probably not surprised that cowboy styles can be revamped just by changing your cowboy hat or by accessorizing your current one.

Your style as a cowgirl or boy is defined in many ways by the type of cowboy hat you wear. You can’t just call a cowboy hat a “western style” now because there are dozens of designs and types of western hats on the market these days. It’s never been easier to find a cowboy hat that perfectly defines your individual style. Take for instance the following 5 cowboy genres that can be attained simply by changing your cowboy hat.

The Rough & Tough Cowboy—Leather is the best way to get a rough and tough cowboy look. Real leather cowboy hats or felt hats with braided leather bands will be your goal if you want a rugged statement. The rugged-outdoors-Australian cowboy captures this look perfectly. Natural, raw, misshapen leather hats all show a rough and tough cowboy.

The South Western Cowboy—for this look think of our South Western States (i.e. New Mexico, Arizona, and Baja California). One style that makes the South West stand out from the rest of the U.S.A is turquoise. Likewise, a South Western cowboy hat should be adorned with turquoise stones. Eye catching turquoise stones on your cowboy hat are a great way to bring out a South Western flair or Native American panache.

The Rhinestone Cowboy—ready to show a little glitz in your promenade? The Rhinestone Cowboy look is great for rodeos, parades, and shows. Simply jewel up a cowboy hat with gems, rhinestones, or even pearls for the ladies to get this look. For an even more affordable way to add some bling, some cowboy hats display bands that are glittered or sequined.

The Texan Cowboy— “Don’t mess with Texas!” Undeniable, inexcusable, and still oh-so dignified are words to describe the Texas look. Maybe that’s why this style will last though the years. First go for a bigger cowboy hat to get this style started. Choose a cowboy hat with a wider brim and a taller crown. Then simply add sterling silver Conchos, lone stars, or longhorns charms to your hat’s band.

The Casanova Cowboy—the heartbreaking, rebellious, bad boy is what this style is all about. The Casanova Cowboy is who men want to be, and women want to be with. Find a low-profile cowboy hat in dark tones (black, gray, and charcoal colors) to forge this fashion. A subtle, yet mysterious look is achieved in the dark shades and simplicity of design.

One of these styles may be perfect for you, but remember that this is only a small handful of the host of styles that are available. Which style fits your personality best? Better yet, maybe you like a different look for every occasion. But no matter what have fun picking out and dressing up cowboy hats.

Affordable Cowboy Fashion

Change is inevitable in the fashion industry. Fashion styles come and go and sometimes come back again. If someone wants to have the latest in fashion, it can be quit a costly hobby. Western wear is a fashion style that has lasted for years and will continue to last.

A lot of styles branch off of the western wear. They have branched off of western wear things like cowboy hats, western shirts, leather boots, and boot cut jeans. Western wear is a universal style because young, old, male, or female can wear it.

Flannel shirts are the most popular western shirts. In the beginning only farmers and ranchers wore flannel shirts. Men around the world have discovered its warmth, comfort, and durability and now use it too. They also probably enjoy how the flannel shirt makes them look rugged, masculine, and mysterious.

Women might be hesitant to wear western clothing for the fear that it is too masculine, but it isn’t. The western shirt is the same pattern for both male and female, and yet it can be feminine. The female western shirts use a princess seam that makes it more feminine. Another way to make it feminine is to use pastel or floral printed fabric.

Another western wear shirt is the peasant top. This is strictly just for women. The shirt has a tight fitted body with slightly flared sleeves. The peasant top can be casual with jeans or dressed up with a skirt and boots.

Any kind of boot, whether it is with heels or leather, is inspired from the western fashion. Boots that lace up originally came in the 1940’s and 50’s. The practical use of boots was to be worn for horseback riding and ranching, but they were also a fashion statement.

Cowboy hats have followed the role of boots in becoming a fashion accessory. The cowboy hat was originally worn to protect its wearer from the sun, wind, rain, snow, heat, and cold. Cowboy hats still keep out the weather, but they are now worn for just looking cute or tough.

Western clothing is always in style, in stock, and can be worn at every event. This style is for the young, old, male, or female. It is a great style to be in fashion and still be cost effective.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Leather Chaps and Their Part In Cowboy History

Leather has always played an important part in the Western lifestyles of cowboys. Leather has been used for many western wear items, including cowboy boots and cowboy hats. Today I wanted to focus a little more on leather chaps and what role they have had in western wear.

Leather chaps have been used for hundreds of years. They have been re-vamped quite a few times, but they have been around one way or another for centuries now. Chaps have constantly been a part of livestock handling equipment and have continued to serve the same functional purpose.

In the nineteenth century leather chaps were mostly stepped into garments, meaning they were attached to a belt that a person stepped in to. Mexican's called these leather protectors Armitas. Armitas were made out of calfskin, deer, or even goats.

Texas cowboys evolved their own style of chaps from the Armitas. They were one of the first to use full leather britches. The only problem with this shotgun style was that they did not have a seat and were often referred to as closed legs.

By the late 1880s chap makers were beginning to evolve again. They started to make leather chaps in pieces. This solved the stiff problem, and later even curved the waistband to fit cowboys better.

Batwing chaps provided wider cuts and better movement for cowboys. Thanks to the nature of Wild West Shows and Rodeos, the need for more movement became apparent. The Batwing chaps were one of the more decorated forms of chaps, with fancy stitching and brighter colors so the rider could be easily recognized during shows.

In the hot summers full length leather chaps were uncomfortable for some cowboys. A new western wear item became popular around the 1940s called Chinks. Cowboys had been cutting off the bottoms of their chaps to get rid of the restrictive nature of the full length chaps, and in the 1940s they finally started producing them that way. Chinks usually only went a few inches past the cowboys knee.

Leather chaps have always played an important part in western wear items for cowboys and ranchers. They have been used for Centuries for helping out with herding, yard work, branding, outdoor feeding and fencing. Chaps are still used in modern day for protection as well, and have continued to evolve to produce even better results.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Why Leather Cowboy Hats Are Beneficial

Leather is a popular choice among cowboys. This article will feature the leather cowboy hat and its relevance in the western wear world. Leather is a great material for western wear items.

Cowboy hats are made out of many different materials. Leather has always been a popular choice for cowboys because animal hide was always easy to come by. Leather cowboy hats have continued to be a symbol of cowboys.

Leather is easy to mold and very pliable to ensure a good fit. Leather cowboy hats are easy to shape. Leather also tends to not wrinkle or stretch out easily.

Leather can be worn at all times of the year and is resistant to wind and rain. Leather works well in all types of weather. It is a definite benefit that your hat be weather resistant.

A straw hat, for example, would not do a good job protecting cowboys from harsher weather. During the hot months, sunlight still got through the straw fibers of the hat and did not protect against the sun. In the cold it did not protect the wearer from rain or snow.

During the summer time leather, on the other hand, protects against the sun and can be used to fan you off. In the winter time leather adds protection against wind and snow, and provides warmth and durability.. Leather provides protection against the elements no matter what type of weather.

When using your cowboy hat in the rain make sure to allow leather to dry on its own. Also be sure to store your hat out of the sun so it does not discolor. It is good to remember to take proper care of your hat, even if it is made out of more durable material.

When cleaning your hat test out the cleaner in an inconspicuous place on your cowboy hat first. If nothing harmful happens you can move on to the rest of the hat. Ask your western apparel shop what item they recommend using. They should be able to recommend good cleaning agents that are safe with leather.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Buying a Saddle

A saddle is the most expensive part of your riding outfit. A huge part of what your ride is like depends on your saddle. This makes a saddle not only expensive, but most important. Here are some things keep in mind when you are ready to purchase a saddle.

The first thing you want to do is begin researching. Saddle research involves knowing exactly what you want in a saddle and then finding what’s available Pricing will surely also be a big part of your research process. Researching the best venue for buying is also important.

In researching venues, let’s first think about brick and mortar stores. You may prefer to do business and research by shopping inside a store where you can physically touch products. But maybe you then, when research is done, like to buy online to find the best pricing and selection. Or maybe you prefer to do the opposite. You may like to research online then go to local stores for final purchase. However, you may be someone who has no access to good horse supply stores at all, in which case the internet would be the only research and purchase forum.

Ok, let’s say you have researched where you want to buy, now let’s take a closer look at pricing. Because saddles are pricey, consider purchasing one as an investment. As most investments, you will get what you pay for. This means that the more expensive a saddle is, the longer it is likely to last. To understand this further, read consumer reviews of saddle brands of interest to you. Find out how saddles have been rated by real consumers.

The next part of pricing research is to decide if you want to purchase a new or used saddle. Obviously a used saddle will be less expensive, so if your budget is tight give used saddles a second look. Purchasing a used saddle will require a lot of physical research. This means that buying a used saddle will involve a thorough inspection to make sure the equipment won’t hurt you or your horse. Inspect the status of the saddle’s exterior, interior and foundation before buying. If you expect your western wear saddle to last it will need to be in good physical shape.

Now if you are sure you’re ready to buy used, decide if you are going to purchase from a retailer (online or otherwise) or from an individual saddle owner. If you chose to purchase from a used selection in a supply store, you will notice right away some benefits in doing so.

Retailers are going to naturally do most of the inspection work in testing the wear and tear of a used saddle, thus, making it easier for you to buy. A retailer will scrutinize used merchandise for pricing. They should also know what kind of shape a saddle is in.

But with this benefit comes the down side: a resell shop has to make a profit so they will add in a price markup. This mark up that you pay as the consumer may be worth the money. Take for instance if you bought directly from a saddle owner. In this case, you would have to do all saddle inspections yourself. Missing any big blemishes or foundational problems, would end up costing you more money in the end.

Last of all, and now that you’ve researched, selected, and purchased your saddle, you can think about adding the finishing touches to your saddle. Just like all western wear can be accessorized, so can the saddle. And with so many accessories to choose from, you can balance any western wear with the perfect saddle accessories and complete your western outfit. Just as each rider has his or her own unique western wear preferences, you too can modify your saddle to make it truly yours.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Most Common Western Wear Choices

Below is our list of western wear items that are popular choices to western wear fans. Western wear started out with complete practicality in mind to protect cowboys and ranchers from the harsh environment. Now western wear fits both a practical purpose and a stylish choice as well.

a.) Jeans: Jeans are sturdy, yet comfortable to wear. Cowboy jeans are close-fitted to protect the cowboy's thighs and knees while riding horses. Denim jeans in particular are a favorite choice.

b.) Chaps: Chaps protect a cowboys legs. Riding can have a lot of wear and tear on pants and legs, and chaps help with that. They are very handy when riding through tall bushes or working with livestock.

c.) Cowboy Hat: This is the most popular choice for western wear items. Cowboy hats are a stylish choice because they come in a variety of styles and colors. It is easy to choose one that fits your taste.

d.) Gloves: When working with a horse or livestock, gloves are a very good choice. Choose gloves that are flexible and made out of soft material to allow you a firm grip. Leather gloves are the best choice.

e.) Cowboy Boots: Cowboy boots work well with any style of clothing. They are still made to help aid cowboys that ride on horses. They also bring a lot of style to your wardrobe if you do not.

f.) Bandanna: A Bandanna was used for practical purposes when it first became a cowboy accessory. Cowboys used it to protect themselves from the elements. Now, most bandannas work well to accessorize and pull together an outfit.

All of these choices can really work well together. You can find all of these items at Western stores. Shop around and find one that fits your style and tastes. You can still look fashionable in practical clothing.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Uses For Horse Tack Boxes

Horse tack boxes, or western trunks, have a variety of uses. They are durable and sturdy, which make a perfect tool for any shed or barn. They are most often used in stables to help keep items organized.

Horse tack boxes can also be used during horse shows. Portable units allow you to take the boxes storing your western wear show items with you easily during shows. Horse tack boxes work great for storing western wear show clothing and western wear show accessories.

Some horse tack boxes work well as a first aid kit. Scrapes and scratches are part of the cowboy trade. Horse tack boxes definitely come in handy for those situations.

Horse tack boxes can be fitted with an extra set of items you may need. That way you just have to bring your tack box along with you and you will be covered. This is handy if you accidentally forget an item or break an item.

Just like most trunks, you can easily find a tack box to fit the size of items you will be storing. There are many different sized tack boxes. They also come in a variety of colors to match your style.

The most popular types are plastic or wood. Plastic is more light than wood, and attracts less dust. Most of the tack boxes are made out of sturdy materials.

Tack boxes that store western wear items need to be ready for travel. Find one that is lightweight and has handles for easy transport. Some boxes do not come with handles, which make them harder to move.

Horse tack boxes are a handy tool to have around the home. There are many types of boxes to choose from, making them a nice choice. They can be designed to fit a variety of needs, whether it is to store western wear show items or to hold first aid materials.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Using Western Wear Items to Decorate Your Home

Western wear decor can really liven up a room. There are many ways to decorate your home so it has a beautiful western theme. Adding boot accessories and other western wear items can bring some authentication to your western decor choices.

Begin your decorating plans by deciding what you would like to accomplish with the room you will be decorating. What area of the house will it be in? Would you like to decorate more than one room in the house?

Once you know the location in your home, decide if there are any specific items you would like placed there. Some rooms work well with decorative shelves that you can place items on. Other rooms, such as the kitchen of your home, would be better suited for wall hangings and small trinkets that can be placed on the window ledge above the sink.

It is also important to figure out your budget. While you may have grand plans for your home, a budget helps you make smart choices with your expenditures. Beautiful antique western wear can still be bought on a budget, as long as you use affordable items along with them.

Using western wear items can turn an average item into a beautiful western theme. Small details can make a mediocre room into a beautifully decorated one. Here are a few examples of ways you can add small details to a room to bring in a western theme.

Many times when you enter a home there is a coat rack on the wall by the door. During the summertime, when there are no coats to hang, consider using the hooks as a western decoration. You can hang western wear items, such as cowboy boot straps, cowboy hats, and straw rope to add a western theme.

If you have a shelf in your home decorate it with cowboy boots. The more worn down the boots, the more authentic they will look. Make sure to clean off the boots well before placing them on your shelf, and add other small details such as a straw cowboy hat if there is room on the shelf.

Garage sales are great places to find western wear to use for decorations around your home. Use an inexpensive wood frame and hot glue straw twine around it. You can hang a beautiful western art piece in it to pull off the frame.

Friday, April 9, 2010

American Indian Clothing

Before the white man came, Native American western wear consisted mainly of animal hides. Native American Indian men wore leggings or a loincloth, seldom adding a shirt. Women wore leggings, a skirt, or a one piece dress - depending on which tribe they belonged to.

American Indians used paint as decoration on clothing and on the body, and indicated what tribe they belonged to. Specialized war and ceremonial clothing also varied by tribe. The amount of clothing worn depended largely on weather.

Traditional winter western wear consisted mainly of clothing made from furs for added warmth. Indians of all tribes wore moccasins. The biggest difference between the tribes was in their headdresses and ceremonial clothing.
Clothing adornments differed according to tribe. The Crow liked to use elk's eye teeth, either natural or carved from bone. The teeth represented longevity since they remain long after the rest of the carcass has decayed.

In Idaho the Blackfoot tribe used natural colorings in their clothing. Their western wear emphasized the beauty found in nature. They emphasized the natural beauty of leather and combined colors that blended well together.

As tribes came into closer contact with one another, they began borrowing each others tribal dress. Fringed buckskin clothing, headdresses and woven blankets soon became widely used by all tribes. Indian women also began adding beads, embroidery and other decorations to embellish their clothing.

With the increased availability of cloth, western wear for Indians included cloth skirts, dresses and shirts. "Indian cloth" had white edges that hadn't been dyed during manufacturing. The American Indians used these edges a part of their design along the edges of sleeves and the hems of skirts.

It is still possible to buy and purchase traditional American Indian western wear. It is mainly used for ceremonial purposes. Preserving the American Indian's dress also helps preserve their heritage.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Most Popular Cowboy Attire

1. Cowboy western wear attire started out of a necessity to protect cowboys from their environment. Now western wear attire not only fits a practical purpose, but a designer purpose as well. Here are the most popular western wear items currently on the market.

2. Jeans: Denim jeans are a favorite pick for cowboys. They provide protection because of their sturdiness, but are comfortable to wear. Most cowboy jeans need to be close-fitted to protect thighs or knees from blistering when riding on horses.

3. Chaps: Chaps are still a popular item. Chaps protect cowboys legs while they are riding horses. They are especially handy when riders have to ride through harsh conditions, such as working with livestock.

4. Cowboy hat: A cowboy hat is easily identified and one of the most popular western wear items to date. A cowboy hat comes in a variety of styles and colors now to fit everyone's tastes and likes. Plus, it is still very practical for anyone working outside in the sun.

5. Gloves: Gloves are a perfect accessory to a cowboy. They are normally made of soft material that is flexible and easy to work with. Leather is the most popular glove material, though deerskin can be a good substitute as well.

6. Cowboy Boots: Cowboy boots are very popular as well. They can bring a lot of style to any wardrobe. Cowboy boots are still a handy accessory for cowboys out of the field as well.

7. Bandanna: In the past cowboys used a cotton bandanna around their necks. It provided cowboys with a neckerchief that protected them from the sun and dust storms, and also was handy for wiping of sweaty faces. Today bandannas are normally only used as an accessory to a cowboy outfit.

8. All of these items have had a history with cowboys back in older days, but they continue to be a popular choice for western wear attire. Western stores are a wonderful place to look around and shop for these items. It is fun to shop for practical pieces of clothing and fashion items as well.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Most Common Western Wear Choices

Below is our list of western wear items that are popular choices to western wear fans. Western wear started out with complete practicality in mind to protect cowboys and ranchers from the harsh environment. Now western wear fits both a practical purpose and a stylish choice as well.

a.) Jeans: Jeans are sturdy, yet comfortable to wear. Cowboy jeans are close-fitted to protect the cowboy's thighs and knees while riding horses. Denim jeans in particular are a favorite choice.

b.) Chaps: Chaps protect a cowboys legs. Riding can have a lot of wear and tear on pants and legs, and chaps help with that. They are very handy when riding through tall bushes or working with livestock.

c.) Cowboy Hat: This is the most popular choice for western wear items. Cowboy hats are a stylish choice because they come in a variety of styles and colors. It is easy to choose one that fits your taste.

d.) Gloves: When working with a horse or livestock, gloves are a very good choice. Choose gloves that are flexible and made out of soft material to allow you a firm grip. Leather gloves are the best choice.

e.) Cowboy Boots: Cowboy boots work well with any style of clothing. They are still made to help aid cowboys that ride on horses. They also bring a lot of style to your wardrobe if you do not.

f.) Bandanna: A Bandanna was used for practical purposes when it first became a cowboy accessory. Cowboys used it to protect themselves from the elements. Now, most bandannas work well to accessorize and pull together an outfit.

All of these choices can really work well together. You can find all of these items at Western stores. Shop around and find one that fits your style and tastes. You can still look fashionable in practical clothing.