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!

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.

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