Buckaroo John's Blog

Air Quality and Horses

Posted by John Brand on

This summer, as with last summer, has been absolutely brutal for those of us in the west. The fires are ravaging the land and we solemnly watch in disbelief as fire after fire pops up. Even those of us not near fires are effected by the immense amount of smoke covering what seems to be from the Pacific Ocean all the way out to the middle of Nevada, from the border of Mexico all the way up to Canada.  Many are wondering how the smoke effects their horses, either in their daily life or in their work and training. Below...

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The Hackamore

Posted by John Brand on

Relief from the Bit with a Vaquero Influence The first hackamore was probably a piece of rope placed around the nose or head of a horse not long after domestication. These early devices for controlling horses may have been adapted from equipment used to control camels. Over time, this means of controlling a horse became more sophisticated. The Persians in 500 b.c. were some of the first ones to use a thick, plaited noseband to help the horse look and move in the same direction. This was called a Hakma. On this Hakma was a third rein added at the...

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Caring for Rawhide

Posted by John Brand on

If you have fallen in love with the Vaquero style of tack and riding, you've most certainly seen rawhide. If you've never looked into the art of rawhide braiding, I strongly recommend doing so, as it is rumored to be a dying art form and will give you an immense amount of appreciation for the time and talent that goes into making pieces. Rawhide can be used as accents on bridles, reins and breast collars. It is used for bosals and even entire bridles and rein sets. They are treasures to see and to own, and one must care for...

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Horse Training by the Californio Vaqueros

Posted by John Brand on

The Californio Vaqueros were proud of their horsemanship and horse tack. They took great care to hand braid their horse hair mecates and romel reins. The Vaqueros hand braiding techniques are still used today.  The rawhide bosals, riatas, quirts, headstalls, and hackamores are all part of the Vaquero "tool box" that were used to train their horses.  The Vaqueros trained their horses for 7-10 years, starting at 4 years old, to react with very little pressure from the rider. At the end of training, the horse and rider would be one.  The three stages of the Vaquero horse training were as follows: The...

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Joseph G. McCoy - The Real McCoy

Posted by John Brand on

Ever wondered where the phrase "The Real McCoy" came from? Joseph G. McCoy, cattle baron, cowboy and business man was the inspiration for that phrase. Joseph Geiting McCoy - Cattle Baron Born on a farm in Sangamon county, Illinois, on December 21, 1837. McCoy is often cited as the inspiration for the phrase "The Real McCoy" because of his reputation and reliability and because he referred to himself by that phrase. He was educated in local schools and spent a year in the academy of Knox College in Galesburg. After his marriage to Sarah Epler in 1861, he entered the...

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