Buckaroo John's Blog

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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Cowboy Hats

Posted by John Brand on

When you picture a cowboy, he is more than likely wearing a cowboy hat on his head. It is the iconic symbol of the cowboy and of the West. There are three main types of materials the hats are made from: straw, palm leaf and felt. Within each of these are low to high quality materials and craftsmanship. The number of X's on the band indicate the quality, be it mixtures of fur or weave of straw.  Straw hats are typically a hot weather hat, and provide decent ventilation on those scorching summer days. They are generally more affordable than...

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The Cowboy Code of the West

Posted by John Brand on

First chronicled by the famous western writer, Zane Grey, in his 1934 novel The Code of the West, no "written" code ever actually existed. However, the hardy pioneers who lived in the west were bound by these unwritten rules that centered on hospitality, fair play, loyalty, and respect for the land. If it's not yours, don't take it. If it's not true, don't say it.If it's not right, don't do it.Cowboy's word is his sacred bondBargains sealed with handshake are more binding than legal documents be loyalDemand square dealingsBe proud of your occupationLay down your life, if necessary, for the...

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The Git Down Rope

Posted by John Brand on

Many working cowboy ranches embrace the traditions of the Old West Vaqueros. These cowboy ranches use traditional Vaquero horse tack and teach the Vaquero ways of horse training and horsemanship.  In keeping with this traditional Vaquero style, the git down rope, or "the get down rope," has become popular with not only the working cowboy ranches, but the casual riders following the Vaquero style as well. The git down rope is also very popular in the competitive ranch classes at rodeos and horse shows. These horse competitions demand the use of this rope as well as the bosalito.  Traditional cowboys used the git...

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Slobber Straps and Water Loops

Posted by John Brand on

Slobber straps and water loops, albeit small pieces of tack with odd names, have a purpose. Typically slobber straps are used on mecate reins, while water loops are used on split reins, both connecting the rein to the bit. When reins used to be made from braided rawhide, the slobber straps prevented those precious reins from getting wet while a horse drank water. They also add a little weight to lighter weighted reins, for a better feel between horse and rider.  Water loops are small, approximately the same width as the leather spilt reins they attach to. Slobber straps are...

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