Buckaroo John's Blog

Vaqueros, Cowboys and Buckaroos

Posted by John Brand on

Cowboys of the old west were referred to as "vaqueros." (The Spanish word "vaca" means cow.) The term "cowboy" was rarely used back in the old west. It is more commonly used today. The word vaquero pronounced by American cowboys, was "bukera" and finally "buckaroo." For a period of time anyone working cattle, whether in Texas, California, or elsewhere was known as a "buckaroo". It wasn't until the late 1860's when the Texans began to drive their cattle north to the new railroads in Kansas that the term "cowboy" came into widespread use. Vaqueros were poor, owned no land, probably not even...

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The Mecate Rein

Posted by John Brand on

What is a mecate? The mecate is the rein portion of a hackamore, which is a type of headgear for the horse.  The unique part of the hackamore is that it does not have a bit, but uses a braided rawhide noseband called a bosal.  The bosal works on pressure points on the horse's face, nose, and chin. The mecate is a rope made from horse hair or soft feeling rope that serves as reins and lead rope, should one need. The Persians in 500 BC were one of the first to use a thick plaited noseband which was called...

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Spurs and Spur Straps

Posted by John Brand on

Spurs can be traced back to the Roman Legions of Julius Caesar . The Romans developed the spurs in order to have a way to steer their horses with their legs, while leaving their hands free to fight. These early spurs had a single sharp protrusion. The revolving rowel, used in western spurs today, probably originated in France.During the age of chivalry, spurs became a mark of rank. Gold or gilded spurs were only worn by knights or royalty. To further indicate their rank and prestige the knights would adorn their spurs with jewels, thus becoming works of art.In the...

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Choosing a Halter

Posted by John Brand on

Horse owners are required to make many choices as they care for their treasured equine friends.  One of the most commonly purchased horse care items is also one of the most used and essential items we own, the halter.  Choices available are nylon flat halters, nylon rope halters (also known as string halters), and leather halters.  Halters are typically paired with a horse to match the training development stage of the horse. Another consideration in determining which type of halter is best is choosing one that suits the experience of the handler and of the horse. Of utmost importance is...

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Spring Cleaning

Posted by John Brand on

Spring is coming…right? Although the green hills and wildflowers tell me spring is here, my mud caked gelding and frequent (alright, daily) use of my Wellingtons tells me its going to be a bit before I can commit to packing away my slicker for the year. The season of mud is good for two things: groundwork and spring cleaning. Before your ponies get all slicked out and you spend your days in the saddle, take the time to go over your tack and your trailer so you know you’re prepared for riding season.  First, let’s discuss tack. Pull everything out, take...

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