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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    Default Interesting comment in Western Horseman about "buckaroos".

    I have commented a time or two that flat brim hats and Wade, A frame saddles were not very common until a few decades ago, with the NH clinician fad, everyone following that now made it their uniform.

    Years ago, those were more rare and part of very small, regional buckaroo life in the West.

    My comments at that time were shot down by those today that think that is the way everyone in the West rode and the tack and clothing they used.

    Glad to know I am not the only one that lived that history and thought it odd when it was re-written.

    "Tales from the Trail" is the name of that article and it is about Makey Hedges and his life and two books he has published about it.
    He did ride for ranches all over the SW and W.

    So much that passes for information about cowboy lore of all kinds today is a bit exaggerated or outright myth, not only about buckaroos, but "cowboy" in general.

    Around here, when some cowboy is trying to follow what a cowboy is supposed to look like as told about in western magazines and books, the rest of the cowboys tend to call him "punchy", that means he is part of those fads today's cowboy lore demands, wearing the "right" kind of clothes and tack, trying for "the look".

    That is ok, he will get a pass, if he can back it up with real, serious cowboy skills, he is not a "drugstore cowboy".
    BUT, that "image" is an exaggeration of what the majority of cowboys working in ranches for decades really did and wore and lived by.

    Those myths do make for great stories, just are not quite always historically right and at times a bit cleaned up for a more PC story.
    Those books by Hedges seem to reflect the real cowboy world, will be interesting to read them.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2007
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    Warsaw, On
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    Default

    I agree it's interesting Bluey. Many of the old photo show cowboys wearing bowler hats and such like...not really what Hollywood depicted. I think there are lots of reginal differences in what's considered using gear...



  3. #3
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    Jul. 3, 2012
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    Twin Cities
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    2,142

    Default

    the true western boot was more of a traditional Wellington & the ones currently worn to go two-stepping were a Hollywood invention.

    I am currently trying to find a web source to link.



  4. #4
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    Oct. 29, 2005
    Location
    Pacific NW
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    Default

    I still think it odd to see a slick fork saddle and flat hats outside of the ION country, and I have a lot of trouble with slick fork saddles outfitted with bucking rolls. I am happy that the whole Neo-Vaquero movement has made it easier to find rawhide and silver, though. But, please, please, people, stop referring to every silver cheeked bit as a spade.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2011
    Location
    IE SoCal
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    Quote Originally Posted by BayRoan View Post
    But, please, please, people, stop referring to every silver cheeked bit as a spade.
    From searching for old bits to collect, it seems like silver = spade. Hood = spade. Port higher than 1"? Must be a spade. Maybe 1 in 20 "spade bits" I see are actually spades. Actual spades are so distinctive, it shouldn't be this hard.



    It drives me a bit nuts that the whole "vaquero" thing is so grossly romanticised- from the way some talk you'd think the whole of old Alta California was one big never ending horsemanship clinic and no one actually had any work to do- but I do like having more gear options easily available.

    (Mentally, when some weekend cowboy goes jogging along the surbuban bridle trail looking like the poster child for the sterotypical great basin buckaroo, I tag them as a horsey hipster.)

    ______________________________________________
    My Blog -horses & photography


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2004
    Location
    E. Washington
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    Quote Originally Posted by BayRoan View Post
    I still think it odd to see a slick fork saddle and flat hats outside of the ION country, and I have a lot of trouble with slick fork saddles outfitted with bucking rolls. I am happy that the whole Neo-Vaquero movement has made it easier to find rawhide and silver, though. But, please, please, people, stop referring to every silver cheeked bit as a spade.
    I have never followed the popular trends in equipment or clothing. I wear a helmet, dressage or working cows. I usually ride in a snaffle, but will slip in a tiny curb for a relaxing trail ride or if I need super power steering and brakes while working a cow.

    I do have a wade saddle, I was having a terrible time finding a saddle wide enough for my little mare, so a wade won out. I don't like the look of bucking rolls, so didn't think I wanted them. I rode out on hills and found my saddle super comfy. However, the first time my mare dropped down on a cow while doing turnback for my cutting instructor, I called the saddle maker afterwards to send me the bucking rolls. They do have a place on a saddle at times.

    I do chuckle at clinics at the flat brimmed hats, expensive chinks and $4000 saddles, silver etc. I will continue to ride in my helmet, jeans or even breeches if I am in the mood, with my simple chinks and boots, in my comfy wade saddle from a small modest saddlemaker on my plain little bay qh mare wearing a plain bridle with a simple snaffle in her mouth, or a plain mullen mouth curb. We can work a cow, do a trail obstacle course, do a nice quiet trail ride and ride a nice dressage 1st level test. I am happy with who I am and what I ride. But then at 54 years old, I am not out to impress anyone, I just want to enjoy myself and my horse.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    I'm sure I'd look like a whacko with those tall *mule hide* Olathe boots that polo players wear:

    http://olatheboots.com/products-page...ts/style-6009/

    They seem the ultimate boot for the English rider. Tough as nails. The only thing that might out-last them would be a pair of full chaps.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2010
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    1,225

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    I admit I wanted a flat-brimmed straw hat, because I liked the way they looked and they were very popular.
    But I was wary of being thought of as a sort of "I can see by your outfit, that you are a cowboy[girl] type.
    Finally, I just bought one. I figured, if I was going to drive the '69 Peterbilt to water 400 cows for a while, I could wear whatever hat I wanted to. My favorite comment about my lovely wide brim Sunbody 'Reata' hat was from my doctor's wife, who (not being up on current cowboy fashion) thought it was a perfect shady hat for planting potatoes. It's really shady, and I like it. My husband has a sort of similar one, that has a flat brim and a cowboy crease. Reata shaped it for him, DH told her to shape it however she wanted for him.

    Spade bit? Yeah. Please define and advertise a spade bit by the fact that it has a spade mouth, and not silver cheeks.

    As for the Wade saddles, I'm not really fussed by the people who ride a Wade with bucking rolls.
    Some folks like the slick fork, no rolls feature of a Wade, but that is not the best feature, or reason, to use a Wade on a working western horse. A true Wade saddle has its post horn set very low in relation to the horse's withers, meaning there is less leveraged twist when you have something roped. A regular swell-forked saddle has a higher horn, the base of your dallies will be higher up and therefore put more leverage on your horse's back.



    http://www.ranchworldads.com/classif...p?listing=5099
    This saddle is a true Wade. Notice where the base of the horn is, relative to the seat of the saddle.

    http://www.westernsaddlery.us/images/ES-W-3700.jpg
    http://www.southerntrailssaddle.com/images/Wade_1.JPG
    These are slick fork, post horn saddles. They are called 'Wade', but they are not Wade trees. The base of the horn sits several inches higher, there is no advantage to your horse's back for roping with this kind of saddle.

    Here is a regular, swell horn using saddle, the base of the horn is up higher off the horse's withers:
    http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-7224...to-corral.html


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2010
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    And yeah, craz, I wish I had a picture from my last Buck Brannaman clinic- that was me, on the OTTB, with the calf's front feet roped/held opposite Buck on the heels...I'm the one with the helmet, the real Wade saddle, chinks over my breeches and a plaid dressage style coolmedics vest...

    I have respect for people with clothes and equipment that fits horse and rider and fits its purpose. Look for the 'best dressed' (horse outfit or human outfit) at just about any clinic, and you might be looking at the person with...well, the most to learn.


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2004
    Location
    E. Washington
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    I actually like the hats. I spend so much time outside working, mowing or on the tractor, I may get one for Sun protection. Better than a ball cap.



  11. #11
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    Oct. 1, 2005
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    Sandy, Utah
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    I agree, it's funny how history gets written (true in general). The shaped brim and crown are a function of Hollywood westerns- way back in the day, you bought an unshaped hat (think Hoss in Bonanza) and it got shaped however you mashed it over time. The hatmaker I do business with here in UT has the original business started by Brigham Young & friend- including all of the original equipment- and he is a walking history book (indeed still has vintage bowlers and other hats from back in the day).

    I have likewise heard from my 'cowboy' friends around here that 'real cowboys don't wear straw hats.' Fiddle-dee-dee. I follow 'the rule,' felt in winter, straw in summer, (exception horse shows, sometimes) and all the times I worked cattle growing up in Texas, all the 'real' cowboys were wearing straw, like me, to avoid heat stroke!



  12. #12
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    Jul. 4, 2004
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    E. Washington
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    Default

    In regards to the working wade saddles, everyone is different and been changed and updated by every saddle maker. My saddle can be roped in, though I don't know how and the best thing is it fits my mare and me.

    Just to clarify, this is my saddle on my horse. The saddlemaker liked the picture and put her on his webpage. Jeremy is young but is putting out nice saddles. Great workmanship and easy to work with. I would buy another saddle from him, I may try another type of saddle, but I really do like my saddle. It only has about 15 rides on it now, I just got it at the end of October. Lots of breaking in still to do, but it was comfortable right out of the box.

    http://ranchsaddle.com/index.php?cPa...tdgbkfh5shsp87




  13. #13
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Default

    Nice saddle. But I like the model very much. She is luscious.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  14. #14
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    May. 21, 2004
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    N. TX...just N.East of paradise...
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    Default

    Isn't it funny how we, as humans, feel we have to 'fit in' to some group, based on clothing, hair color, clothes? As if being ourselves just isn't 'enough'...we're so hungry for others' approval.

    I always rode my english horses in western bridles (sans noseband...GASP!) and have joined a jumping lesson in my western tack here and there (when the instructor was a friend and holding a class in the indoor where I boarded).

    I custom ordered a wade tree saddle for my hard to fit horses. Those trees just fit better, and the stirrup placement is heavenly! Straight down! I had the 4x4 horn taken off and a small reiner horn added, since I want someday to do reining. And I didn't like the mongo stock horn gettin in my way.

    Still wear my green helmet....sue me
    "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.



  15. #15
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    Jul. 4, 2004
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    E. Washington
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Nice saddle. But I like the model very much. She is luscious.
    Thank you, she is another one of those "heart" horses, I have been blessed with having several special horses over the years, but this one is truly wonderful.

    I should put a before and after picture of this mare from when I bought her two years ago.



  16. #16
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    Apr. 17, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melelio View Post
    Isn't it funny how we, as humans, feel we have to 'fit in' to some group, based on clothing, hair color, clothes? As if being ourselves just isn't 'enough'...we're so hungry for others' approval.

    I always rode my english horses in western bridles (sans noseband...GASP!) and have joined a jumping lesson in my western tack here and there (when the instructor was a friend and holding a class in the indoor where I boarded).

    I custom ordered a wade tree saddle for my hard to fit horses. Those trees just fit better, and the stirrup placement is heavenly! Straight down! I had the 4x4 horn taken off and a small reiner horn added, since I want someday to do reining. And I didn't like the mongo stock horn gettin in my way.

    Still wear my green helmet....sue me

    I don't know if it's approval? Is it finding others you can identify with? There's some room for 'like mindedness' or at least 'likely to pursue the same sort of stuff'....if you're all dressed alike. I don't see a dressage outfit and think foxhunter, nor do I see a very 'western outfit' and think 'jumper.' I think it's just more about identifying yourself as 'this' rather than 'that'.

    I do recall a guy I met down here in AL who looked to be straight out of Montana/Idaho/Wyoming. He had the clothes, the hat, the wildrag, etc...but I'll be darned if he didn't have the 2 dollar curb that came with his cheap nylon bridle kinda blew the whole 'image'.



  17. #17
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  18. #18
    Bluey is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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  19. #19
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    Dec. 27, 2006
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    Here is my OTTB with my western saddle:

    http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/t...ps63c832ef.jpg

    http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/t...ps80ddb891.jpg

    I don't know the brand. It's an old saddle I picked it up cheap off Ebay and the leather was shot, but the tree was good and it fit my previous TB so I took it to an Amish saddle maker and had a new saddle built on the old tree. It is an old rawhide covered tree and the saddle is heavy. I find the slick seat very comfortable, even on long trail rides, something I haven't found in western saddles with padded seats.

    Christa



  20. #20
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