Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Vaquero Way Influencing Tack......

Vaquero’s, which in Spanish means, “Cowboys”, were Spanish horseman. Their style of horsemanship, gear and training has had an influence on the “Traditional American Cowboy”. Their unique style spread from Europe all the way to the United States.

The Vaquero learned many of their horse skills from Medieval & Renaissance Europe. The European Knights and their war horses used many skills on the battlefield that can be seen today in both the reined working cow horse and dressage.

When the Spanish began to colonize the “America’s”, they used the skills found on the European Battlefields to train their horses.

The Vaquero’s Spanish style of training horses spread throughout California. Once in California the “California” Vaquero began to refine their methods of training horses and working cattle.

Because of the unique climate and culture in California the growing Vaquero tradition of training could take as long as needed. The mild climate allowed for the Vaquero’s training of a horse to take all the time that was needed. So, the California bridle horse evolved to a point where a top hand could ride his horse with just a light string attaching his rein chains to a bit.

The influence of the Vaquero spread from California to Texas. The Texas Cowboy, or what we think of today as the “Classic American Cowboy”, had a different style of training horses and working cattle. The different styles of both the Texas Cowboy and the Vaquero can still be seen today.

One example, is the that the Texas Cowboy prefers to tie their rope directly to the saddle horn by a loop on the tail end, while the Vaquero prefers to wrap his rope around the saddle horn.

The Texas Cowboy uses his horse to work cattle, while the Vaquero uses cattle to work his horses. These two unique styles have grown into two very different competitions.

The cutting horse has grown out of the Texas style , which prefers the use of a horse that is bred to work a cow on its own once that horse has been trained.

The reined working cow horse has grown out of the Vaquero style, which came from the Vaquero tradition of training a horse that is also bred to work a cow but works entirely from the commands of the rider.

Even the buckaroo gear and vaquero gear is different. The Vaquero likes the silver spade bit with silver conchos on the bridle and a fancy set of braided rawhide rommel reins.



The Texas style is a grazer bit and simpler, but functional bridle with a plain set of leather split reins.

As with the ornate design of the Spanish style spurs and straps, (read the “History of Spurs” on my Squidoo Lens) the Spanish influence, through the California Vaquero, can be seen in not only the finesse of the reined working cow horse but in the ornate design of their bits, bridles and romel reins.

Buckaroo Leather Company has continued the Vaquero tradition with many unique styles of leather horse tack, vaquero gear. A few examples are:

LH111A Headstall & Rein set. This is an old time Traditional Vaquero Buckaroo Cowboy Style Leather Headstall & Rein Set with Shaped Cheeks and Flair Brow. It is hand crafted from premium heavy weight Harness Hermann Oak Leather.

BC67 Old style martingale breast collar. Hand crafted from the finest Hermann Oak single ply heavy harness leather. This Old Martingale style shaped breast collar was originally used by the Vaqueros and features an over the shoulder fit for a better pulling position.

Chaps originated in Spain and Mexico and were used for protection against trees and shrubs. Please see my Squidoo Lens on a great history of Chaps and Chinks.

Our family has been dedicated for 30 years in serving
the Western Horseman the safest most durable Quality
American made leather horse tack.......

Buckaroo John Brand

Buckaroo Leather, The Brand to Demand
Visit Our Unique Store Today
Buckaroo Leather Shopping Site

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thank You all for your response to my First Year of Blogging...

I have learned so much this year about the world of blogging
and the Internet. Hard to believe a whole year has gone by already!
It has been such a pleasure learning the communication channels
and interactions of the blogging community....

Response from Horsemen and Women on the Use, Care and Maintenence
of horse tack has been positively overwhelming and gratifying.

My How to Videos have taken center stage because of the old
saying a picture is worth a thousand words!

Also I have had overwhelming response to our new website. It is loaded with stunning high definition photographs of our top quality American made tack products we have built our reputation on. Detailed descriptions and detailed photographs that allow you to clearly view the quality of the beautiful hand tooling, carvings and stitching that make our tack so unique....

Thank You and looking forward to the 2009 in responding to your thoughts and inquires...



Our family has been dedicated for 30 years in serving
the Western Horseman the safest most durable Quality
American made leather horse tack.......

Buckaroo John Brand

Buckaroo Leather, The Brand to Demand
Visit Our Unique Store Today
Buckaroo Leather Shopping Site

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Spurs, not just a tool but an art form.


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 work of art.

In the 15th century, horse armor, called 'bards" played and important role in influencing spur design. The armor had a section called the "flanchard" which protected the horse's flanks. In order for the spur to reach the horse an extremely long shank was developed, up to a foot in length. By the 16th century the bards popularity became rare and the spur lengths returned to normal.

In Spain, armorers developed large and ornately decorated spurs with rowels. Spur designs in Spain and colonial Mexico were particularly elaborate. For example, the spurs of the Spanish Conquistadors were sometimes called Espuela Grande, the "Grand Spur," and could have rowels as large as six inches around.The conquistadors went to the new world with these ornate designs. Their influence can still be seen today in Mexico and South America. The spur became and still is an integral part of the vaquero and cowboy traditions.

Spur styles also changed in the United States. In colonial days, the English style was popular. This style of spur was light and conservative with a slight curve and small rowel. In 1882, the Calvary wore solid brass spurs that were slightly curved, with a small rowel, black straps, and brass buckle. After the Civil War, the Calvary used a straight shank and eliminated the rowel.

In Western Riding, spurs are not only used as a tool but seen as an art form. The spurs design include handmade engravings, silver and other precious metals.

The Old West style spur straps are quickly becoming the rage of the sage......

The old west designs are coming back in style and have beautiful stampings, tooling's and hand carvings.They are available with hand engraved silver,brass and bright bling.The wider shapes and designs have a more comfortable feel across the top of your foot and you can personalize them very easily with conchas and buckle sets.

The old Dove Wing shaped, pictured above, without buckles are a very simple design and less expensive. Once you put them on your spurs you can leave them attached and just slide off and on the top of your boots.

Our family has been dedicated for 30 years in serving
the Western Horseman the safest most durable Quality
American made leather horse tack.......

Buckaroo John Brand

Buckaroo Leather, The Brand to Demand
Visit Our Unique Store Today
Buckaroo Leather Shopping Site video