Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An 1800s Christmas in the Old West

In the Old West in the 1800s the pioneers and cowboys on the prairie celebrated Christmas in much the same ways we do today. There was Santa Claus, presents, holiday decorations and of course the Christmas feast.

The difference was seen in the humbleness of the gifts and holiday decorations. Life in the Old West on the prairie was hard and unpredictable. There were often terrible blizzards and cold December winds. The Pioneers would not forget the spirit of Christmas though.

The women would begin baking for the holiday feast weeks in advanced. There would be plum pudding, preserved fruits and vegetables, fresh game (if available), and maybe if their year was good, a fresh ham.

The holiday decorations were homemade from whatever natural materials were available, like pine-cones, evergreen, nuts and berries. A Christmas tree was decorated with homemade decorations as well. Homemade figures and dolls made from straw or yarn were used. Yarn, ribbon, berries, popcorn strings, paper stings, and cookie dough ornaments, such as gingerbread men were also used.

The gifts were also handmade. Corn husk dolls, sachets, carved wooden toys, pillows, and embroidered items were all made with love by the family members.

Another glimpse at Christmas in the Old West on the Prairie-

Below is a few excerpts from the book "Christmas in the Old West A Historical Scrapbook", by Sam Travers.

In the West, probably one of the first Christmas celebrations was held by Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery in the winter of 1805. The expedition had reached the Oregon Coast and was
waiting for the warmer spring weather in a small fort they had built. The men celebrated the holiday by firing their rifles and singing. Later, Lewis and Clark gave presents to their men out of the few supplies they had left, handkerchiefs and tobacco. Christmas on the frontier was
sometimes just like any other day. Miles from any big city, fur trappers living in the West were more concerned about surviving the brutal weather than having a party. David Thompson, an explorer and fur trapper wrote in the early 1800’s “Christmas and News Years day came and passed. We could not honor them, the occupations of every day demanded our attentions; and time passed on, employed in hunting for a livelihood.” Most of the mountain men were alone and the holiday was not remarkable in any way, but sometimes the lonely men got together and tried to have some celebration to keep their spirits up. In 1833, one man wrote in his journal at a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post. “This being Christmas day I gave the men a liberal regale of eatables and drinkables, to make up in some measure for the bad living they have had all year here, and they enjoyed the feast as might be expected men would do who lived solely on soup since they came here. Weather still very cold.”

The tradition of Santa Claus was popular among children on the frontier as well and a journal called “St. Nicholas” was available for children out West. This journal was published from around the early 1800’s to the 1940’s. It was designed for children in isolated areas and included 500 pages of stories, poetry, contests, games, and crafts. It was particularly helpful in keeping children entertained during the long winter months on the frontier.

The clever way in which the pioneer families brought holiday celebrations to the West is a sign of their wanting to make a home, no matter where they found that home to be. Making the most of a tough situation, pioneer Catherine Haun wrote in 1849, “Although very tired of tent life many of us spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in our canvas houses. I do not remember ever having had happier holiday times. For Christmas we had grizzly bear steak for which we paid
$2.50, one cabbage for $1.00 and oh horrors, some more dried apples! And for a Christmas present the Sacramento River rose very high and flooded the whole town!”

Merry Christmas from Buckaroo Leather and all the
Best in the New Year!!!!!!

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Western Horseman the safest most durable
Quality American made leather horse tack.......Buckaroo John Brand
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Do Animals Talk on Christmas Eve?

On my Facebook Fan page I asked the question- "Do you do anything special with/for their horses on Christmas, a special riding spot, treat of present?"

I received great responses, including the legend of the animals talking on Christmas Eve.

The legend goes that if you go out to your barn at 12 midnight on Christmas Eve you will hear the animals speaking and praising the birth of Jesus.

When The Animals Talk By Rusty Calhoun

The story is told about the night
The Babe was born in the stable.
The animals gathered round the child
Admiring Him in the cradle.

Because they worshiped that little Babe,
And sang their praises to Him
God has granted them one night a year
They can talk with the seraphim.

Late at night, on Christmas Eve
In every stable and barn,
The critters gather in Jesus’ Name
Warm and safe from harm.

At the stroke of midnight, a miracle!
Lowing and braying takes form
As words of love and praise come forth
And the creatures voices transform

Into lovely, sweet, and comforting sounds
As they utter worshipful words
No one’s left out, there are sheep and elk
Coyotes, cougars and birds.

The angels sing and play their lutes,
The drummer boy thumps his drum.
The horses nicker an “Agnus Dei”
And all of the animals come.

To lend their voices in adoration
At the birth of the blessed child
And teach us gentle lessons
In tones both sweet and mild.

“O holy Night”, the mother ewe bleats
As she snuggles her little lamb,
While benediction is offered up
By a majestic curly horned ram.

Voices ring out from the top of the lofts,
Across the meadows and plains,
A chorus of joyful, Heavenly notes.
The Christ Child’s Glory proclaimed.

Other Christmas Animal Legends:

Cattle kneel on Christmas to worship baby Jesus

Indian lore believes that deer kneel on Christmas night and look at the sky in praise of the Great Spirit

An English legend holds to the belief that bees would gather on Christmas Eve to hum a hymn

Tabby cats were given the stamp of the letter "M" on their heads, as thanks from Mary for comforting baby Jesus after his birth.
Start a family tradition and give your horses and other barn yard animals a special treat on Christmas Eve and see if they "speak to you"!
Also read the book "The Animals’ Christmas Eve," a Little Golden Book, by Gale Wiersum and illustrated by Jim Robison. A great Christmas Eve book to read to your children.
Let us know your Christmas Traditions/Legends by posting a comment here or on the Buckaroo Leather Facebook Fan page.

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
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Cowboy Christmas Ball-An Old West Tradition

The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball Poem
By Larry Chittenden

“Way out in Western Texas,
where the Clear Fork's water flows,
Where the cattle are "a-browsin',"
an' the Spanish ponies grow; Where the Northers "come a-whistlin',"
from beyond the Neutral strip;
And the prairie dogs are sneezin',
as if they had "The Grip";
Where the coyotes come a-howlin'
round the ranches after dark.
And the mockingbirds are singin'
to the lovely medder lark" ;
Where the 'possum and the badger,
and the rattlesnake abound,
And the monstrous stars are winkin'
o'er a wilderness profound;
Where the lonesone, tawny prairies
melt into airy streams,
While the Double Mountains slumber,
in heavenly kinds of dreams;
Where the antelope is grazin'
and lonely plovers call-
It was there that I attended
"The Cowboys' Christmas Ball."

The town was Anson City,
old Jones' county seat,
Where they raise Polled Angus cattle,
and waving whiskered wheat;
Where the air is soft and "bammy",
an' dry an' full of health,
And the prairies is explodin'
with agricultural wealth;
Where they print the Texas Western,
that Hec Mc Cann supplies,
With news and yarns and stories,
uv most amazin' size;
Where Frank Smith "pulls the badger",
on knowin' tenderfeet,
And Democracy's triumphant,
and mighty hard to beat;
Where lives that good old hunter,
John Milsap from Lamar,
Who "used to be the Sheriff,
back East in Paris, Suh."
'Twas there, I say, at Anson,
with the lively "Wider Wall,"
That I went to that reception,
"The Cowboys' Christmas Ball."

To Read the rest of this Poem click Here

History of the Cowboy Christmas Ball

William Lawrence "Larry" Chittenden,(pictured above 1st pic) an American journalist from "Back East" attended the first "Cowboys' Christmas Ball" in Anson in 1885. Chittenden was in town visiting his uncle who owned one of the largest ranches in Texas. Chittenden’s original intent was to write about the burgeoning ranching industry in that part of Texas.

Back in 1885, there wasn't much in Anson but a few dirt roads, some cowhands and the Star Hotel, which was a fine hotel for its day. But Star Hotel operator M. G. Rhodes had big ideas, and one of them was to host a Grand Ball at his hotel for entertainment for the cowhands of the area. He picked the weekend just before Christmas and began to spread the word among the cowhands about the Ball at his hotel. M.G. Rhodes also imposed a bit of decorum. Rhodes made the men check their hats, spurs and guns at the door to prevent any fistfights from starting.

Chittenden attended the dance and became enthralled with the scene he saw; cowboys and their ladies danced the square, the schottische, the heel-and-toe polka, the waltz, and the Virginia reel.

He was so amused, he wrote the humorous poem, "The Cowboys' Christmas Ball", which was published in the Anson Texas Western newspaper on June 19,1890. The poem was published after the Star Hotel had been destroyed by fire earlier in the year.

Later, in 1893 the poem appeared in the first volume of Larry Chittenden's "Ranch Verses" a collection of his poems. This is one of the first books printed in the genre of Cowboy Poetry in the 1880s. The poem became one of the most popular humorous poems in the 19th Century- and has become a classic of Cowboy Poetry in the 20th and 21st Century.

Dances were held at Christmas in Anson at irregular intervals with little regard for the poem for several decades following its publication. In 1934 the event was revived under the title Cowboys' Christmas Ball by Leonora Barrett, Anson teacher and folklorist. This first reenactment was held in the high school gymnasium and continued on an annual basis thereafter. The Anson dancers attempted to retain the old dance customs, steps, and songs. The men bowed and the women curtsied. The music was slow enough to allow the dances to be done in an unhurried manner and with much grace.

In 1940 The Pioneer Hall, in Anson, was built solely for the Ball. The Ball has been held there ever since.

Still a Tradition Today

Today in Anson Texas a local organization, The Texas Cowboys' Christmas Ball Association keeps the poem and the old west tradition alive. The annual re-enactment of this 1885 Ball is open to the public and held the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights before December 25th.

The Hall has simple traditional decorations of quilts and beribboned cedar boughs. There is a mandatory dress code for both men and women. The women need to be wearing a skirt on the dance floor, just like in the old west, so most guests dress in 19th-century attire. Matching outfits are mandatory for association members; the men wear black vests and cowboy duds, and the women wear white Victorian blouses and voluminous burgundy taffeta skirts over hoop petticoats.

In 2010 the Christmas Ball and its venue Pioneer Hall were designated as a historical event and site by the Texas Historical Commission and honored with a Texas Historical Marker.

To be apart of this Traditional Cowboy Christmas Ball and old west history please visit The Texas Cowboys' Christmas Ball Association website.

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Western Horseman the safest most durable
Quality American made leather horse tack.......Buckaroo John Brand
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday Specials-15% off-Christmas Deals!

Your Black Friday Check List:
Buckaroo American Made Horse Tack for me
Buckaroo Horse Tack/Treats for my Horse!
Buckaroo Horse Tack for family and fr
Buckaroo Ranch
Buckaroo gift certificates for that Secret Santa/Stocking Stuffer!

Now where to go...............Buckaroo Leather Website!!!

Buckaroo Leather Black Frid
ay Special
15% off Everything, Including Gift Certificates!

You don't have to wait in line to get this deal-
Go to Buckaroo Leather, shop the special Pre-Christmas Discounts on select American Made leather Horse Tack and Use the discount code xmas15 at the shoppi
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Sale starts Nov. 25th 2010 at 6 AM Pacific ends on Nov. 29th at 11:30pm

Special Pre-Christmas Deals- Use the co
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Martingale Pulling Breast Collar
Reg. Price: $151.50
Sale: $131.50

You Save: $20.00
Hand crafted from the finest Hermann Oak single ply heavy harness leather, Oiled Golden Bridle Leather w/ chap lining, or NEW ROUGH OUT G. Bridle Med. oiled this Old Martingale style shaped breast collar features an over the shoulder fit for a better pulling position. Also featured is the adjustable neck strap and billet. The breast collar is hand edged, rubbed and finished with nickel hardware. For pleasure or show, the hand craftsmanship and attention to detail will make you proud to use this breast collar on with your favorite horse. Center Option of Traditional Heart Concha!

Professional Heavy Harness Leather Split Rein
Reg. Price: $61.50
Sale: $51.50
You Save: $10.00
These TOP OF THE LINE Quality Pro Harness Leather Split Reins are for everyday use by the Professional Horseman! These are heavy hand picked uniform harness Split Reins with Hand Beveled edges and rubbed with extra oil for a soft supple feel-Providing the Best ready to use Feel!

Made with Hermann Oak Heavy Harness leather. They have the uniform balance through out the complete length. When cut side by side they are PAIRED together, BORN together for that exact same feel and weight for the ultimate signal and communication! Ends are extra heavy for the correct drape!! Reins are available in 1/2" , 3/4" , 5/8" and 1" widths with 8' length. Great for reining, training, Cutting, etc.

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
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Ropes and Lariats Used by the Vaqueros in the Old West

The Lassos were used by Vaquero’s to hunt wild cattle. Until the late 18th century, the Vaquero tied the lariat to the horse’s tail. But the development of heavier, more substantial saddles changed this technique. Vaquero’s began wrapping the end of the rope around the horn of their heavy saddles. This wrapping technique called “Dar la Vuelta” ("take a turn" in Spanish) passed over to the American cowboys, who corrupted the Spanish term into “dally” or “dally welter”.

Vaquero’s and the cowboys who copied the practice could slip the rope against the saddle horn and gain leverage against a roped animal. The technique could be hazardous. A thumb caught between the Lariat and saddle horn might be amputated by the whizzing rope.

The Vaqueros skillfully braided long reatas from 4 rawhide stumps. They could make much of their equipment from leather. In making these leather rawhide riatas, the hides were stripped up into long thongs, which were either twisted or plaited with a four or eight plait. Much pounding and rolling was necessary to get them smooth, round, and even, and much greasing to soften and water-proof them. They also wove horsehair into a fine rope called a mecate ("McCarty"- the American corruption)

The Lariats in California ran from 65 to 110 ft in length and about 5/8 of a inch in diameter. In Texas brush country, Vaqueros used shorter ropes that did not become entangled in the underbrush.

In addition to rawhide ropes and horsehair ropes, Vaqueros, used the tough, stringy fiber of the maguey plant to make ropes. Because maguey fiber stiffens in rainy weather, Vaqueros used it only on dry ranges.

Sisal, (pictured here) from the leaves of the agave plant, ran a distant 3rd to rawhide and maguey as material from ropes.

Vaqueros threw a variety of loops, according to the task at hand. A figure 8 would bring down a running animal. The piale, an under hand toss, caught the animals hind legs as it stepped into the noose. The mangana, an overhand throw opened to catch the animals forefeet.

The Texas Cowboys also used a variety of catches-

Backhand slip

By the late 1860’s cowboys had developed the “hoolihan”. The roper swings the loop only once above his head before letting fly. This fast throw is useful for catching horses by the head in a corral. The backhand forefooting catch is the vaquero mangana.

Watch the video below to see a "Hoolihan Catch"..........

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Western Horseman the safest most durable Quality
American made leather horse tack.......Buckaroo John Brand
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Code of the West..........a living Code of Cowboys

The Code of the West, an unwritten law know and obeyed by all Cowboys in the Old West survives today. The Cowboys of today, working the ranches and cattle still live the Code of the West. Below are some of the rules and examples of the Code of the West.........

The Code of the West

Although ranchers and cowboys were individuals, they nevertheless behaved, or pretended to behave, by an unwritten set of rules that came to be known collectively as the code of the West.

The code was a sort of frontier version of the Golden Rule. A cattleman fed a visitor because he might himself be far from home next month. He asked no questions of strangers because in leaner days he might himself have preferred not to have his affairs pried into. He returned stray cattle because his own livestock might wander.

The Sunday-school aspect of this unwritten book of laws disappeared entirely when the cattleman felt himself threatened. The code gave him the right to set up vigilance committees whose members acted as sheriffs, prosecutors, judges and executioners, dispensing justice on the spot. If no vigilantes were available for the job, he took matters into his own hands. Since there was little or no law in the Old West, the cowboy made his own rules from the outset. In his unwritten code there were certain principles understood by nearly everyone, and stories of the range are filled with examples of their observance.

In Lavaca County, Texas, one February day in 1874, cattleman Willis McCutcheon sized up a spunky young lad named West and decided that despite his youth he'd do to drive the McCutcheon firm's first herd of the year to Ellsworth, Kansas. "You'll get half of whatever these cows bring over the price per head after expenses," McCutcheon promised. The boy said that would do.

The drive was halfway to Ellsworth when a five-hour blizzard killed the trail crew's remuda of 78 horses. Having promised to get the cattle through, West traded some cows-and with them part of his profits-for six horses and a mule. A month later he managed to get the cattle to the Kansas market. He sold them off a few at a time during the summer and fall.

When West finally returned to Lavaca County in December, McCutcheon's bookkeeper figured the profits, deducting the value of the lost horses (West made no objection). "Are you going to buy a herd of your own, or start a bank?" the bookkeeper joked as he handed over the young man's profit — 75 cents. West smiled and pocketed the coins without a complaint at the outcome of a deal that he had sealed with his word.

Two cowpunchers out looking for work rode up to a Texas ranch in time for dinner, expecting the customary offer of a free meal. The boss fed them, but afterward demanded 50 cents in payment. Outraged at this violation of Western hospitality, the men roped a three-year-old steer belonging to their host and used a saddle ring to brand on its flanks the message: "Meals—50 cts." The steer was left to roam the range and proclaim the owner's ignominy.

In its simplest form the code was merely a common ethic of fair play, and it worked reasonably well. At the N Bar Ranch in Montana, for example, the foreman fired a hand because he failed to pay a prostitute her promised fee. On the bank of the Colorado River in Texas a young puncher, asked to take the lead in swimming the herd across, said that while he was not a good swimmer and was afraid of the water "I am a hired hand and will not shirk my duty." He made it.

Some of the fine points of the code dictated horseman's etiquette. No one borrowed a horse from another man's string without his permission (which was rarely given). One did not whip or kick a borrowed horse. When two mounted cowboys approached each other on the trail both were supposed to keep course and perhaps pass a friendly word; to veer off was to suggest furtiveness —or even danger. But a wave of greeting was considered bad form —it might scare a horse. If one man dismounted, the other did too, so they would meet on equal terms. A man on foot did not grab the bridle of a mounted man's horse, for that could be taken as an intrusion on the rider's control.

Other rules of the code governed the practicalities of range land housekeeping. Cowboys were expected to close pasture and corral gates behind them, and to remove their sharp- roweled spurs when they entered another man's house. On roundup a cowboy did not wait for his fellow hands to arrive before beginning his meal; he helped himself and began eating at once so he would be out of the way when other punchers came to dip food from the common pots and pans.

In matters of money, most cowboys bound themselves to be trusting and trustworthy. One North Dakota hand gave back part of his wages for digging potholes because he realized later he had dug one of them too shallow. At payoff time on the range bosses might dump sacks of money on the ground and leave them there, unmolested, for days at a time until the boys came by to pick up their wages. On a handshake cattle buyers would take whole herds sight unseen. G. W. Rourke, a railroad agent at Dodge City, recalled, "I've seen many a transaction in steers, running as high as 5,000 head and involving more than $100,000, closed and carried out to the letter, with no semblance of a written contract." In the market crash of 1873 Texas cattlemen, stuck with notes totaling $1.5 million to Kansas banks, paid off the debts almost to the penny—at the price of personal ruin for a number of the ranchers.

Do you live by the Code of the West? Do you think it is still living today? Comment here or on my Facebook Fan Page

From a wonderful website The Spell of the West

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to Tie a Mecate Rein

John Brand of Buckaroo leather shows you how to tie a Soft Cotton Mecate Rein to a quality Rawhide Bosal

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Western Horseman the safest most durable
Quality American made leather horse tack.......Buckaroo John Brand
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Trainer Denny Chapman Talks About Buckaroo Leather's Reins

Denny Chapman, Specialty Trainer and a National Champion of mounted shooting, talks about his mounted shooting horse equipment from Buckaroo Leather. His competition leather horse reins have braided rawhide that helps reinforce the neck reining..... Watch the video to hear more about Buckaroo Leather's American Made Leather Tack!

Thank you to Denny for this video!......Ride American!

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
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Ultimate Side Pull Headstall- A Popular Piece of Horse Tack

Buckaroo Leather has received great feedback on our popular Ultimate Side Pull Headstall.

Ultimate Side Pull w/Oval Star Conchas

Once you use this leather horse tack you will use no other! The Buckaroo Ultimate sidepull Headstall is just that- THE BEST. Made from the finest Hermann Oak Harness or black latigo leather for a smooth, rich, "broke in" feel. This Buckaroo Headstall is double and sewn with a soft chap lining, and oiled for that soft supple feel. This Headstall is a Side Pull style with a width of 5/8", available in Sm. Horse/Cob/Pony, Regular Horse & Draft size. This Headstall has a new swell shaped leather noseband and browband with hand engraved Oval Old West Silver conchas w/Stars made with Nickle hardware. This Quality Buckaroo Ultimate Headstall is for the western rider who wants a quality performing leather tack and beauty. Buckaroo recommends adding a Jowel strap for stability with our Bridles.

Thank you to our loyal customers for their feedback on our products- here is one on the Ultimate Side Pull Headstall-

"This is the very best. It has a great feel to it and it looks beautiful on my horse. I ordered it in black and just love it."

See our "How To" video on this Leather Ultimate Side Pull Headstall.

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
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Old West Ghost Stories and Ghost Towns

With Halloween fast approaching- I felt some good old-fashioned ghost stories were appropriate!

I found some ghost stories about the cowboys, outlaws and towns of the old west, including Tombstone, Deadwood, and Jesse James.

Along the way I came across some Ghost Towns, Including Virginia City, Nevada-one the most “spirited” towns around! The old west tales of the town are lively and so are the Ghosts.

I have visited this town myself- and you can see and feel the history come alive!!!

Happy Halloween- Ride American!!!!


The Spirit of Marshal Fred White is reported to haunt the streets of Tombstone. Marshall White was accidentally shot by Cowboy faction leader, Curly Bill Brocius on October 28, 1880.

White, the first marshal of Tombstone, had gained the respect of the Clanton Gang, and in fact, had arrested "Cowboy” members on a number of occasions, rarely having any problems when doing so. In the early morning of October 28th, Curly Bill and several of his cohorts were making sport by shooting up the town.

When White went to disarm the gunman, a shot was accidentally fired, hitting White in the groin. Though, it was thought that he would make a full recovery, two days later he died. Today, he is said to haunt the street in front of the shooting site, which was an empty lot where the Bird Cage Theater was built a year later.


1876 saw the arrival of Seth Bullock and Sol Star to Deadwood, South Dakota. Moving their hardware store from Helena, Montana.

According to dozens of reports, Seth Bullock still continues to play host at his beloved hotel. All manner of strange occurrences have happened at the historic hotel according to both staff and guests. Reports include feelings of a strong paranormal presence inside several of the rooms and in the hallways of the second and third floors, as well as in Bully’s restaurant, and in Seth's Cellar (pictured below).

Others have reported actually seeing the tall ghostly figure of Bullock in various areas of the hotel, including the restaurant and the basement. Apparently Seth’s ghost wants to ensure that the staff is working hard, as paranormal events tend to increase when staff members stand idle, whistle or hum a tune. Plates and glasses have been known to shake and take flight in the restaurant, lights and appliances turn on and off by themselves and items are inexplicably moved by unseen hands.

Many guests have reported hearing their name called out by a male voice when no one is present, or have been tapped on the shoulder by unseen hands. Others have heard whistling and many report the sounds of footsteps in the hallways when no one is there.

In both the second and third floor rooms, guests have reported a number of strange occurrences including photographs that produce strange anomalies, alarm clocks that go off, even when they are unplugged, televisions that seemingly operate with unseen hands, cloudy figures seen in rooms and hallways, and even an antique clock, that hasn't functioned in years, that chimes of its own accord.

Bodie, California

Legends about Bodie abound, including the Bodie Curse. Supposedly, if visitors take anything from this old ghost town – even a pebble, they will be cursed with bad luck. Misfortune and tragedy are heaped upon the victim until the stolen item is returned. According to Park Rangers, many who have taken things eventually return them to the park to rid themselves of this curse. Purportedly, the park maintains a logbook of pages and pages of returned items.

In the museum, you can see the letters from people who have returned items to the park. The curse is supposedly perpetuated by the ghosts of Bodie who guard against thieves and protect its treasures. Some believe that the "curse” is nothing more than a superstition perpetuated by the Park Rangers to preserve Bodie as a historic site.

Other ghostly legends have seemingly occurred in this ghost town. The J.S. Cain house is said to be haunted by the ghost of a Chinese maid. Families of Park Rangers, who have occupied the house, describe the spirit, as not liking adults, but loves children.

Adults sleeping in the house have said that they will awake in the night to find the "heavy set” Chinese woman sitting on them. Feeling suffocated, one woman fought so hard that she ended up on the floor. Others have reported seeing the bedroom door opening and closing on its own.

The Gregory House is also said to be haunted by the ghost of an old woman. Guests and staff have reported seeing her sitting in a rocking chair, knitting an afghan. At other t

imes, the rocking chair has been seen rocking on its own accord.

Jesse James

It should come as no surprise that the Jesse James Farm in Kearney, Missouri is said to be haunted. Given the violent temperament of some of its inhabitants, the untimely death of Jesse James, the violence that occurred on the property, and the tragic death of Jesse’s younger half-brother Archie.

Both Jesse and Frank James were raised in this house by their mother Zerelda, who was married to three different husbands and bore eight children. It was here that Jesse James was whipped as a teenager by Union militia who strung up his stepfather and burned nearby farms.

It was also here that Zerelda watched as her son Archie was murdered by Pinkerton detectives in an attack where she lost her right hand. After Jesse was killed, he was buried here, where she could protect the grave from trespassers or souvenir hunters. Later, his body was re-interred at the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kearney.

The James Family Farm has said to have been haunted for more than a century. Evidently home to a number of lingering spirits, lights are said to move about both inside and outside of the property buildings. Others report hearing the sounds of pounding hooves, muffled shots and cries that are reminiscent of the area history, dating back to events of the Civil War.

Today, wide arrays of mysterious happenings occur in the house. Reports are frequent that lights are seen inside the building long after it has been locked up for the evening and movements are often seen which are never registered on a security monitoring system. Staff reports that feelings of a presence within the home are extremely intense. Others report that on foggy mornings, hushed voices and the sounds of restless horses can be heard from the nearby woods. However, when they follow up, there are no signs of a disturbance or tracks within the trees.

Virginia City, Nevada

Old Washoe Club

The Old Washoe Club is said to be the most haunted location in

Virginia City. A saloon occupies the lower level and has for many years. The second floor used to be The Millionaire's Club. The third floor was previously used as a brothel.

Ghosts known to haunt this location include a man dressed in black, a lady dressed in blue, and a small child. There is also the ghost known as Lena, who has been experienced all over the building. The Old Washoe Club has been featured on different TV shows including Ghosts Hunters.

Silver Queen Hotel & Casino

The story of the ghost at the Silver Queen Hotel & Casino is a sad one. A female spirit from the 1800's still lingers on there. The story goes that she was pregnant and waiting for her boyfriend to come back, but he never returned. She was so upset, that she committed suicide.

Virginia City Visitor's Center

The Virginia City Visitor's Center, located on C Street, across the street from the Ponderosa Saloon and Mine, was once a two story, dried goods stores. It is currently the home of the spirit of a little girl. The identity of the little girl is unknown.

The Chapin Boarding House

Originally built in 1862 by Samuel Chapin, the Chapin Boarding House was one of the finest boarding houses in all of Nevada. Today it sits vacant, for sale. People who enter the building complain of an uneasy feeling.

Gold Hill Hotel

Built in 1859, the Gold Hill Hotel is the oldest operating hotel and saloon in the state of Nevada. It is located just outside of Virginia City. Visitors arriving to Virginia City from either the Lake Tahoe or Reno areas pass by this small town en route to Virginia City. It is also a stop on the 35 minute train tour of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad tour.

At least two ghosts are said to reside here. First, there is William, a firefighter who died in the Yellow Jacket fire. Guests at the hotel have been known to smell his pipe tobacco. He particularly hangs out in room # 5 and has repeatedly awakened guests at 3:00 o'clock in the morning by shaking the bed.

There is also the ghost of Rosie. Rosie is believed to be a previous housekeeper who enjoys moving guests' keys around. A visitor can know when Rosie is present by the smell of old fashioned rose petals.

More Haunted Locations in Virginia City

There are many additional haunted locations in Virginia City such as The Red Dog Saloon, the Mackay Mansion, and Piper's Opera House. In fact, it seems like just about all of the old, historical buildings have a ghost or two, which is why Virginia City is considered the most haunted city in Nevada.

The Dunlop House, Virginia City, and employees stand in front of the building, approximately 1890 (pictured above)

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
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Thursday, October 7, 2010

An Indian Hackamore-a Unique Piece of Horse Tack for Bitless Riding

The Indian Hackamore is a unique piece of Horse Equipment. Its popularity is growing in the bitless riding world and with natural horsemanship.

Indian Hackamore RW318

This very unique bosal is called an “Indian Hackamore”. It is gentler than a bosal. The nose is flat instead of round. The chin portion widens and narrows to fit most any size head. The action is most like riding with a halter but with more communication and control. The ends that connect to the reins are crossed so when you pull on say the right rein the pressure goes under the jaw and around to the opposite side to bring their head around to the right. There is a breaking in period for the area under the chin to soften up and shape to your horses head. This unique diamond braid Butter nylon with rawhide nose in Brown accents is softer than all rawhide and is already broken in. Great For Bitless Riding!!

The Indian Bosal is a unique piece of equipment found in a tack room. It is a simple and often unknown solution to the many problems that bits may cause. It is a simple design, consisting only of yacht rope or rawhide much like today’s rope halters. The Indian Bosal may be attached to any type of headstall, either Western or English in style. Much like the rope halter and The Bitless Bridle, the Indian Bosal works through pressure. The ropes of the Indian Bosal criss-cross under the horse’s jaw. Your direct rein tells your horse which way to go as it would with either a snaffle bit or side-pull.

The Indian Bosal has many advantages to its use in training. The Indian Bosal can be used on young horses or old horses, despite their level of training. They work best on a horse that knows how to respond properly to pressure. If the horse has received adequate ground training in a rope halter, he should respond well to the Indian Bosal. The bosal also aids in neck reining training as the feel the pressure on the same side as they feel the rein. The horse will learn and correspond to the pressures.

The Indian Bosal will aid in curing many of the problems associated with bits and mechanical hackamores. These devices cause problems such as head shaking, bit chewing, resisting the bit and more. Many horses that will not accept the bit will often toss and throw their heads, making a dangerous situation for both horse and rider. The use of the bosal will help solve many of these problems.

The Indian Bosal is a great tool for a horse that just doesn’t like a bit and resists having a bridle put on. It will be a welcome relief to the horse when you go to put on his bridle and there is not bit going in his mouth. This makes for a happier situation for both horse and rider and will get you in the saddle sooner. The horse will not shake his head and try to get the pressure off of his nose as the rope is fairly thin and is not heavy. The horse will also be more attentive to your desires instead of playing with a bit or trying to avoid your cues.

There is little history to be found about the Indian Bosal, but as its name suggests Native Americans once used it in riding their horses. The versions found today are probably somewhat different but the concept the same. They were introduced to the cowboy’s by Native American cowpunchers that braided them out of rawhide.

If used properly, the Indian Bosal is a great alternative to bits and great for natural horsemanship.

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
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Farah DeJohnette Training and Buckaroo leather bitless bridle in action!

Farah DeJohnette Training and Buckaroo leather bitless bridle in action!

Here is a video of, Horse Trainer Farah DeJohnette, working with her horses in her Buckaroo Leather side pull. Farah is able to do anything in her Side pull.

Farah- "it has become my favorite go to piece of equipment."

Watch her train her horse using the Buckaroo Leather Side pull-Bitless Bridle

View more of Farah's Training Video's and visit her blog.

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
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Cowboy Code Of the West- Words to Live By!

The Cowboy Code of the West, the unwritten law of the true cowboys of the American West. The code embodied a spirit of individual responsibility, pride in country, God, and himself and family.

The above photo is of a group of Texas Cowboys at the turn of the century in 1901.

Today- it seems the basic nature of the Cowboy Code is hard to find. If everyone raised their children and lived the Cowboy Code- what a difference.

Listed below is The Cowboy Code of the West. Think about how many of these you follow every day- or would like to see more people follow. I have also added some tried and true Cowboy "thoughts" on how to be a True Cowboy........Ride American!!

The Cowboy Code of the West
Respect yourself and others.
Accept responsibility for your life.
Be positive and cheerful.
Be a person of your word.
Go the distance.
Be fair in all your dealings.
Be a good friend & neighbor.

In much the same way- Gene Autry wrote his:

Gene Autry's Cowboy Code Of Honor

A cowboy never takes unfair advantage - even of an enemy.
A cowboy never betrays a trust.
He never goes back on his word.
A cowboy always tells the truth.
A cowboy is kind and gentle to small children, old folks, and animals.
A cowboy is free from racial and religious intolerance's.
A cowboy is always helpful when someone is in trouble.
A cowboy is always a good worker.
A cowboy respects womanhood, his parents and his nation's laws.
A cowboy is clean about his person in thought, word, and deed.
A cowboy is a Patriot.

The Lone Ranger Creed

I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one. That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world. That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself. In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right. That a man should make the most of what equipment he has. That "this government, of the people, by the people, and for the people," shall live always. That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number. That sooner or later...somewhere...somehow...we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken. That all things change, but the truth, and the truth alone lives on forever. I believe in my Creator, my country, my fellow man. -The Lone Ranger

Will Rogers was probably the greatest political sage this country has ever known. Here is some sound advice from Will……..
(the picture is Inauguration of Maddux Air Lines passenger service between Los Angeles and San Diego, September 22, 1927. Passengers included Mr. and Mrs. Will Rogers; Benjamin Franklin Mahoney, owner of Ryan Aircraft Manufacturing Company; Harry Culver, developer of Culver City; Mr. and Mrs. Jack Maddux; and Charles Lindbergh (pilot).)

Cowboy Code Of Ethics

Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

There are 2 theories to arguing with a woman...neither works.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.

AND FINALLY: After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him . . . The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut!

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
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Buckaroo Leather is Proud to have the Endorsement of National Mounted Shooting Champion, Denny Chapman!

Buckaroo Leather is proud and excited to have Denny Chapman, a national champion of mounted shooting and a world famous specialty trainer, endorse Buckaroo Leather's quality leather horse tack! Denny now uses our Quality American made tack on his performance horses and at his training school.

"I am proud to use and endorse Buckaroo Leather Products. The highest quality American made leather products on the market.....Can't wait to use it on my competition/performance horses and on my client's horses here in training.
Thanks, Buckaroo Leather!!!"-Denny Chapman

Denny Chapman is a professional announcer and equine entertainer, trainer and clinician with more than 20 years in the industry.

A member of the famed Old Timers Rodeo and Wild West Performers Club and the prestigious former Wild West Arts Club in Las Vegas, Denny has served as a mounted shooting, trick horse and trick riding clinician and performer for many major equine events including Equine Affaire in Columbus OH and the Can-Am Equine Emporium in Ontario, Canada. He has entertained at professional sporting events and has also served as the featured performer as the "Singing Cowboy" in the famous Kentucky Horse Park's "Best of the West" show.

Denny also stared in the TV Show "Top Shot" by The History Channel.

He is one of the most recognized figures in the sport of Mounted Shooting as a competitor, announcer and clinician and recently won the title of 2009 Florida State SASS Rifle and Open Class Extreme Mounted Shooting Champion. Denny has also competed within the ranks of the American Quarter Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, the World Foundation Quarter Horse Association, the United States Team Roping Championships, and is one of the few certified male side saddle instructors in the country.

Denny is one of the most versatile equine entertainers and clinicians in North America. Having worked with more than 40 breeds of horses, He has experience in Mounted Shooting, English and Western Horsemanship, Dressage, Tandem Riding and Driving, Roman Riding, Liberty Horses, Trick Horses, Trick Riding, Fire Jumping, Dressage and High-School Horses, Mounted Trick Roping and Whip Cracking.

Denny is available on a limited basis for private/group lessons and specialty clinics. He teaches Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Horsemanship as well as the following specialties:

*Mounted Shooting

*Sidesaddle Equitation and Horsemanship

*Trick and Roman Riding

*Trick and Liberty Horse Training

Denny specializes in trick, liberty and behavioral training as well as preparing horses and competitors for the sport of cowboy mounted shooting

I encourage all you buckaroo and buckarettes to visit Denny’s website, DennyChapman.com, follow him on facebook and sign up for his blog. His website has some videos of his performances and more information on his classes and clinics.

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

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Buckaroo Leather Recommends-A Horse Whisperer, A Barefoot Trimmer, and Horse Trainers

In the past I have listed fellow horse enthusiasts I have come across in my travels. I felt it was long overdue.......

So here is a list of fellow horse riders, trainers and all around cowboys and cowgirls.......Ride American!

Todd Daniel Horsemanship

Todd Daniel Horsemanship is located in Cottageville, South Carolina. Todd has spent 30 plus years around horses and the last 9 years full time. He rides approximately 250 days per year! His goal is to strive each day to become a better horseman.

Todd believes horsemanship is not just about training and teaching a horse it is also teaching the owner the foundations so that they can continue to work and build on the foundation of the horse. With this process the ability to go back to the basic if a problem arises make it much easier on the horse and the owner.

Services Provided by Todd are:
Colt Starting
Problem Horses
Basic Horse Tune-Up
Clinic for Youth
Trailing & Event Clinics
Barrel Racing

Visit the Todd Daniel Horsemanship website and follow him on facebook!

Mark Rashid Horse Training

Mark Rashid Horse Training is located in Estes Park, Co. Mark Rashid (pronounced RASH-id) is an internationally acclaimed horse trainer known for his ability to understand the horse’s point of view and solve difficult problems with communication rather than force. He began working with horses at age ten, when he met the “old man,” who taught him to work with horses, not against them, and to listen to what the horse is trying to say. Mark’s clinics center on one-on-one work with horse and rider and are immensely popular with people around the world.

When Mark decided to study the martial art of aikido as a way to improve his horsemanship, he brought the same quiet determination to it that he exhibits in his work with horses. After years of practice, he has earned a second degree black belt in Yoshinkan aikido and now teaches the “way of harmony” in the local dojo.

Mark worked full time on ranches for many years gathering herds, managing stock, and training horses. When time permits, he still enjoys working on ranches near his home in Estes Park, Colorado.

Buckaroo Leather attended a (pictured below) Considering the Horse clinic by Mark Rashid in Ione, CA a few months back. Buckaroo Leather witnessed some great horsemanship and also some of our Western horse tack in action!

If you are interested in Mark’s Clinic, please visit his website. Here is a list of his current dates-

Sept. 17-19 Blue Lake, CA
Sept. 21-23 Blue Lake, CA
Sept. 26-28 Sebastopol, CA

Clinic Formats-
Format 1 – One-on-One
Format 2 – Week-long session

Format 3 – Half-day Group sessions

Weeklong Clinics
Aikido for Horsemen Workshop

Follow mark on Facebook and learn more about Mark and his clinics by visiting his website.

Amy Allen - Horsemanship and Barefoot Trimming

Amy Allen is an experienced horse trainer/riding instructor in Shelton, WA, who specializes in unbroke and problem horses and working with students who are afraid or have been through a traumatic experience.

She also is a barefoot horse trimmer. Amy’s journey into barefoot trimming started because of her own horse. Amy owns an OTTB, TJ, who had the typical thin cracking walls, could not hold a shoe for over 5 weeks, long toes, low heels, thin soles... just bad feet. After consulting with her farrier, we tried glue on shoes. On the second set, one of the shoes broke at the quarters. Amy became frustrated because the shoes are very expensive. Amy made the decision to pull her horses shoes and since December 2002, he has never worn another pair of shoes.

Amy began researching the barefoot trim method. She educated herself by attending clinics, reading all sorts of material and practicing on her own horses. Barefoot trimming is not just about the horse's foot. It's about the body as a whole, their nutrition and their living environment.

I came across her on Facebook and was intrigued and impressed with her horse training/barefoot trimming. I encourage you to visit her website and become a fan on facebook. She also is a monthly contributor for the Buckaroo Leather Newsletter.

Frank Bell-Horse Whisperer

SAFE and SIMPLE typify Frank Bell’s approach to Natural Horsemanship. His horse training techniques embrace gentle handling with advanced communication. Frank’s methods are being taught by his certified partners and mastered by horse people worldwide.

Frank’s unique 7-Step Safety System is truly placing the horse and rider on higher ground as they do indeed "Discover Horses They Never Knew."

The Natural Horsemanship Movement embodies a revolution in horse-handling techniques that gained momentum as the last century came to a close. Today horsemen and women are rapidly embracing this evolved movement. No trainer has made this revolutionary philosophy more accessible than Frank Bell.

What makes Bell’s approach so different? He has single-handily taken the mystery out of the natural horsemanship movement and created a logical set of exercises that put a solid foundation underneath the horse and rider. Most importantly, it is easy to understand and implement immediately, and you do not need a round pen!

Visit Fran Bells website to learn more about his natural horsemanship and training. Follow him on facebook and subscribe to his blog.

Steve Lantvit Horsemanship-Highgrove Farm Inc.
10257 N. Manna Lane, LaPorte, Indiana, 46350

Steve Lantvit is a full-time Equine Clinician, Trainer and Instructor whose goal is to contribute to the betterment of the relationships between man/woman and horse. His background started from English disciplines such as polo and jumping and has expanded greatly over nearly 2 decades to include the western disciplines. With a wide array of experiences across both disciplines, his focus on training is that of all around horsemanship and the creation of the versatile horse.

Steve is a CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) instructor with a level 4 (of 4) in Western and a 3 (of 4) in English. His certification is a validation that his knowledge and ability as an instructor has been proven against a respected standard, under independent evaluation. His certification attests that he is committed to professional standards and that his teaching methods are proven to be safe, knowledgeable and effective.

Steve's Training includes:

Colt Starting, problem solving, or fine-tuning a seasoned horse of all breeds and disciplines

To learn about Steve and his training visit his website and subscribe to his new blog. Also follow him on facebook.

Jerry Tindell

Buckaroo Leather is proud to be working with Jerry Tindell's Horse and Mule School. Jerry will be working with us to design and improve on many of our large horse and mule tack styles.We are proud to be working with Jerry and are excited by his expertise and enthusiasm.

Tindell's Horse and Mule School offers private training to committed people who would benefit from our assistance when they have neither the time nor the skills required to reach their desired goals with their stock.

Their training program assists both the animal and owner with achieving expected results in a safe and effective manner. The range of training offered includes starting a young or green-broke horse or mule, re-training and problem solving for stock that have developed undesirable behaviors.

Jerry's emphasis is establishing a solid foundation; making sure the animal understands and can comfortably perform the basic principles of soft, flexible movement, while also developing good manners. This program is strongly recommended for all aspects of handling, including riding, packing and driving. It is equally suitable to English or Western riding traditions.

Jerry Tindell's training process is based on 6 steps of control. These 6 steps are identified, used and taught in three stages: round pen, ground work and riding. It is highly recommended that the owner become familiar with these 6 steps during the course of the animal's training. They are the beginning, middle and end of creating and maintaining a willing equine partner. Most behavior issues include a weakness in at least one of these steps, and can be fixed to a great extent by training the horse to be better at them.

Visit Jerry Tindell's website and follow him on facebook.

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