Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Western Horse Tack from Buckaroo Leather

Buckaroo Leather is very excited to have these great new products featured in Today's Horse Trader Magazine- click on the link to read the article! Thank you to Horse Trader!

Check it out: The Versatile Buckaroo Sidepull

Buckaroo Leather, due to popular demand, has added two new pieces of western horse tack equipment. They are the Hybrid model Sidepull bridle and the Alpaca Hackamore with a Fiador.

The Hybrid model Sidepull bridle has a removable snaffle bit, which gives you, the rider, lots of options to use any of your favorite snaffles.

Ultimate Hybrid Sidepull w/snaffle

Hermann Oak quality 5/8" Harness leather Sidepull regular horse size, flat leather nose, hybrid model comes with a removable 5" sweet iron ring snaffle, with double & stitched with soft chap lining; hand edged, rubbed and oiled for a soft supple feel. You have the option to replace the snaffle with your own style. It is pictured without the throat latch, as some like to ride in the arena and round pen without. We offer an adjustable throat latch option below for more security on the horse trail. It features a chin strap and additional jowel strap for more stability. It is finished with high quality flat stainless steel rings and buckles. Standard with double cheek buckle adjustments. This is a great addition to your western horse tack equipment. This hybrid leather Sidepull model is highly recommended by Horse Trainer, Farah DeJohnette.

Watch Farah's How to Video to see how to properly fit the leather Sidepull.

Thanks to YOU our customers, 100% Alpaca Mecates, roping/trail & split reins have become our best sellers due to their natural feel & communication.

This Alpaca Hackamore has a 100% Alpaca Mecate Rein, with Alpaca fibers that were grown in the USA.

Alpaca Hackamore w/Fiador Set

Complete Hackamore Set includes an all natural color beautifully hand braided 12 plait 5/8" Vaquero style, All rawhide core (no cable core) natural rawhide bosal w/ Hermann Oak harness leather 5/8" headstall and Fiador (throat latch) w ith hand twisted 23' 100% Alpaca Mecate Rein. The Alpaca fibers used in these Mecates in grown on a family ranch in South East Colorado. The Alpacas are shorn each year and the fibers are processed in the U.S. Each piece is hand made by these artists to ensure the quality and craftsmanship of each Mecate. These Mecates offer the Best Feel & Communication between you and your Horse....Bar None!

Thanks to our customers, and the ever growing interest in the Western Horse tack and traditional Vaquero influences, we have created these exciting new pieces of horse tack.

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, March 27, 2010

Cleaning Your Quality Leather Horse Tack

It is Here Spring!!!
Time for a Check of your Leather Horse Tack!

The clocks have been turned ahead, the sun is out longer, Spring is Here! It is time to do a "spring check" on all your quality leather western horse tack and saddles. Before you start your spring horse rides, a serious inspection of your western horse equipment, cleaning, oiling and conditioning of your horse tack is necessary.

Take everything apart and inspect all your horse tack, including your saddle for wear. Especially at all areas ("picture 1") were your tack folds around the bits, buckles and saddle riggings. This is where there will be the most wear and stress. You need to replace any parts cracked or stretched. Chancing it is not worth the safety risk. Take your time; your piece of mind is worth it.

Secondly -
Clean all your leather horse tack and saddle with lots of water and glycerin saddle soap. Don't be afraid to get your tack wet. You have to get all the dirt and sweat out.

Third -
Hang it all to dry. Before it is completely dry, oil with a good quality neetsfoot oil. The drying process will help suck the oil into the leather.

This "spring check" is a great habit to get into, not only for adults, but for children too. Teaching your children the importance of good quality AMERICAN MADE leather tack and proper care will insure the safety of both your child and horse.

It will also give you a sense of pride and confidence in your saddle and horse equipment....

This springtime check is essential to keep your leather horse tack in good working order for the safety of both rider and horse. Not to mention increasing the longevity of the leather. Cleaning is important but checking the durability of your horse tack is vital.

One of the ways to stop the wear on your saddles billets, are the Wear Leathers!

One of Buckaroo Leather's innovations is the Wear Leathers (pictured here) on all our offside billets. The wear leathers stops your saddle rigging dee rings from wear into the billets, which can cause a stress point!!

Off Billet Wear Leather LG1

Another Buckaroo innovation comes on all our off billets to keep your saddle rigging ring from wearing into the billet causing a weak spot. NOW you can purchase separately!! Buckaroo always puts safety first! Can be added to any billet. Slides on very easily!

To find out more about the Off Billet Wear Leather
watch our How -to-Video!

Buckaroo Leather prides itself on the AMERICAN MADE quality leather we use from Hermann Oak Leather to manufacture all of our western leather horse tack.

Proper maintenance of your horse tack is important , but making sure you have a good quality leather horse tack to start with is Number one! Unlike imported tack that has no integrity, a quality leather horse tack will be more durable and much less likely to crack making it safer!

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

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Circus- Equestrian Entertainment in the Old West

The Circus- we all have been to one, kids love them, they are an iconic part of our culture. As in modern times, Circuses were an important part of the old west culture in the 1800s.

Cowboys coming from the dusty cow trails, frontier men after a long work week and miners who were looking to forget there long hard day in the mine came to town looking for excitement and entertainment.

Circuses provided much needed entertainment for all. The had any manner of acts, including wild animal menageries, clowns, acrobats, trapeze artists, tightrope walkers, brass bands, performing elephants and equestrians who could stand on horseback as they galloped around a center ring.
The circuses date back to Mexican times when shows based on European models came up from the South into California and the southwest around the middle of the 19th century. Circus troupes from the East began to reach settlements in the more accessible regions of Kansas and Nebraska. They traveled in horse drawn wagons over atrocious roads.

By 1880s when railroads had eased the difficulties of transportation, the circus came into its own as the greatest show in the West.

One of those shows was the John Rowe & Co. Pioneer Circus. Here is an excerpt from an article written about the show-

(From the book-“Men of the West-Life on the American Frontier” by Cathy Luchetti)

“ by far the most extensive and elegant organized equestrienne establishment that ever appeared in CA…Traveling through the state at an expense of fifteen thousand dollars a month as an added incentive, the seats are carpeted, and attentive and gentlemanly ushers to wait on ladies and family."

The John Rowe & Co. Pioneer Circus was based in San Francisco, Ca and traveled extensively throughout California. As mentioned before, one of the circus acts was the equestrians who could do acrobatics on horseback.

Below is a glimpse into a typical equestrian performance at the Pioneer Circus.

The main acts of the Pioneer Circus were the equestrian events. At show time the audience was treated to all the spectacle and finery the troupe could provide. One of these spectacles was Miss Mary Ann Whittaker, the first female equestrian artist in America. She was ranked among the best in ballet and pantomime. She would ride out into the sawdust-covered ring standing on her milk white horse in pink tights and ruffles with stars and spangles. Then to the amazement of the crowd as she neared a ribbon held in her path 12 feet high by two colorful clowns, she would leap up off the horse and over the ribbon and then land gracefully onto the horses back all while it was speeding around the circus ring. The applause was thunderous and it continued through the evening. Other riders rode in pyramids on two horses with three riders stacked neatly on top of one another while still others did forward and backward flips through rings of fire.

For these amazing acts to work the horses and riders went through hours of rigorous training some of which is not what you would expect. While the horses went through their paces the grooms would carelessly kick cans about the ring, fire guns, and even tie five-gallon cans to the horse's tail! This was all done in training to teach the horse not to sway from its paces for anyone but its trainer. Timing was everything in the ring. An acrobatic rider doing a back somersault would not like it much if he came down from his leap only to find the horse spooked by a child with a firecracker and not be in his appointed spot.

The Circuses not only used their horses for entertainment, but for hauling all the equipment, animals, and performers in wagons. The travel was hard and taxing on all. Between the roads, or lack of, and the weather it made getting from one town to the next very eventful.

Usually the circus would only be able to cover two or three miles in an hour. Many of the stops were 10 to 15 miles apart and a rider would go ahead and mark the forks in the road with a rail so the caravan would go the right way.

Perhaps the worst occurrence would be after getting little or no sleep,
fighting their way through a drenching rainstorm, pulling out and repairing wagons, and then hearing the word "lost." This of course meant retracing steps and going through all the problems again.

Rowe's Pioneer Circus played the mountain camps and towns until August when due to expenses they were forced to return to San Francisco. Before leaving they had played Yankee Jim, Iowa Hill, Illinois Town, Dutch Flats, Red Dog, Grass Valley, Rough and Ready, Nevada, Orleans Flat, Oroville, Horsetown, Marysville, Monk Hill, Railroad Flat, West Point, Chinese cap and Columbia.

I can just imagine the excitement of the circus coming to these prairie towns and watching the thrilling acts of the equestrian acrobatics.

During these acts I am sure you would see such leather horse tack as the Martingale breast collars, headstalls, and lariat ropes. And of course, I am sure there saddles and horse tack were adorned with silver.

Not unlike the equestrian performers of the old west circuses, many riders today adorn there saddles and leather horse tack with "bling" and silver. Riders today, also like the look of the old west cowboy horse tack, such as the Cowboy Harness Leather Headstall, Old West Bridle, or the Western Roper Breast Collar.

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

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Patent Medicine Trail Blazer, Lydia E. Pinkham

Last week I wrote of the traveling medicine shows and the phenomenon of patent medicine. I wanted to share this biography of one of the biggest producers of patent medicine, Lydia E Pinkham. Her success was not only the product, which like all the patent medicines contained a high alcohol content, but her unique marketing strategy.

Her strategy was to simply give the women of the 1800's a voice. Women' s medical conditions and problems were not discussed in the 1800's. Lydia Pinkham encouraged women to talk about their conditions and gain knowledge on how to treat them.

Lydia E Pinkhams story is a fine example of the strength and resolve of the women in the 1800's.

(biography from Wikipedia)

Lydia Estes Pinkham (February 9, 1819 – May 17, 1883) was an iconic concocter and shrewd marketer of a commercially successful herbal-alcoholic "women's tonic" meant to relieve menstrual and menopausal pains.

Lydia Pinkham was born in the manufacturing city of Lynn, Massachusetts, the tenth of the twelve children of William and Rebecca Estes. William Estes was originally a shoemaker, but by the time Lydia was born in 1819 he had become wealthy through dealing in real estate and had risen to the status of "gentleman farmer" Lydia was educated at Lynn Academy and worked as a schoolteacher before her marriage in September 1843.

Isaac Pinkham was a 29-year-old shoe manufacturer when he married Lydia in 1843, he would try various business without much success. Lydia gave birth to her first child Charles Hacker Pinkham in 1844, lost her second child to gastroenteritis, and gave birth to her second surviving child Daniel Rogers Pinkham in 1848. A third son, William Pinkham, was born in 1852 and a daughter Aroline Chase Pinkham in 1857. (All the Pinkham children would eventually be involved in the Pinkham medicine business.)

Like many women of her time Lydia Pinkham brewed home remedies, which she continually collected. Her remedy for "female complaints" became very popular among her neighbors to whom she gave it away. One story is that her husband was given the recipe as part payment for a debt, whatever truth may be in this the ingredients of her remedy were generally consistent with the herbal knowledge available to her through such sources as John King's American Dispensary, which she is known to have owned and used. In Lydia Pinkham's time and place the reputation of the medical profession was low. Medical fees were too expensive for most Americans to afford except in emergencies, in which case the remedies were more likely to kill than cure. For example a common "medicine" was calomel, in fact not a medicine but a deadly mercurial toxin, and this fact was even at the time sufficiently well known among the skeptical to be the subject of a popular comic song. In these circumstances there is no mystery why many preferred to trust unlicensed "root and herb" practitioners, and to trust women prepared to share their domestic remedies such as Lydia Pinkham.

Isaac Pinkham was financially ruined in the Panic of 1873, he narrowly escaped arrest for debt and his health was permanently broken by the associated stress. The fortunes of the Pinkham family had long been patchy but they now entered on hard times. Lydia sometimes accepted payment for her popular remedy for female complaints. It is reputed to have been her son Daniel who came up with the idea, in 1875 of making a family business of the remedy. Lydia initially made the remedy on her stove before its success enabled production to be transferred to a factory, she answered letters from customers and probably wrote most of the advertising copy. Mass marketed from 1876 on, Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound became one of the best known patent medicines of the 19th century. Descendants of this product are still available today. Lydia's skill was in marketing her product directly to women and her company continued her shrewd marketing tactics after her death. Her own face was on the label and her company was particularly keen on the use of testimonials from grateful women.

Advertising copy urged women to write to Mrs. Pinkham. They did, and they received answers. They continued to write and receive answers for decades after Lydia Pinkham's death. These staff-written answers combined forthright talk about women's medical issues, advice, and, of course, recommendations for her product. In 1905 the Ladies' Home Journal published a photograph of Lydia Pinkham's tombstone and exposed the ruse. The Pinkham Company insisted that it had never meant to imply that the letters were being answered by Lydia Pinkham, but by her daughter-in-law, Jennie Pinkham.

Although Pinkham's motives were partly self-serving, many modern-day feminists admire her for distributing information on menstruation and the "facts of life" and consider her to be a crusader for women's health issues in a day when women were poorly served by the medical establishment.

In 1922, Lydia's daughter Aroline Chase Pinkham Gove founded the Lydia E. Pinkham Memorial Clinic in Salem, Massachusetts. The clinic, still in operation as of 2004[update], provides health services to young mothers and their children. It is designated Site 9 of the Salem Women's Heritage Trail.

You can still purchase Lydia Pinkham Vegetable Compound today. The ingredients have been updated to meet FDA standards, but the claims of relief are the same.

The original formula for Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound was:

* Unicorn root (Aletris farinosa L.) 8 oz.
* Life root (Senecio aureus L.) 6 oz.
* Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt.) 6 oz.
* Pleurisy root (Asclepias tuberosa L.) 6 oz.
* Fenugreek seed (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) 12 oz.

Modern formula-straight from the bottle

Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon
Amount Per 1 Tablespoonful %Daily Value
Vitamin C
20 mg 33%
Vitamin E
5 mg 16.5%%
Proprietary Blend
3 g
Jamaica Dogwood (bark)

Motherwart (leaf)

Dandelion (root)

Pleurisy (root)

Glycyrrhiza (licorice root)

Black Cohosh (root)

Gentian (root)

†Daily value not established.
Ingredients: water, fructose, ascorbic acid, dogwood bark, motherwart leaf, flavor, dandelion root, alcohol 10%, pleurisy root, licorice root, salicylic acid, edetic acid, sodium benzoate, black cohosh root, dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate, BHA, butylparaben, gentian root.

Directions: Shake before using. Take 1 tablespoon 3 times a day with meals. For best results, take regularly throughout the month. If preferred, mix with fruit juice.

If you are pregnant or nursing a baby, seek the advice of a health professional before using this product.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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, March 16, 2010

FDT Tips: Introducing a Side Pull Bitless Bridle Part 2

In Part 2 of Transitioning to a Side Pull bitless bridle, Farah attaches reins and continues to do some more ground exercises to show you how to communicate with your horse before riding in your Side Pull.

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

Thursday, March 11, 2010

FDT tip: Transitioning to a Side Pull or Bitless Bridle (Natural Horsemanship)

Another great horse training video by Trainer Farah DeJohnette using the Buckaroo Leather Bitless Bridle. In this video, you will see some simple ground exercises to help you and your horse get comfortable with a Side Pull or Bitless Bridle.

See more of Farah's Natural Horsemanship training videos by clicking the link below.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Patent Medicine & Traveling Medicine Shows of the Old West

Diphtheria instantly relieved and permanently cured by using “Kurakoff, Nature’s Life Preserver.”

If you were a cowboy living in the 1800’s on the frontier in the west, you may have seen a sign with a statement like the one above.

Traveling Medicine men selling all sorts of dollar-a bottle tonics and restoratives for any matter of mental or physical ills were part of the normal scenery in an old west town.

These tonics and patent medicines were popular in the western country for many reasons,

  • Just as in society today, the cowboys and frontier men wanted a cheap, quick, painless way to reach good health.
  • Gullibility, ignorance and pure boredom were also factors.
  • The most important reason was just the fact that there was a scarcity of qualified doctors. In their absence, “granny” remedies and magic cure-all's were substituted.
  • To make matters worse, many of the elixirs were concocted by greed-inspired men who could boast a medical degree, and some of the poorly trained physicians in country practice actually prescribed the pills and potions of the traveling medicine men.

The main reason for the tonics demand was the alcohol content.

Some of the more popular tonics like Hostetter’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters had an alcohol content of 44.3% by volume. Others, like Parkers Tonic had 41.6% and Peruna had 28%.

Along with the Traveling Medicine men and their tonics, were their entertaining medicine shows. The pioneers and cowboys living in the scattered towns were very much deprived of entertainment. The shows were a natural draw. The shows typically opened with banjo or piano music, then proceeded with variety acts, minstrel skits, and sing-alongs, followed by the medicine man’s sales pitch. This cycle continued until the crowd thinned out; promising more entertainment after the sales period kept audience members in their seats. Other popular medicine show attractions included sword swallowers, fire eaters, tumblers, fortunetellers, flea circuses, magicians, strongmen, and buxom female singers.

The pioneers, mesmerized by the entertainment, forked over their hard-earned dollars for every kind of tonic, salve, or solution. And it was not just the cowboys or miners who paid for the tonics. People of all ages and walks of life, including women, and children used the patent medicines.

Which in turn, outraged the legitimate doctors. Doctors already had the daunting task of over coming the terrain and sheer distances between towns and well as the absence of public health precautions resulting in constant epidemics. Now they had to contend with the cheap easier fix for health ailments.

When the doctors were ultimately called, it was often to late for the doctor to help. The doctors were blamed for deaths that were directly or indirectly related to the Traveling Medicine men tonics.

The Traveling Medicine Men paved the way for all manner of “quackery”. The variety was limited only by the imagination of the inventors and the gullibility of the suffering. From doctors gadgets to clinics and health institutes that promised quick cures for almost everything.

In Oklahoma and Kansas before the turn of the century two fast-talking con men swindled hundreds of unsuspecting citizens (mostly women) with an imaginative patent medicine scheme. One of the “doctors” would appear in a town and spend a week or so visiting all the chronic cases, hypochondriacs and any other potential pushover’s he could find. He was glib and sympathetic, and as he chatted with them he wrote down all their symptoms, how long they had been suffering and, of course, his analysis of their ability to pay. People were pleased because he listened, and he didn’t try to force his medicines on them. Then, with his research completed, he’d leave town.

Not long after wards, his henchman would appear, and this second “doctor” would set up an office and advertise extensively in the community newspaper. Soon the same complainers came to see them. A nurse, (also part of the team) would get the patient’s name, and the “doctor” would proceed to look up the individual’s history secured the week before by his cohort.

When the victim was ushered in, the smooth talking quack would rattle off the patient’s symptoms in a wise, professional manner. The dupe, of course, would be amazed at the “doctor’s” brilliance, and when a guaranteed cure was offered-payable in advanced, of course- the response was immediate. By the time the phony physician had gone through this entire list, he would have a bundle of money, all for a few bottles of cheap tonic, which he gave to each caller as the first step in his treatment. And that would also be the last, too, because the “doctor” would suddenly disappear-off to the next frontier town where his partner had prepared a new clientele.

(The above story is from the book, “Doctors of the Old West” by Robert F. Karolevitz)

Look for future stories of the Traveling Medicine Men and life living in the old west.

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

Farah DeJohnette - Questions from the Editor

The article just came out- click on the link to see the full article!
Check it out: The Versatile Buckaroo Sidepull

Farah DeJohnette gives her insight into the Sidepull, listening to your horse, and where to start when introducing a new piece of equipment to your horse. You can view Farah's videos at These questions came from the editor at Today's Horse Trader magazine - look for the article in May.

In discussing sidepulls versus hackamores with my son, he believes that a hackamore (properly set up) pushes, while a sidepull... well, pulls. Do you have thoughts about the differences/benefits between the two?

Well, this is not a simple question because there are so many types of hackamore designs and Bosals and sidepulls. Everything from completely rope to mechanical. They all have somewhat different feels to the horse and the person. And then there's how they are fitted to the horse. My personal opinion is that each horse is different and you should pick the equipment that the horse seems to be the happiest in and gives you a feel you both like. I am not really able to comment on the push versus pull because again that goes to how you ride and use the individual piece of equipment. There are literally hundreds of rein handling techniques and styles. Some people ride in a pushing manner and some people ride in a pulling manner. Some people do neither.
As for technical differences, The obvious feel differences would be soft rope which is unstructured on a horses face, All soft leather like a side pull with a leather nose (or add a different nose material for another feel), rawhide has a more solid and stiff structure on the face, Mechanical hackamores have a lot of metal so they can have a more rigid feel, and then there's hybrid variations and millions of others in between.
As for the benefits, of side pulls? I feel the less you can use to communicate the better your horsemanship. So if you don't need a bit? Why use one? Bitless is good for horses with dental issues, or facial injuries, it's a suitable way to start a young horse or re-school a horse who's unconfident, frustrated or resentful with the bit. I have found that Side Pulls offer me a feel I really like and my horses seem to as well. Their opinion counts to me the most and so I answer to them. That's why I use a Side Pull over other bitless options.


So one more question, if you don't mind - how 'fool proof' is this side pull? Like, if I have very little skill as a rider, is this a good choice or like Pat Parelli always says, "It depends."

How Fool proof is it?
That questions denotes a lot of variables as well. A well trained horse with a learning rider would well be protected by a leather nose Side pull from inexperienced hands.
As a big believer in setting yourself up for success and not failure, I am doing short video clips about how to introduce the feel of the Side pull to your horse which will be on youtube soon. This starts with ground working in it to help the horse get accustomed to where and what the communication will feel like. At this point you will be able to evaluate how your horse responds, good or bad, from the relative safety of the ground. Then possibly work with them until you both feel confident. If it works well, I decide to mount up and try it, I do so in a round pen or arena enclosure.
When I introduce any new piece of equipment, I first try it on the ground. Then if I feel it is working positively, I will try it mounted in an enclosed area, always practicing the same things I do in any other equipment to make sure my horse and I are in sync. Then if I feel good about that, I will go out in fields or trails depending on the individual horse and our readiness.
I ask the rider to ask themselves honestly how confident they feel about going to the next step. Whatever that step may be. And of course never to be in a hurry to get there and to seek help if they are unsure or feeling unsafe.


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