Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to Fit Your Western Breast Collar

Western Breast Collars have a very simple but useful purpose. They keep your saddle from sliding back and help the saddle to stay in the best fitting position on your horses back.

The fitting position is also determined by how how well your saddle fits on your horse, the better your saddle fits the less it will move around. So be sure you start with a quality saddle that has a proper fit.

Your decision on which type of Breast Collar to use will be based upon the type of riding you do and your personal preference.

The wider the Breast Collar the more the pressure is spread out across the chest.

Here is a list of the Styles of Breast Collars used for different various types of horse riding:

A breast Collar with a Narrow-1"style- used for a Flat trail, Show ring, or Light performance,

Endurance equestrian sports where lightweight is a factor...

A Breast Collar with a Mid size-1 1/2"-2"- used for a Mountain trail, Barrel racing, Gymkhana,
Cutting, any medium to high performance events.

A Breast Collar with a Wide width of- 2-3"- for Packing, Roping, Ranch branding work, High performance were you will need to dally on your horn.

You have many styles available to match your saddle or personal preference with beautiful hand tooling, stamping, and conchas or rawhide braiding.

Lets talk about fit. Most of the Breast Collars on the market today fit around on the shoulders and connect to the cincha ring. Riders are discovering that this fit is a little restrictive and rubs across the shoulder.

Many saddles now come with a dee ring mounted up higher on the front, for a better Breast collar position up over the shoulder at the base of the neck. Like an old harness collar for pulling a wagon.

An analogy would be the fit of your back pack. If the shoulder straps fall down onto your upper arm it is very uncomfortable.

This over the shoulder fit at the base of the neck is becoming very popular!

Different Breast Collar styles are being made To fit this way--

Many now have an over the neck strap which connects at the upper rings on the Breast collar and goes up over the neck between the saddle and the mane holding the Breast Collar up for proper fit. This strap can be purchased separately.

Some are called Buckaroo Breast Collar, Nevada Breast Collar, Old Martingale Breast Collar, and pulling Breast Collar.

The pulling breast collar pictured on the right is designed to fit any saddle as it wraps up through and around the pommel with one strap on each side of the horn fitting any saddle... even without the upper front Dee rings on your saddle.

This style breast collar is ideal for all medium to ultra high performance events.

Quality Finished Leather Breast Collars are extremely important due to the pressure on the front of your horse. When manufactured the edges of the Breast Collar must be finished off and rubbed down so there are no sharp edges to prevent chaffing.

Always check your Quality Leather Horse Tack for safety reasons and make sure there is not any build up of hair, sweat or dirt on the underside against your horses hair as this can chaff and create problems.

Buckaroo Leather has quality American Made Breast Collars on sale in our Valentine Specials category..... take a look at this......

Breast Collar Old Martingale style "Choker"

Price: $171.50
You Save: $21.00

Hand crafted from the finest Hermann Oak Rough Out Oiled Golden Bridle Leather w/ chap lining, this Old Martingale style shaped breast collar (some in the sage call it a "CHOKER") 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.

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, January 22, 2011

The History of American West Cattle Branding

History of Cattle Branding

Cattle/Livestock branding is a technique for marking cattle/livestock so as to identify the owner. In English lexicon, the word “brand” originally meant anything hot or burning, such as a firebrand, a burning stick.

The origin of cattle branding dates from 2700 B.C. Paintings in Egyptian tombs document branding oxen with hieroglyphics. Ancient Greeks and Romans marked livestock and slaves with a hot iron.

By the European Middle Ages, branding commonly identified the process of burning a mark into stock animals with thick hides, such as cattle, so as to identify ownership. The practice became particularly widespread in nations with large cattle grazing regions, such as Spain.

Hernando Cortez introduced branding from Spain to the New World in 1541. When Hernán Cortés experimented with cattle breeding during the late sixteenth century in the valley of Mexicalzimgo, south of modern Toluca, Mexico, he branded his cattle. His brand, three Latin crosses, may have been the first brand used in the Western Hemisphere. As cattle raising grew, in 1537 the crown ordered the esta
blishment of a stockmen's organization called Mesta throughout New Spain. Each cattle owner had to have a different brand, and each brand had to be registered in what undoubtedly was the first brand book in the Western Hemisphere, kept at Mexico City.

The original Spanish brands were, as a rule, complicated, and beautifully rich in design, but not always practical. The early Spanish brands in Texas were more generally pictographs than letters. Most of the early Spanish brands found in the Bexar and Nacogdoches archives are pictographs made with curlicues
and pendants. A cattle raiser would compose his own brand. When his first son acquired his cattle, a curlicue or pendant was added to the father's brand, and as other sons acquired their own cattle, additional curlicues or pendants were added to what became the family brand. Only a few Spanish brands found in the Bexar and Nacogdoches archives are made of letters.

The early American ranchers wanted more simple designs that were easy to remember, easily made, that did not blotch, and that
were hard to alter. There has never been anything to take the place of a visible brand as a permanent definitive mark of ownership and deterrent to theft. Livestock people say "a brand's something that won't come off in the wash." In the American west, cattle branding evolved into a complex marking system still in use today.

The European customs were impo
rted to the Americas and were further refined by the vaquero tradition in what today is the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

Cattle Branding in the American West

In the American West, a branding iron consisted of an iron rod with a simple symbol or mark, which cowboys heated in a fire. After the branding iron turned red-hot, the cowboy pressed the branding iron against the hide of the cow. The unique brand meant that cattle owned by multiple ranches could then graze freely together on the open range. Cowboys could then separate the cattle at round-up time for driving to market.

One of the most serious criminal offenses in the old west and today’s cattle country is rustling, the stealing of another man's cattle. Rustlers often change brands in an attempt to transfer ownership of herds. They use a “running iron”—a round-surfaced piece of metal, which can be heated and used to trace a freehand change in the original brand. In the early days, a saddle cinch ring was often used as a running iron. It was easy to carry, and could be handled by placing a green tree branch through the center. Old-time justice for apprehended rustlers was swift and sure. The penalty for getting caught running a brand was usually a “necktie party” held beneath the nearest tree.

There's an interesting story about one rustling case that was solved by Roy Bean of Langtry, Texas. Bean, although he had no official authority for his actions, set himself up as “The Law West of the Pecos.” When a nearby rancher from the Bar S spread complained of losing calves, “Judge” Bean went to work on the case.

He rode out on the range and returned abo
ut a week later with a stranger and some 20 head of steers in tow. The cattle all bore the 48 brand which the stranger claimed was his registered mark.

Court was convened on the porch of Bean's store
and saloon. As Exhibit A in the trial, Bean shot one of the freshly branded 48 steers and peeled back the hide. On the animal's flesh, the blackish Bar S showed quite plainly. Over the Bar S were fresh burns which turned the original brand into a 48. This conclusive evidence sealed the doom of the unlucky stranger, and he was soon swinging from a nearby cottonwood tree.

Cattle Brands became so numerous that it became necessary to record them in books that the ranchers could carry in their pockets. Brand books followed no standard size or pattern—they were as individualized as their owner. Some of the wealthier cattlemen carried handsome leather-bound volumes filled with elaborate notes—while the ordinary cowboy packed a cheap paper tablet, curled and stained from use.

However, the contents of each book were much
the same. They contained brands of local herds, reports of stolen cattle, rough maps of cattle drives and other trail information that the cowboy needed for ready reference.

Laws were passed requiring the registration of brands and the inspection of cattle driven through various territories. Penalties were imposed on those who failed to obtain a bill of sale with a list of brands on the animals purchased.

No law dictated the exact spot on a cow's hide for the branding, yet through the years the left side of the animal, especially the hip, became the customary spot. Nowhere in old documents or recollections does anyone say why the left side was chosen, but the recollections of some old-time cowboys suggest that cattle have a peculiar habit of milling more to the left than to the right; hence brands on their left sides would be more visible to cowboys inside the roundup herds. Still other cowboys recalled that cattle were branded on their left hips "because persons read from left to right" and thus read "from the head toward the tail." As one cowboy added, "A right-handed roper would ride slightly to the left of the animal and could see the brand better if it were on that side." Regardless of the reason for the position of a brand on an animal, the position was recorded in brand books.

Free-range or open range grazing is less common today than in the past. However, branding still has its uses. The main purpose is in proving ownership of lost or stolen animals. Many western US states have strict laws regarding brands, including brand registration and required brand inspections. In many cases, a brand on an animal is considered “proof of ownership.” In the hides and leather industry, brands are treated as
a defect, and can diminish the value of the hide. This industry has a number of traditional terms relating to the type of brand on a hide.

Colorado Branded (slang Collie) refers to placem
ent of a brand on the side of an animal, although this does not necessarily indicate the animal is from Colorado. Butt branded refers to a hide which has had a brand placed on the portion of the skin covering the rump area of the animal. Cleanskin is the term used to describe an animal without a brand.

The traditional cowboy or ranch hand captured an
d secured an animal for branding by roping it, laying it over on the ground, tying its legs together, and applying a branding iron that had been heated in a fire. Modern ranch practice has moved toward use of chutes where animals can be run into a confined area and safely secured while the brand is applied.

Types of Cattle Brands and How to Read Them

Most cattle brands in the United States are composed of capital letters of the alphabet, numerals, pictures, and characters such as slash /, circle O, half-circle , cross +, _bar, etc., with many combination's and adaptations. Letters can be used singly, joined, or in combination's. They can be upright, XIT XIT ; lying down or "lazy," (lazy S); connected VB connected( V B connected) or combined,VB combined (V B combined); reversed, reverse B (reverse B); or hanging V hanging S (V hanging S). Figures or numbers are used in the same way as the letters.

Brands of this type have a specialized language for "calling" the brand. Some owners prefer to use simple pictures; these brands are “called” using a short description of the picture.

Picture brands are usually used alone, for example ladder brand (ladder) or rising sun (rising sun).

Reading a brand aloud is referred to as “calling the brand“.

There are three accepted rules for reading brands.

1. Read from the left to the right as ML (M L).

2. Read from the top to the bottom as bar M (bar m).

3. When the brand is enclosed, it is read from the outside to the inside as circle S(circle S).

The reading of a brand, especially the more complicated ones, in one locality or state may not correspond to the way it is read elsewhere.

Reading Brands

A definite method of identifying characters has been established. If a letter or symbol is made backwards from its normal position, it's read as a “reverse F” or whatever other letter it might be. A letter partially over on its face or back is said to be “tumbling.” If a letter lies horizontally on its face or back, it is called “lazy.” Letters with a curving flare at the top and rounded angles are called “running.” Adding a dash to the left an
d one to the right at the top, you have a "flying" letter. Add legs and it becomes a “walking” letter. A letter placed so that the bottom touches the inside of a curve is said to be “rocking.” Curves not attached to letters are known as “quarter circles” or “half circles,” depending on the arc. Letters or symbols formed together are called “connected,” except when one is below the other, then the lower symbol is said to be “swinging.” In registering brands, owners sometimes omit the “connected” or “swinging” Thus, might be read simply Diamond J rather than Diamond Swinging J.

Besides the traditional letter and figure brands, there are some marks known as “character brands.” Other common picture brands are the pitchfork and the key . The reading of picture brands depends upon the owner’s interpretation, and it takes an expert to identify some of the more complex brands. Below are some symbols which are commonly used in brands.

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, January 20, 2011

Review of the Buckaroo Leather Side Pull Western Bridle

Buckaroo Leather is proud to have an unsolicited review of our Buckaroo Professional Side Pull Western Bridle.

The review is on the website-Horse Tack Review

The Horse Tack Review website is not just for reviews on both Western horse tack and English, but you can find helpful articles on horse grooming, barns and stables, horse care, horse training, news and events, and Western and English articles.

You can also read reviews for horse gear and barns and stables.

Buckaroo Leather is excited to have this review and would invite all our Buckaroo Leather customers to leave a review, if you do leave a review, post it on the Buckaroo Leather Facebook fan page and we will send you a set of Buckaroo Cowboy Leather Coasters!

Remember 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
Buckaroo Leather Shopping Site

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Valentine Specials on Leather Horse Tack

Valentine Specials from Buckaroo Leather on some
Hot Leather Horse Tack

Valentines day is Feb 14th. Get your Sweetheart what they want -
quality American made leather horse tack.

Bridles, Headstalls, Breast Collars, Sidepulls, Leather Reins, are all on sale!!!
Take a look at a few of the deals below:

Batwing Shotgun Style Chap CHK#10

Price: $344.00
Sale: $311.00
You Save: $33.00

Once you use this Full Grain Leather Chap you will use no other! Batwing Chap in Full Grain Leather in Brown Earth Tones. This Hand Crafted Chap has an amazing extra special Glovey Feel! for that Broke in Feel.

Breast Collar Set with Clear Swarovski Cystals

Price: $389.00
Sale: $340.00
You Save: $49.00

Beautiful Hand tooled Oak pattern 5/8" browband headstall, double & stitched featuring a scalloped browband and cheek pieces. This headstall is finished with 1 1/2" genuine Swarovski crystal antique conchas at the brow, 5/8" Buckles & 1" conchas with chicago screw attachment for easy change at the bit end.

Breast Collar Old Martingale Style Choker

Price: $171.50
Sale: $150.50
You Save: $21.00

Hand crafted from the finest Hermann Oak Rough Out Oiled Golden Bridle Leather w/ chap lining, this Old Martingale style shaped breast collar (some in the sage call it a "CHOKER") 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.

Buckaroo Bridle

Price: $338.00
Sale: $287.00
You Save: $51.00

This 3/4" Buckaroo Old West Style Bridle Set is hand crafted of the finest Hermann Oak Harness leather, it features a shaped brow, scalloped cheek pieces with easy change buckles at bit connection on headstall & reins then is finished with Hand Engraved Silver Conchas, decorative stitching and nickel buckles. Matching harness reins are also finished with Hand Engraved Silver Conchas, decorative stitching Nickel Plate buckles; reins are available in 5/8" or 3/4" and 7' or 8' lengths.

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, January 8, 2011

Tack Tip from Denny Chapman-How to Fit Your Latigo Cinch Strap

Watch horse trainer Denny Chapman attach his Buckaroo Leather Latigo Cinch Strap the proper secure way. Denny will show you the proper loop for your Latigo Cinch Strap to ensure best communication between you and your horse and the proper fit. You will also see the proper attachment of the Buckaroo Leather Alpaca Cinch.

Remember 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
Buckaroo Leather Shopping Site

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lucille Mulhall-the Fist American Cowgirl!

Equally skilled with rifle, lariat and horse, a teenager from Oklahoma named Lucille Mulhall became America’s first cowgirl. Lucille Mulhall was born on October 21, 1885, in St. Louis, Missouri to Colonel Zack and Agnes Mulhall. There were other horsewomen, of course, like those who rode in William F. "Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Wild West shows, but none were cowgirls.

Lucille Mulhall has been given many different titles. Rodeo Queen, Queen of the Western Prairie, Queen of the Saddle, American's Greatest Horse Woman. But there is no doubt that she was American's First Cowgirl.

Will Rogers wrote that Lucille's achievement in competition with cowboys was the 'direct start of what has since come to be known as the Cowgirl'. He continued to write, “there was no such a word up to then as Cowgirl”. It was coined to describe her after she beat dozens of cowboys in a 1904 cattle-roping competition that set world records.

Native American tribes still roamed the open grassland of the Mulhall Ranch when Lucille was growing up. Wolves prowled the prairie, preying on the Mulhall livestock. Cowhands were a vital part of ranching; roping, branding, round-ups and shooting were practical skills instead of pastimes. The little blonde girl with blue-gray eyes was an eager student for the ranch hands and cowboys who lived in the bunkhouses of the Mulhall spread. Lucille, instead of learning piano or sewing like her sisters, learned to toss a lariat and tie a steer. Lucille learned her horsemanship and skills from the Cowboys who rode the cattle drives of the Old West.

Lucille Mulhall was a cowgirl long before she entertained crowds with feats of horsemanship on Governor, her trained horse. By the age of 7, she was riding around her father’s 80,000-acre ranch. Cowboys who rode the plains of the Indian Territories tutored her in the art of lassoing. Zack Mulhall claimed that when his daughter was 13, he told her she could keep as many of his steers as she could rope in one day. Lucille, he bragged, didn’t quit until she lassoed more than 300 cattle! "By the age of fourteen,” the New York Times reported, "She could break a bronco and shoot a coyote at 500 yards.” Teddy Roosevelt was among Lucille’s fans. While campaigning in Oklahoma as a vice presidential candidate in 1900, Roosevelt first saw the blonde teenager perform. It was the Fourth of July, and Lucille roped in front of a crowd of 25,000 people at a "Cowboy Tournament.” The Daily Oklahoman reported, "Roosevelt was most enchanted with the daring feats of Lucille Mulhall.” "She rode beautifully throughout the contest and lassoed the wildest steer in the field.”

Teddy Roosevelt was so dazzled by the 14-year-old’s skills that he invited the Mulhalls to join him and a select group of Rough Rider veterans at a private dinner. That night Lucille gave the hero of the charge up San Juan Hill the silk scarf she had worn during the Cowboy Tournament.

When Zack Mulhall reciprocated the dinner invitation by asking Roosevelt to stay at his ranch, Teddy readily accepted. After watching Lucille’s daredevil antics on the ranch, Roosevelt encouraged her father to get her more exposure. "Zack, before the girl dies or gets married or cuts up some other caper,” Roosevelt reportedly said, "you ought to put her on the stage and let the world see what she can do.” During that same visit, Roosevelt spent time in the saddle riding alongside Lucille. He saw a gray wolf at a distance, which whetted his appetite for the hunt. The wolf eluded Roosevelt that day, but it didn’t escape Lucille. After Roosevelt left, she hunted down the predator. By one account, she dispatched it with a shot from her Winchester, but in another version she lassoed the creature and clubbed it to death. The pelt was sent to Roosevelt, who displayed it in the White House after he and McKinley won the presidential election that fall. Roosevelt later gave Lucille a saddle and an 1873 Winchester .44-40 that had been presented to him.

Lucille Mulhall, was the first well known cowgirl. She competed with 'real' cowboys - the range hardened cowboys accustomed to riding for days in the saddle; the cowboys who spent many hours branding cattle. Her expert roping skills were a natural talent honed by the skills of another natural roper - Will Rogers. She not only was an expert at using the lariat but she had a natural gift of working with horses. She trained horses to respond to the roping of a steer as well as how to perform a number of what she called 'tricks.' Her trained horses she called 'high schooled horses' and one was particularly famous: "Governor."

She claimed her horse, Governor, knew at least forty tricks. He could pull off a man's coat and put it on again, could walk upstairs and down again, a difficult feat. He could sit with his forelegs crossed, could lie down and do just about everything but talk.

In 1904 Lucille competed against the best cowhands from across the Southwest in a roping contest at Dennison, Texas. In this competition she won a belt buckle, declaring her to be the World's Champion Lady Roper. She won three solid gold medals in Texas for steer roping, a trophy for winning a Cutting Horse contest as well as many other medals, trophies and honors. At the turn of the twentieth century Lucille Mulhall was American's greatest cowgirl.

While still in her early teens, Lucille was the top cowboy performer in the West. Extremely feminine, soft-spoken, and well educated, she seemed a paradox, for she was so steel-muscled she could beat strong and talented men at their own games. She could have been a society belle, but she loved the rough, dangerous life of a cowboy. Had she been a man, she would have been content to work on a ranch, but as a woman she was a novelty and the only way she could make use of her singular talents was in show business. The term cowgirl was invented to describe her when she took the East by storm in her first appearance at Madison Square Garden (in 1905). "Against these bronzed and war-scarred veterans of the plains, a delicately featured blonde girl appeared,” a 1905 New York Times profile intoned. "Slight of figure, refined and neat in appearance, attired in a becoming riding habit for hard riding, wearing a picturesque Mexican sombrero and holding in one hand a lariat of the finest cowhide, Lucille Mulhall comes forward to show what an eighteen-year-old girl can do in roping steers.”

In 3 minutes and 36 seconds, she lassoed and tied three steers. "The veteran cowboys did their best to beat it,” the New York Times reported, "but their best was several seconds slower than the girl’s record-breaking time. The cowboys and plainsmen who were gathered in large numbers to witness the contest broke into tremendous applause when the championship gold medal was awarded to the slight, pale-faced girl, and from that day to this Miss Mulhall has been known far and wide throughout the West as the Queen of the Range.”

Lucille had set a new world record. She won a gold medal and a $10,000 prize. Just as she had dazzled Teddy Roosevelt, Lucille now entranced journalists. Newspapers showered her with titles like "Daring Beauty of the Plains” and "Deadshot Girl,” but the one that stuck was "Original Cowgirl.”

Lucille’s career took her to Europe, where she performed for heads of state and royalty. She officially retired in 1917 at age 32. Live Wild West performances were being eclipsed by the rise of Hollywood westerns. Ironically, many of the stars of silent movies, including "King of the Cowboys” Tom Mix, got their start in Zack Mulhall’s Congress of Rough Riders. But as late as the 1930s, Lucille still did exhibition riding on the Mulhall Ranch.

Throughout her life, Lucille remained captivated by show business and more loyal to her father than to any other man. Her two marriages ended in divorce, and she rarely saw her son, born in 1909, because she was always on tour. Though Lucille was a top draw at Wild West shows and had run her own company, "Lucille Mulhall's Round-up," many people considered her an ineffective wife and mother because she had never learned to do "woman's work."

Although Wild West shows became less popular and less financially viable starting in the mid 1910s, Lucille and her brother Charley continued to perform in them through the 1930s. Show attendance dwindled, as did the number of performers. Despite the lack of publicity being given to wild west shows in the shadow of the polio epidemic, the United States' entry into World War I, and then the Great Depression, Lucille seemed unable to pull herself away from the limelight. She made her last known public appearance in September of 1940.

Lucille went back to work at her families ranch, which was located fourteen miles north of Guthrie, Oklahoma, on highway 77. The Mulhall ranch at one time encompassed 80,000 acres of land, much of which was unclaimed land. In addition some land was leased. The original ranch began with 160 acres claimed at the 1889 Oklahoma Land Opening. The Mulhall family operated their show and cattle business from this ranch and had many visitors. Some of their famous visitors were President Theodore Roosevelt, Will Rogers, Tom Mix and even the outlaw Henry Starr. Geronimo also was an admirer of Lucille's talent and gave her a beaded vest and a decorated Indian bow.

Lucille Mulhall died less than a mile from the Mulhall Ranch in an automobile accident on December 21, 1940. She was only 55 years old. In December 1975, she was posthumously inducted into the National Rodeo Hall of Fame.

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

Monday, January 3, 2011

Team Roping Equipment and History

Team roping also known as, heading and heeling, is a rodeo event that features a steer and two mounted riders. The communication and teamwork between the header and the heeler is vital to a successful team. But, if you do not have a properly trained horse or the proper horse tack to allow for good communication to your horse, the team will not be successful.

Team roping is a huge draw in rodeo events. To watch the teamwork and skill between riders and horse is an exciting display of horsemanship of both present day Cowboys and the Cowboys of the Old West.

Below is a description of the Team Roping Event

The first roper is referred to as the "header.” The header is the person who ropes the front of the steer, usually around the horns, then turns the steer so its hind legs can be roped by the second person the "heeler.”

Steers used for roping are moved from a holding corral through a series of narrow runways that lead to the roping arena. The runways allow the steers to be lined up in single file. Then, one at a time, a steer is moved into a chute with spring loaded doors in front and a solid gate behind, so that only one animal is released at a time. On each side of the chute is an area called the box it is big enough to hold a horse and a rider.

The header is on one side (usually the left, for a right-handed header) and the heeler, will start from the box on the other side of the chute. A taut rope, called the barrier, runs in front of the header's box and is fastened to an easily released rope on the neck of the steer of a designated length, used to ensure that the steer gets a head start. An electronic barrier, consisting of an electric eye connected to a timing device, is sometimes used in place of th e barrier rope. When the header is ready, he or she calls for the steer and an assistant pulls a lever, opening the chute doors. The freed steer breaks out running. When the steer reaches the end of the rope, the barrier releases.

The header must rope the steer with one of three legal catches: a clean horn catch around both horns, a neck catch around the neck or a half-head catch around the neck and one horn. The header then takes a dally-a couple of wraps of the rope around the horn of the saddle. Once the header has made the dally, the rider turns the horse, usually to the left, and the ste er will follow, still running. The heeler waits until the header has turned the steer. When he or she has a clear throw, the heeler throws a loop of rope under the running steer's hind legs and catches them. As soon as the heeler also dallies tight, the header turns his or her horse to directly face the steer and heeler. Both horses back up slightly to stretch out the steer's hind legs, immobilizing the animal. As soon as the steer is stretched out, an official waves a flag and the time is taken. The steer is released and trots off.

There is a 5 second penalty for roping only one hind leg and a 10 second penalty for breaking the barrier. Team roping is the only rodeo event where men and women compete equally together in a professionally sanctioned competition, in both single gender and mixed gender teams.

A successful professional-level team takes between 4 and 12 seconds to stretch the steer, depending on the length of the arena. At lower levels, a team may take longer, particularly if the heeler misses the first throw and has to try again. At higher levels, the header and the heeler are allowed only one throw each, if either misses, the team gets no score.

Team Roping History

Team roping grew out of the cowboys working on the ranches in the old west. It was necessary to capture and restrain a full-grown animal that was too large to handle by a single man. Larger cattle would have to be immobilized for branding and doctoring by two ropers due to their strength and size. Today, as in the old west, team roping is a timed event that relies on the cooperation and skill of the cowboys and their horses.

Horses used in Team Roping

Another important aspect to the event is the type of horses used by the ropers. The American quarter horse is the most popular among all timed-event competitors, particularly team ropers. Heading horses generally are taller and heavier because they need the power to turn the steer after it is roped. Heeling horses are quick and agile, enabling them to better follow the steer and react to its moves.

Horse Equipment used by Team Ropers

Rope - used to rope the steer. The rope is made of synthetic fibers, or a more traditional cowboy rope is made from rawhide. The Header ropes are 30ft long and are soft. The Heelers ropes are 35ft long and stiffer than the Headers ropes.

Lariat Rope- (lasso) is a loop of rope that is designed to be thrown around a target and tighten when pulled. It is also a well known tool of the American Cowboy.

Pulling Breast Collar- Pulling breast collars are popular among Western riders, particularly ropers. Instead of crossing a horse's chest from side-to-side like some other styles, pulling breast collars sit just above the line of a horse's shoulders and buckle around the pommel of the saddle. This style of Breast Collar allows the horse more freedom of shoulder movement and better leverage when pulling.

Roping Breast Collar with an over the neck Wither Strap- this will have the best up and over the shoulder fit for a good pulling position for the horse and rider.

Nosebands and Roping Tie Downs-used to help keep the horses head down and out of your line of sight.

Roping gloves
- Used to prevent rope burns on the hands of the ride rs.

A Western saddle
- a particularly strong design with double rigging and other specialized features, including a rubber wrap around the saddle horn to keep the dally from slipping.

A good quality Roping Mohair Cincha is required for the best support.A wider Western Roping Flank Cincha is also best to hold the back of your saddle down when dallied.

Quality Leather Roping Reins and a leather Bridle.

Team Roping Techniques

Headers swing their loops overhead in a smooth, flat motion, aim for the back of the steer's head and release the loop. When the roper releases, he or she is to stop the hand open, flat, and palm down at the point where the loop is thrown.

Heelers use a different technique; a right-handed heeler will twirl the loop on the left side of the rider's body, always keeping the tip of the loop on the left side so that when the loop is thrown, it will go under the steer. Heeling is all about timing; the tip of the loop has to be at its lowest point as the steer's legs are coming forward. The lay of the loop is also very important; it should stand up against the steer's legs with the bottom loop on the ground so the steer will jump right into it.

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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