Sunday afternoon I went riding with my man. It was a lovely afternoon. Not too windy, and quite warm. First, my husband wanted to pull a reata through a post.
I know! It sounds weird. But he drilled some holes through an old fencepost, then planted said post firmly in our backyard. He then threaded his reata through the holes, and pulled it with his horse. Honestly, I forget exactly what it is supposed to accomplish… I know it smooths it out and stretches it a bit to get kinks out, but beyond that, well, you’ll have to ask a buckaroo. 😉
At any rate, I helped by adding one layer of kidney fat to the reata as it went through the holes. Then made sure it didn’t kink. He pulled it approx 20 times.
(Note: the kidney fat we rendered ourselves. And boy is it a good hand-conditioner! 😀 )
Big loops and slick horns…
My buckaroo and one of his hand-made reatas.
After the reata was greased and pulled, we loaded up the horses and trailered them to the heifer pasture to ride through the pairs. There’s been some sickness among the calves, unfortunately, and we wanted to keep on top of it.
Confession: I don’t know how to doctor cattle. I am learning to spot sick ones, but I have yet to learn what meds should be given and how much. So I ride along and take pictures while my man does the doctoring. I also run errands for him, like: “Ride down along that ditch and make sure there’s no calves hiding in there, will ya?”
Sure. I can ride along a ditch. I’m good at that.
I sure enjoy being a partner to this man. He is my favorite.
My husband giving a sick calf a shot.
Oh Cisco! Why must you stick out your tongue at the camera?! You have a pretty easy life, you know.
I want to show you a bit of my husband’s leather work today. Spur leathers, specifically.
Don’t know what they are? Basically, they are a piece of leather that holds the spur onto the boot. But like most cowboy gear – they are usually made to be fashionable as well as functional.
My husband does amazing leather work. I am always impressed with the attention to detail and the quality of work he produces. Yes – I am prejudiced, 😉 but I have been to many leather shops and shows with him, and I have seen a lot of work. I still think his is outstanding.
Like any good artist – he tends to be his own worst critic – pointing out flaws. I, on the other hand – have no problem bragging him up. No problem, I tell you!
Check out the fancy silver buckles on these babies.
The thud of his hammer is often heard during tooling… For those of you new to the business – he cuts the designs into the leather using a very sharp little swivel knife, then he uses a small steel ‘stamp’ and pounds the leather down in places – to give the design a 3D effect.
Another pair of custom spurs. Beautiful. Oh wait… actually – I think these are his own spur leathers! Yes, he wears his own handwork. Rides in his own saddle, too. (cinched down with his wife’s hand-made cinch.)
Check out the gorgeous Jeremiah Watt spurs! Pretty, pretty! Here’s another pair of custom spurs. If you want to order spur leathers (or any leather item) just contact me, or shoot Cliff an email at ckcustomleather (at) gmail (dot) com.
My Cowboy works hard for a living. All cowboys and ranchers do. But after the ‘official’ workday is over, (is there such a thing on a ranch? ) he goes back out to his leather shop and continues working. I know a lot of cowboys who tinker with leather – often making or at least repairing their own tack and saddles. But My Cowboy took it a step farther, and turned his hobby into a side business. He makes custom saddles, chaps, tack, belts… you name it.
This is the first in a series of posts shining a spotlight on his work. He specializes in pairing aesthetics with function. He can carve leather beautifully, but it’s not finished til the chaps fit right, the tack is made of the best leather, or the saddle seat is as smooth as butter.
Here is a pair of custom, two-tone armitas he made for a rancher’s wife here in Wyoming. I really like them. When my babies grow up a little, and I start riding enough to justify it – I want a pair very similar to these. Just pretty. That’s what they are.
What is your favorite style of chaps? Have you ever had a custom pair made for you?