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A Cowboy Salute to Veterans
A Cowboy Salute to Veterans
Posted by AA Callister on 11/11/2013
Today is Veterans Day, and everyone at AA Callister would like to take this moment to thank those who have fought so valiantly to preserve our freedoms. 

When Veterans Day (then called Armistice Day) was first instituted by President Wilson, he said, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” 

We take this opportunity to show our sympathy, as well as our gratitude for the service of all of our veterans and their families.
Wearing Jewelry The Western Way
Wearing Jewelry The Western Way
Posted by AA Callister on 10/29/2013

If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent the entire summer in shorts and a t-shirt, even ignoring your favorite cowboy boots for a pair of flip-flops. The weather is cooling down now, giving us the opportunity to return to our favorite western wear trends. When you’re revamping your fall wardrobe, don’t forget to keep an eye out for some eye-catching western jewelry to polish off your look. Cowboys, don’t leave all the fancy stuff for the cowgirls. There are plenty of pieces to compliment your style as well.

Turn Heads in Tin Haul Boots
Turn Heads in Tin Haul Boots
Posted by AA Callister on 10/15/2013

Founded in 2008, Tin Haul Boots are the new kids on the block, but they’ve made quite a splash. Quality meets outrageous style in so many different varieties, there’s something for everyone. The founders of Tin Haul were looking to incorporate urban and surfer styles into their western boots, and they’ve done a remarkable job. If you’re looking to kick up your country style, Tin Haul makes a boot to help you do that.


Pick a Pattern


The designers at Tin Haul are constantly coming up with new ideas, and turning them into some pretty fabulous boots. Whether you’re looking for a specific theme (Pirates, Panda Bears), or a simple, yet unique pattern (plaid, polka dots), Tin Haul should be the first place you check.

Choosing the Best Cowboy Boots for Riding
Choosing the Best Cowboy Boots for Riding
Posted by AA Callister on 9/26/2013

Whether you’re headed out for a night of dancing, or a morning of bailing hay, there’s a cowboy boot made to make you comfortable while you’re doing it. Different brands and styles of boots are designed to serve different purposes, just like with any other type of shoe. There are some specific features to look for when choosing riding boots that will help you to be more comfortable in the saddle.


Finding the Right Fit


No matter what you’ll be using your cowboy boots for, a proper fit is essential. Last month we posted a boot fitting guide that has all the details, but here are a few reminders

Ariat Brand Highlight
Ariat Brand Highlight
Posted by AA Callister on 9/12/2013

Ariat LogoWhile the old style cowboy brands are often the ones that come to mind first, there’s a new kid in town, turning heads with its top-of-the line riding boots and apparel. Ariat started in 1993 and has spent the past 20 years making a name as a producer of high-quality footwear and clothing geared toward high performance for equestrian athletes.


Getting Started


Ariat was founded in 1993 by Pam Parker and Beth Cross, with the goal of providing a new kind of footwear for riders.

Justin Boots Brand Highlight
Justin Boots Brand Highlight
Posted by A.A. Callisters on 8/19/2013

Justin Boots is one of the top names in footwear for cowboy and work boots because of its reputation for quality and comfort. Justin Boots designers have proved, throughout the company’s history, that they know how to make lasting boots.


History


Justin Boots started in 1879 when one man, H.J. Justin, set up shop in Spanish Fort, Texas and began making boots out of his home. His business steadily grew, really picking up when he moved to Nocona, Texas to be near the railroad.

Finding the Right Fit for Cowboy Boots
Finding the Right Fit for Cowboy Boots
Posted by A.A. Callisters on 8/5/2013

A good pair of cowboy boots will last you a long time, so it?s important that you choose a pair that fit you. Cowboy boots can be your best friend if you have the right ones. Each brand and style differs, so take a moment when you buy a new pair to find the perfect fit.


Before you begin shopping for boots, have your feet measured to determine your shoe size. Sometimes one foot is a little bigger than the other, so you need to have both of them measured. If one is bigger, buy boots in the bigger size.

Summer Western Wear
Summer Western Wear
Posted by A.A. Callisters on 6/15/2013
western fashion

Summertime is here, and it’s time to update your look for the season. Western trends are hot right now, and the urban cowboy is definitely in. This is the best season for cowboys and cowgirls to let loose a little and let their casual side show. Here are some ideas to turn your western wardrobe from a day of working the ranch to a warm night out on the town:

The weather is warm and now is the perfect opportunity for you to show a little skin. Leaving your legs bare is a fun way to highlight your favorite cowboy boots, which can be very nicely coupled with shorts, skirts and dresses. Something made from lightweight material and flowy is perfect for dressing up or down.

Western Saddles
Western Saddles
Posted by A.A. Callisters on 6/15/2013

Western Saddles

Western saddles are built for the movement and activity that comes along with riding a trail and working a ranch. Western sports, such as rodeo events can put some miles on a saddles too, which is why western saddles are some of the toughest and most durable styles available. There are several different styles within the western saddle category that are made to suit specific activities.

A saddle that is made for trail riding needs to be lightweight and have room for your gear. Trail and pleasure saddles have extra leather ties that you can attach your gear to. They also have a light weight tree and in-skirt rigging to make the horse more comfortable on a long ride. The cantle can be either high, or low. depending on the rider’s preference, with the high cantle providing more protection and the low being more comfortable.

History of Country Music
History of Country Music
Posted by A.A. Callisters on 5/23/2013

country musicWestern music got its start in the 1800s when Americans began spreading out into the frontier. During this time, anything west of the Appalachian mountains was considered “out west,” and the adventurous souls who were pushing this boundary were singing as they went. These early western songs were influenced by a European heritage from countries like Ireland and Scotland where singing about the land was a longtime tradition. Traveling with a fiddle, guitar, or harmonica is much easier than traveling with a piano, so these instruments quickly became the trademarks of western music.

Cowboys around campfires and lovely lady homesteaders hosting barn parties were the artists responsible for early western music. It wasn’t until the 1930s that radio became a household commodity and western music began spreading across the country. Hollywood cowboys like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry were some of the first to record cowboy songs for radio, which caught on like wildfire. At the same time that western music was taking root out west, hillbilly music of the Appalachians and Mexican-influenced music of the southwest were also gaining popularity. These genres meshed well together and were combined to make what became referred to as country music once recordings and radio hit the scene.

Summer Rodeos in Utah
Summer Rodeos in Utah
Posted by A.A. Callisters on 5/13/2013

Utah rodeoRodeo season is upon us and the cowboys and cowgirls are ready to head into town. Summertime in Utah brings a whole slew of western events, including several rodeos. We’re posting some of the upcoming events between now and the end of July so you won’t miss out on any of the fun!

Below is a list of upcoming rodeos and the cities where they will be held:

Saddle Care
Saddle Care
Posted by A.A. Callisters on 4/30/2013

western saddleA good saddle is a substantial purchase and you want to make sure you get your money’s worth.  Properly caring for your saddle will extend its life and, more importantly, it will keep it functioning comfortably for both you and your horse. The way you clean, condition, and store your saddle all have an impact on how well it wears over the years.

Cleaning
Caring for leather is just like caring for skin, so you don’t want to use any harsh chemicals like bleach or alcohol to clean your saddle. A damp cloth is usually all it takes to clean the dirt off of your saddle each time you ride. It’s best to wipe down your saddle every time you use it. If it gets really dirty, use a mild soap and water mix. You should also periodically take all of the tack apart to clean under buckles and fasteners and check the condition of all the parts.

Cowboy Hat Care
Cowboy Hat Care
Posted by A.A. Callisters on 4/23/2013
cowboy hatCowboy hats are great for protecting both your neck and face from the elements when you’re out riding. They are also the perfect addition to any western outfit. Once you find the perfect hat and get it broken in, you will want to do everything you can to make it last a long time. Properly caring for you cowboy hat will ensure that it maintains its shape and stays looking great and protecting your head for as long as possible.

How your cowboy hat is stored when you’re not wearing it has a lot to do with how well it will hold its shape. Your hat should never be set down on the brim; instead it should be set down on the crown. Leaving your hat in a hot place, like inside your car, can cause it to shrink and lose its shape. If you wear it every day, place it on a hat rack at the end of the day. If you won’t be wearing your hat for a while, store it in a hat box. It’s a good idea to flip the sweatband down when your hat is not being worn so the sweat and oil that accumulates there can evaporate instead of being absorbed by the hat.
Caring for Cowboy Boots
Caring for Cowboy Boots
Posted by A.A. Callisters on 4/16/2013
cowboy boot careProperly caring for cowboy boots is a simple way to maintain their comfort and durability and extend their use. Most cowboy boots are made from leather and they require proper cleaning and nourishment to remain in top condition, just like your skin does. To keep boots looking and functioning at their best, follow a routine of cleaning, conditioning, polishing and protecting them.

It’s important to clean boots as soon as possible after they’ve been exposed to mud or dirt. When mud dries onto the boots, it dries them out and makes them more prone to cracking. Dirt can be cleaned off with a soft brush or a damp cloth, depending on the type of leather. Suede needs a special nylon brush to take dirt off and you need to be careful not to go against the grain of the scales on snakeskin boots. Consult the manufacturer's instructions to determine what type of brush or cloth should be used with your boots.

Exotic Boot Leathers
Exotic Boot Leathers
Posted by A.A. Callisters on 4/11/2013
snakeskin cowboy bootCowhide leather is the most popular choice for cowboy boots, but they are also available in several other exotic leathers. There are several different types to choose from, and each one is very unique in color, pattern and texture.
Sombreros to Stetsons: A History of Early Cowboy Hats
Sombreros to Stetsons: A History of Early Cowboy Hats
Posted by AA Callister on 3/21/2013

cowboy hatAmerican cowboys were trailblazers and homesteaders who worked hard to cultivate an untamed land. They weren’t the first ones here, however. For centuries before Americans began pushing west, Mexican cowboys, or vaqueros, herded animals all throughout the southwest. When American cowboys arrived on the scene, they had a thing or two to learn from their Mexican predecessors.

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
Posted by AA Callister on 3/6/2013

upcoming eventsWith springtime fast approaching, Utahns are making plans to get out for some fresh air and socializing. Our local cowboys are ready to participate and there are quite a few events coming up that will be hosted by them. Below are a few of the more popular western events taking place in Utah in the next few months. Anyone is welcome to attend and have some good old western fun.

Antelope Island Bison Roundup
Antelope Island Bison Roundup
Posted by A.A. Callister on 2/13/2013

There are 10 islands in the Great Salt Lake. The largest one at 15 mile long and 7 miles across is Antelope island. American bison, commonly called buffalo, were brought to the island in 1893 and the herd has flourished there, roaming free ever since. Each year in late October and early November, the herd, which generally numbers around 700, is rounded up for medical attention and population control. This gives those who wish to participate in the roundup the opportunity to break out their cowboy boots and hats and hit the trail.

Bison are very stubborn, aggressive animals and must be handled with care. Male bison weigh around one ton and females weigh around 1,000 pounds, with both standing at around 6 feet tall at the shoulders. They have long, sharp horns and won’t hesitate to turn on a horse and rider that are irritating them. For this reason, the people leading the herd tend to be more skilled cowboys who have experience working with bison, leaving the amateurs to hang back and learn from the pros.

Rodeo Clowns: Unsung Heroes
Rodeo Clowns: Unsung Heroes
Posted by A.A. Callister on 2/5/2013

Bull riders get most of the glory, but what many people don’t realize is that one of the most dangerous jobs in a rodeo is that of the clowns. We call them clowns, but they refer to themselves as bullfighters, and that’s just what they do, night after night, all summer long.

A rodeo clown’s job description can basically be broken down into two categories: entertaining the crowd and protecting the cowboys. In between rides, as the next cowboy is getting ready for his event, they put their charisma to work, performing tricks, telling jokes, and even dancing. They need to have a great sense of showmanship and an even better sense of humor.

Barrel Racing and Steer Wrestling
Barrel Racing and Steer Wrestling
Posted by A.A. Callister on 1/28/2013

In some rodeo events, contestants are judged on time and other criteria that demonstrates their skill. But in barrel racing and steer wrestling, riders are judged solely on the time it takes the to complete their task. Like all rodeo competitions, both of these events date back to old western times when ranch hands would compete to see who was the best at performing daily tasks.

Barrel racing is unique because it is one of the few rodeo events performed by cowgirls instead of cowboys. Barrel racing is timed by an electronic eye that starts a clock as soon as the horse and rider enter the arena. They ride in a clover pattern around three barrels set up in a triangle and then head back to the box. The cowgirls can choose to start with either the left or right barrel and circle the farthest barrel last. They are allowed to touch the barrels, but knocking one over results in disqualification. The whole thing takes around 15 seconds and is measured to 100th of a second. Competition is stiff and the winner leads by a very slim margin. Competitors use highly trained horses and can pay up to $50,000 for a good barrel racing horse.

Team and Tie-Down Roping
Team and Tie-Down Roping
Posted by A.A. Callister on 1/22/2013

Roping is a necessary part of ranch life. Being able to rope a calf or steer quickly is essential when dealing with injuries or other veterinary care and in branding. Roping competitions began when cowboys working on ranches started to compare their skills with those of other cowboys and there are now two roping events in PRCA rodeos. These events are team roping and tie-down or calf roping.

In both of these events, the rider(s) starts out mounted on their horse behind a breakaway barrier. The animal is given a head start, and when a string attaching them to the barrier pulls the barrier down, the cowboy(s) can ride out behind them. If the barrier is broken early by the competitors or their horses, ten seconds is added to their time.

Bull Riding
Bull Riding
Posted by A.A. Callister on 1/17/2013

Most rodeo events were developed to showcase skills used in everyday ranch life, but bull riding was made strictly for bragging rights. Matching a 200 lb. cowboy with a 2000 lb. bull is a recipe for a good time! Bull riding is all about the strength, bravery, mental fortitude, and stubbornness of both the rider and the bull. It’s entertaining to watch and is a crowd favorite at every rodeo.

Bull riding is different from other rodeo events in that the cowboys’ scores aren’t affected by their technique or style. They aren’t expected to mark out like bronc riders and they don’t have to hold their legs in a specific way. All they have to do is keep one arm in the air, without touching the animal or themselves, and stay on the bull for 8 seconds. Sounds easy, right? Not so much.

Bareback and Saddle Bronc Riding
Bareback and Saddle Bronc Riding
Posted by A.A. Callister on 1/9/2013

Ranch hands have to learn to manage a bucking horse when they’re in the process of breaking them for riding. Breaking a horse requires a level of skill that is valued highly enough that it has been added as a rodeo event in almost every rodeo across the nation. The bareback and saddle bronc riding are crowd favorites on the rodeo circuit because of the combination of spirited horses and skilled cowboys.

Bareback and saddle bronc riding are similar in some ways. Both events require the cowboy to ride a bucking bronco for eight seconds without falling off while meeting certain style criteria. In both events, the horse is loaded into a chute, where the cowboy gets on. Once he is secure, he signals for the chute to be opened. As the horse rushes into the arena with an initial buck, the cowboy is required to keep his spurs in contact with the horse until its feet touch the ground. This is called “marking out.”

Rodeo Overview
Rodeo Overview
Posted by A.A. Callister on 12/24/2012

The first rodeos were informal competitions between local ranch hands and trail riders who competed to see who was the best at everyday ranching duties. Several western U.S. towns lay claim to being the first organized rodeo in the mid-1800s and it is still going strong today.

Professional rodeo is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and its competitors are highly skilled, trained athletes that work hard to progress in the circuit. Unlike other professional athletes, rodeo cowboys and cowgirls are not paid up front to compete. They must pay an entrance fee to each event and don't recoup any of it unless they do well. Some of the most dedicated athletes on the planet, these men and women travel as much as 100,00 miles a year to participate in as many as 125 rodeos. The best of the best will receive an invitation to the National Finals Rodeo at the end of the year.

Western Christmas Decorations
Western Christmas Decorations
Posted by A.A. Callister on 12/18/2012

Christmas is a great time to show off your own personal style, especially through your home décor. Decorating your home for the holidays can be a fun family tradition. If you have a western motif in your home already, or if you'd like to do one for the holidays, there are lots of cute, classy ways to do this without coming off as too over-the-top.

There are lots of fun options available for western-themed adornments for your Christmas tree.  Little tin stars, punched metal and horseshoes can be put alongside or in the place of traditional ornaments. Consider using raffia bows or pieces of rope tied into small knots in addition to or instead of tinsel and garlands. These can be placed evenly along the edges of branches or used throughout the house. Strips of bandana tied into bows will give you a wide array of color options to brighten up your tree. Use a tin star or a cowboy hat as a topper to finish the effect.



 A Cowboy Salute to Veterans
 Wearing Jewelry The Western Way
 Turn Heads in Tin Haul Boots
 Choosing the Best Cowboy Boots for Riding
 Ariat Brand Highlight
 Justin Boots Brand Highlight
 Finding the Right Fit for Cowboy Boots
 Summer Western Wear
 Western Saddles
 History of Country Music

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