Monday, June 15, 2015

The Real McCoy....Who was he?

Ever wondered where the phrase "The Real McCoy" came from? Joseph G. McCoy, cattle baron, cowboy and business man was the inspiration for that phrase-

Joseph Geiting McCoy-Cattle Baron

Born on a farm in Sangamon county, Illinois, on December 21, 1837. McCoy is often cited as the inspiration for the phrase "The Real McCoy" because of his reputation and reliability and because he referred to himself by that phrase. He was educated in local schools and spent a year in the academy of Knox College in Galesburg. After his marriage to Sarah Epler in 1861, he entered the mule and cattle raising business. At the close of the Civil War, McCoy expanded his enterprise by buying animals in large quantities and shipping them to major livestock centers. In 1867 he joined a firm that shipped as many as a thousand cattle a week.

McCoy viewed the livestock industry from a national perspective and recognized the need for better contacts between southwestern ranchers, midwestern feeders, and meat-packers. He resolved to build a stock depot west of farming sections on the Great Plains to which cowboys from Texas could drive Longhorn herds.

Joseph McCoy made good on his pledge to Texas ranchers that if they would drive their Longhorn cattle from Texas to Kansas that he would have them shipped by rail to other markets and that the ranchers would receive a good price for their stock.

In the 1860s, cattle ranchers in Texas faced difficulties getting their longhorn cattle to market. Kansas homesteaders objected to the cattle crossing their land because the cattle might carry ticks which could spread a disease called Texas Fever fatal to some types of cattle. The disease could make a Longhorn sick, but they were hardier stock than the northern cattle and Longhorns seldom died from the disease.

McCoy himself said of the disease:
"In 1868 a great number of cattle arrived in Kansas and the mid-west from Texas; appx. 40,000. With them came a tick born disease called “Spanish Fever”. The local shorthorn breeds were seriously affected and in some towns the loss of the cattle was almost 100%. The result was a great prejudice against Texas cattle in Eastern Kansas and Missouri."

McCoy expected that the railroads companies were interested in expanding their freight operations and he saw this as a good business opportunity. He succeeded in obtaining cooperation from the Kansas Pacific Railway provided he assumed all the financial risks. The cattle would be shipped from his proposed stockyards to Kansas City. He then made an agreement with the Hannibal and St. Joseph line, which provided a route to Quincy, Ill.; from there the cattle could be sent to Chicago.

McCoy purchased a 250-acre tract at the edge of a frontier village along the Union Pacific. There he built a pen to handle a thousand head of cattle, a hotel known as the Drover's Cottage, a bank, office, and livery stable This village became known as Abilene, Kansas - one of the first cow towns. McCoy's plan was for cattle to be driven to Abilene from Texas and taken from there by rail to bigger cities in The Midwest and The East.

Abilene sat near the end of the Chisholm Trail (named after Jesse Chisholm) established during the American Civil War for supplying the Confederate army. This trail ran to the west of the settled portion of Kansas, making it possible to use the trail without creating hostility from the Kansas homesteaders.

McCoy advertised extensively throughout Texas to encourage cattle owners to drive their cattle to market in Abilene. The first herds arrived in August 1867; an initial shipment to Chicago left Abilene in September. By the end of the year 35,000 head had been driven over the Chisholm Trail to Abilene, and in 1868 the number rose to 75,000 head; by 1870 the number doubled. By 1871 as many as 5,000 cowboys were being paid off during a single day, and Abilene became known as a rough town in the Old West. Due to their long legs and hard hoofs, Longhorns were ideal trail cattle, even gaining weight on their way to market. One story says that McCoy bragged before leaving Chicago that he would bring 200,000 head in 10 years and actually brought two million head in 4 years, leading to the phrase "It's the Real McCoy"

As Abilene's leading citizen, McCoy was elected mayor and served until 1873.

Rival railroad terminal towns, farther west and south, soon diverted trade from Abilene, and McCoy moved to the new cow towns. In 1872 he went to Wichita, Kans., where he became a promotion agent for American and Texas Refrigerator Car. By 1880 he was a commission dealer in livestock in Kansas City and had been employed by the U.S. Census Bureau to report on the livestock industry for the eleventh census. For a time he lived in Oklahoma and served as agent for the Cherokee Nation in collecting land revenues. In 1890 he was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the U.S. Congress.

Joseph G McCoy died in Kansas City, Missouri on Oct. 19, 1915.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

A Breast Collar That Trigger Wore.....Over The Neck Style

In the picture above, you will see Roy Rogers and Trigger and one of his amazing saddles with the over the neck style leather Breast Collar. You can see this style in many of Roy’s photos and movies with Trigger.

Trigger's finest saddles were made by Edward H. Bohlin. He was known as the Michelangelo of saddle making. Many of Trigger's saddles were covered in intricate patterns in silver and gold, and some of them weighed as much as 150 pounds.

Along with his Bohlin saddles, Roy also purchased the Music saddle. It is one of the most elaborate saddles ever made. It was created in the early 1930's for a lady named Mrs. Music and she rode this saddle in the annual Rose Parade and other events for a number of years. She was a small lady and this saddle has a very small seat. It took 16 men almost a year to produce this saddle set that originally sold for $20,000 and reportedly contained 1,400 ounces of sterling silver, 136 ounces of gold and hundreds of Czech rubies. Roy bought the items from the original owner's estate in 1950 for $50,000

Would you love to have a western breast collar with the over the neck style that is inspired by Trigger's. Buckaroo Leather now has the Hollywood One Piece Breast Collar. (above)

And if you also love the parade style horse tack inspired by Ed Bohlin we have a vintage parade headstall that is beautiful. This was a custom order and can be made to order especially for you.

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, June 4, 2015

Old West Natural Remedies.....Lydia Pinkham Story

Today, many people look for natural or home remedies for their aliments. Natural herbs, spices, “mothers”recipe for curing the cold, can all be found on the internet.

In the Old West Traveling Medicine Wagons came to the towns to sell you that miracle tonic that would cure whatever ailed you. The biggest producer of patent medicine was 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.

Her Story….

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.

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.

(biography from Wikipedia)


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.


The 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)

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.

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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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Old West Cowgirl Outfits

 Whether you are a cowgirl of today or a cowgirl from the Old West "bling" has always been apart of the cowgirl style!.

A traditional cowgirl outfit in the old west consisted of:

A typical pair of Victorian gauntlets, a short skirt, tall lace up boots, and a red scarf. The sash was probably a style adopted from Charlie Russell who, inspired by the vaquero costume always wore a red sash.

  (top picture is from the book "Cowgirls Women of the wild west” by Elizabeth Clair Flood)

The cowgirl riding gauntlets came in a wide variety of commercial designs were often sold at Western trading posts. Inspired by cavalry gauntlets, cowboys and cowgirls adopted the style of the work glove embellished with various Indian designs. Many were embroidered with horse shoes and whips, others were decorated in buckskin fringe. Cowgirls wore gauntlets for work and in the show arena. 

 (top picture is from the book "Cowgirls Women of the wild west” by Elizabeth Clair Flood)

As you can see in the pictures many of the outfits had fringe, bright sequins, and the gauntlets were intricately beaded designs. One famous Cowgirl, Prairie Rose Henderson wore Ostrich plumes over her bloomers and a blouse covered with bright sequins.

Cowgirl Prairie Rose Henderson

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, May 13, 2015

Gymkhana a History of a Popular Equestrian Sport

Gymkhana is the action packed, precision sport of the equestrian world that is one of the most exciting family oriented equestrian sports in the world. Gymkhana classes are timed speed events such as Barrel racing, Keyhole, Figure 8, keg race (also known as "down and back"), flag race and Pole bending.

Gymkhana has many interesting meanings.

To start, the word is derived from the Hindi and Urdu word for "racket" court. Gymkhana is also an Indian term which originally referred to a place where sporting events took place. This meaning then altered to denote a place where skill-based contests were held, such as in the sports of equestrian, gymnastics, and sports car racing. In India, the term gymkhana is commonly used to refer to a gymnasium.

In the United Kingdom, the term gymkhana now almost always refers to a multi-game equestrian event performed to display the training and talents of horses and their riders. Often the emphasis is on children's participation.

Gymkhana for the equestrian had its beginning with the English military. During the Colonial period, the English military used horses for both transportation and military maneuvers. On Sunday afternoons, the Calvary would compete in horseback games to sharpen their horsemanship for war. Through the years different events have been added, some of which originated in Europe and others which were developed in this country. Ring Spearing, an event that is still part of Gymkhana in some areas, resembles the knight in medieval days riding full charge with his lance aimed at his enemy. The British Bengal Lancer engaged in Tent-Pegging, using his lance to unearth the tent pegs of the enemy, bringing down the tent on his adversaries. Pole Bending can easily be seen as good training for a Calvary charge through dense forest. The Rescue Race and Cowhide Race were originated by the Native American Indians as a way to rescue their comrades in battle. Similarly, the Speedball Race may have derived from the Native American Indians counting "coup" in which they would touch their enemies without harming them. The Pony Express Race, of course, simulates the old time Pony Express rider who delivered the mail between St. Louis and Sacramento in the Old West.

Below is a list of just some of the events you might find in a modern day Gymkhana.

Bending Poles are one of the most common races today. A line of about four or five poles is set up, and the horse and riders have to weave in and out of them as fast as they can, turn round the last one, and bend back to the finish line. This can be played in teams as a relay race and the first team all home wins. If they miss bending round a pole they have to go back and do it again, the only penalty they incur is wasting time. This teaches the pupil to control his mount, as well as turning.

The Egg and Spoon race is another favorite. The participants each get an egg on a spoon and have to go from the start to the other end (usually around the last bending pole), and back as fast as they can without dropping the egg. It is often played with potatoes instead as they don't break when landing on the floor, but beware of horses that eat anything. This is a wonderful event for teaching beginners to sit quietly on horseback and though the pony may be moving their seat moves fluidly with that of the horse. It is also an ideal exercise for riders with a 'hot seat' as they learn to sit still.

A favorite among pony clubbers is the Pairs race. One rider starts on the pony, goes as fast as they can to the other side, where a partner waits. They then help the partner mount and get back to the finish line as fast as possible. A variation of this is to have one start the race, dismount at the other end, and the partner has to mount and race back with no help from the dismounted rider. This is often a difficult thing to do on an excited pony, and can be especially fun when the game is played bareback. They will learn how to mount and dismount as well as how to work as a team.

The Sack Race is played the following way: they all line up at the start, and gallop to the opposite side where sacks are waiting for them. They dismount, jump into the sacks and hop back to the finish line. The first one home wins, and surprisingly this race is often the longest as ponies play up because the person leading them is jumping up and down and unsettling them.

                                                                    Gymkhana pattern

In recent years Gymkhana has been steadily gaining in popularity. New events have been designed for competition between riders which bring into play the abilities of the rider and the speed and handiness of the horse. A good Gymkhana horse must have the speed of a race horse, the turning quickness and agility of a cutting horse and the control and responsiveness of the stock horse. In general, control of the horse and of oneself in the saddle is an added benefit of learning to play these games.

In Gymkhana your horse and you need to have constant control and communication. Quality leather horse tack will enhance this communication between you and horse.

Buckaroo Leather is proud to manufacturer this quality American Made leather horse tack! Our quality leather is not only durable but timeless!

Visit our website for quality leather Training and Performance Tack, Professional Grade Tack, and breast collars and headstalls.

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