The Tuck

Because I wrote about the Senior Photo shoot the other day .. I thought I would follow it up with this particular post. Because I noticed the Senior the other night doing the same thing the Cowboy does.

Tuckers boots

The tuck.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for awhile now because every time I see the Cowboy wearing his pants & boots like this, I think to myself, ‘that would be something fun to talk with him about.’ I’ve never asked him directly why he does it. The reasons, living on the ranch, have become apparent. I’ve just admired, quite frankly that he doesn’t care what anyone might think about how he looks. And it makes me chuckle because some of the men I know, city cowboys especially, would never be caught dead wearing their pants inside their pointy toed, silver tipped (the Cowboy wanted me to be sure and add that element) boots. Not that there’s anything wrong with that ..

Don’t get me wrong, he can dress up with the best of them and his pants are most often worn with the hem dragging on the ground.

Casey Shoeing

But the day to day can often mean ripped and dirty jeans haphazardly tucked inside the boots.

What can tucked jeans tell you about a cowboy? The Cowboy tells me:

– Chances are, he/she is walking around horse manure often during the day and they don’t want to get their jeans dirty.

– They may want to simply show off the tops of their boots – boots anymore can be incredibly beautiful and detailed, especially those that are custom made. Have you looked at boots lately? Dan Post. Luchesse. Old Gringo. Tony Lama. Justin. Laredo. Resistol. Ariat. Olathe. Seriously, the list goes on and and on.. I haven’t even touched the growing market of custom cowboy boot makers.

“Girls often do it as part of a fashion deal, to show their boots off, right?” the Cowboy says to me. “Same thing.”

Clints boots

Some do it, real cowboys, like ranch cowboys, because they’d rather have their boots take a beating than their jeans.

“You know why boots were made taller?” the cowboy asked me as I’m talking with him about this. “It was originally to protect cowboys from snake bites, the west is full of rattlesnakes. The taller the boot, the less likely a snake could get at your leg. Good boots also protect you from brush, if you’re riding through heavy brush .. you know, if you go to West Texas where the brush is high and thorny? That’s how they wear them, up to their knees. They also keep friction off the inside of your leg when you’re riding. I never had hair on the inside of my legs when I was younger because I rode so much. Nobody ever really questions anymore why boots have tops anymore. They actually have a practical reason for being tall. They’re meant to help protect.”


We were sitting on the back porch of a friends home last night catching up. Every time someone got out of their chair to go grab something to eat, drink or whatever the reason .. there it was.

The jingling of spurs.


Never knew how comforting a sound that would be ..


I didn’t know much about spurs until I met the Cowboy. Never spent much time around any horse people that wore them. Perhaps a couple. I didn’t understand the value in them, especially when working with a stubborn horse. Not until recently, anyway. I often go to the arena to ride without them because I like to think that I can get a horse to mind because, well just because I want to be nice. And because I know they are good horses. The cowboy informed me the other night am to wear them whenever I ride, regardless. It came as I was increasingly frustrated one of the newest horses to the herd was definitely not going to do what I was asking her to do. And the Cowboy was frustrated with me.

“How many times have I told you to always have your spurs on,” he said .. in a stern tone of voice as the horse reared.

“You’ve got to wear them to help get their attention sometimes,” he says to me today, knowing this is today’s post. “You’ve got to have something to make them respect your legs or your leg cues. Horses often become desensitized to someone sitting on them for any length of time. They do what they want and often do as little as they have to when they can get away with it. It’s like a kid. if there’s no consequence to any of their behavior, ever .. pretty soon they’re always pushing boundaries and going their own way versus the way you want. And a 1200 pound horse pushing boundaries can be dangerous. Most horses don’t behave well just because they want to please you. That’s a rarity.”

My spurs now live on my riding boots. Right alongside the entire family’s ..


I’ve also learned that the piece that fell off my daughter’s spur earlier this summer that needs replacing .. is called a rowel. A much more technical term than the ‘back of the spur’ as I’ve been calling it until recently. Go ahead and laugh all you veteran cowboys out there. At least I’m trying. And admitting how much I know I have yet to understand about this life and lifestyle.

So far .. despite the setbacks, falls and challenges, it’s been a lovely ride.


The parts of a spur include (via Wikepedia):

  • The “yoke”, “branch”, or “heel band”, which wraps around the heel of the boot.
  • The “shank” or “neck”, which extends from the back of the yoke and is the area that touches the horse.
  • The rowel, seen on some spurs, a revolving wheel or disk with radiating “points” at the end attached to the shank.

Farm Fresh Eggs ..

I had been sitting the other day at the kitchen table, where most of my work is done anymore, when I heard the Cowboy’s van pull up.  He shoes out of a van that is a story in and of itself. Anyway …

I went to the door to greet him, it had been a long day. And as he got out of the van, I saw him reach for and pull out a plastic bag that was absolutely full. I knew what was in it, he often brings bags like this home.

“We got eggs,” he said smiling.

EggsThere are customers of the Cowboy’s that often will send wonderful treats home with him. Farm fresh eggs, fresh bread, wonderful vegetables and the list goes on. I am incredibly grateful not only for their generosity to our family but also that they appreciate the work the Cowboy does trimming and shoeing their horses for them to the extent, I believe this is the country version of a tip.

Fry ’em up!

The Team

I’m not sure what else I can write that will say anything more than the attached photos do for themselves .. along with a description I posted with one of these on FB the other day:

“No telling the incredible scenes one may come across on South Dakotas backroads but stopped for this one yesterday. Retired farmer who still works with this team of horses from dawn to dusk each day. Also realized, in talking with him a few minutes, my husband shoes his horses. Small world .. and a beautiful one at that. When you can peeps, take the backroads.”

Loren 2 edited

Loren 1

Foothills Rodeo ..

His old roping partner called him up about three weeks ago ..

Foothills Rodeo.

He was going to be back in town and thought it would be fun to enter.

The Cowboy didn’t want to do it.  Doesn’t like the thought of ‘doing something half-assed,’ he always tells me.  Or putting money up to rope when he hasn’t been working at it.

The Cowboy hasn’t been doing much rodeoing for a couple years now.. since the divorce and especially this past year.  Many weekends are spent on the road between South Dakota and Wisconsin.  To which I am grateful for, but I know they have put a serious dent in what used to be his lifestyle.

He told me about the call.

“C’mon,” I said.  “It’ll be fun .. plus, I’ve seen you teach others how to do it, I’d love to go watch you actually rope.  And I’ll be at the ranch that weekend.”

Reluctantly, I believe, he agreed to go.


We all piled into one of the Cowboy’s best buddies trucks just before noon Sunday, me, the Cowboy, Scuba Steve and his pregnant wife, and Little Brother Trucker ( .. his partner.  They’re going to kill me for the names.) yesterday, horses in tow and headed for the Foothills Rodeo.

“You’re on the hot and dusty now,” said the Cowboy.  Laughing.

It wasn’t long .. stories started flying about their history together.  Their travels.  Their friendships.  And all the things they would do to one another while on the road.  The Cowboy says these are among the best friends he has in the whole world.  He’s spent a lot of time with them over the years and he laughs as he tells me, you really get to know someone after spending 48 hours together in the same vehicle, sleeping in same bed, living in 5×5 quarters.  You have to learn a lot of coping skills on how to get along.

For them, and I would assume many others in their shoes, it’s meant a lot of pranks and joking around.

And it literally didn’t take long for the sh*t to start flying yesterday.  We no more than parked on rodeo grounds.  They get the horses out and the Cowboy goes back into the horse part of the trailer to take .. um, use the facilities.  Just number one for the record.  (If the horses can do it, why can’t they?  Had never thought of that.)  The trucker locks him in.  Apparently this is a regular thing they do, or did in the past .. to each other.

The Cowboy says, “Remember what I did to your brother the last time he did that to me?”

“N …” says the Trucker.

But before he could even finish that one small word, a wad of horse sh*t schmucked his shoulder and face.  We all bust out laughing and immediately starting wondering, worrying a bit actually what the Trucker would do now, to get him back.

Thankfully he had brought another shirt.

The rodeo came and went.  None of them did as well as they had hoped.  But where they may have taken it hard in the past, life has them all in some very different places now.  And it seemed …

.. they were just happy to be back together.

Win or lose.

Even locked in with the horses again.

You would have thought the bathroom at the restaurant where we stopped for dinner on the way home would have been as easy to use as the back of the trailer .. but Scuba Steve’s pregnant wife, who was about fed up with the teasing, decided it was too easy two of them were standing in there bonding with the horses, again.  She locked em in.  Said to the rest of us, get in the truck.  And away we drove ….

Looking forward to the next rodeo.