Every time I ride into a pen full of cattle I am reminded of the 1966 song by Nancy Sinatra: “These boots are made for walking”.
But the boots I wear when ahorseback aren’t made for walking. In fact – according to George Leonard Herter – they were designed for dancing.
My first real “riding boots” were purchased many years ago - made by Tony Llama – and they cost a lot of money. But they fit my oxbow stirrups and gave me a sense of security while riding.
The style has changed in recent years, and I can no longer find a pair of off-the-shelf boots to suit me – so I buy custom boots from a local maker. And they are expensive.
But my legs have become even more valuable to me over the years, and so the value of boots that protect those legs is even higher.
Many “cowboys” tie up their horses when the cattle are safely in the corral, and enter the pen armed only with a sorting stick. Not us.
It takes a few years to develop a good sorting horse – but that horse is quicker, the view is better from four feet up, and These Boots Ain’t Made for Walking!
There is cow “poop” everywhere in the corral! A man afoot is going to step in it! Cow “poop” eats up leather!
It has taken a few years, but I have developed a string of good horses. Our gates all have “cowboy latches”, and our horses can each work those gates. We can sort those cows quicker and easier ahorseback than we can afoot.
And “These boots (Ain’t) Made for Walking”.