Cowboy Spurs and Western Spurs
Texas Cowboy Spur history dates back to the Spanish explorer Cortez in 1520. Cortes also populated Texas with horses and cattle that escaped during his passage through Texas. After Cortez passage, Texas was inhabited by Indians and a few Mexican settlers. Anglo and black cowboys started arriving in numbers in the 1830’s. With three hundred undisturbed years the horses and longhorn cattle multiplied in great numbers. As the cowboy evolved, so did his tools, including the boot spur.
The cowboy spurs were used in combination with pressure from the legs and the reigns to steer a horse. Many times the hands must be free for roping, shooting or adjusting your hat, so the horse is trained to respond to instructions from leg and spur pressure.
The US Calvary had regulation western spurs between 1880’s and 1930’s, and even had a special pair for dress uniforms.
The term “earning one’s spurs” originated from European custom when a Knight would be awarded his sword and spurs.
- The main body of the Cowboy spur is called the heel band, yoke or shank. Made from, iron, steel or silver.
- The rowel is the spinning spur on the end.
- The neck attaches the rowel to the heel band.
- Collectors are especially on alert for western spurs made by the masters including, The Boones, G.S. Garcia, J.O.Bass, Les Garcia, PM Kelly, Mike Morales, Oscar Crockett, August Buermann, and JR McChesney. Prices can be as high as $1500.00 for vintage spurs.
In addition to collector’s item, spurs have become a fashion accessory.