Ostrich Leather Cowboy Boots History

Full Quill Ostrich Leather Cowboy Boots grew to become fashionable and in substantial demand in the 1980’s. The distinctive leather has been in high demand and under restricted supply by the Mahler brothers of Dallas, Texas. The Mahlers have been to Ostrich leather as the Debeers are to diamonds.

There have been quite a few Texans demanding a flashy pair of Ostrich Cowboy Boots since the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Ostrich leather is unique in its look and feel; Virtually no other leather is the same. Ostrich leather is distinct by means of raised dimples towards the middle of the hide. The part with these protrusions is known as the crown. The area is in fact the back side of the ostrich hide and where the birds neck joins its body. The holes and bumps are quill follicles in which a feather used to reside. Both sides of the leather around the diamond shaped crown is very smooth. In fact, only one third of the entire skin features quill holes and bumps. Because the crown is in most demand and it comprises such a tiny segment of the hide, “full quill” ostrich goods are significantly more expensive compared to cowhide leather.

This exclusive distinction, and the fact that Ostrich is one of the most durable leathers, causes ostrich leather to be viewed as a luxury product.

Ostrich ranching proliferated in Texas to cash in on the high prices and now there are now several Ostrich leather tanneries in the US.

How to Measure the Correct Size Felt or Straw Cowboy Hat

Hats come in sizes with 1/8-inch increments.  The common sizes are between 6 3/4 to 7 3/8.  The problem is if you go to a dozen hat websites for a definition of sizes you will get different results.  One site tells us a size 71⁄2 is 23 3⁄4 inches. Another thinks it’s 23 5⁄8 inches. Others say it is 23 1⁄2 inches.

The only safe way to get the right size is to measure your head.

  •  If you have a hat and you like the way it fits, put it on.
  • Measure your head with a cloth measuring tape from the sewing department at your local department store.  Measure in the same place your favorite hat fits on your head.  You are measuring where the hat band fits.
  • If you don’t have a hat that fits well, measure around your head, two finger widths above your eyebrow and one finger width above your ear.
  • One manufacturer uses this chart for hat size, but we recommend you order by head measurement.
    • 21 – 21 ¼ …..         6 ¾
    • 21 3/8 – 21 5/8 ….. 6 7/8
    • 21 ¾ – 22  ….          7
    • 22 1/8 – 22 3/8 ….  7 1/8
    • 22 ½ – 22 ¾ …..      7 ¼
    • 22 7/8 – 23 1/8 ….  7 3/8
    • 23 ¼ – 23 ½ ….       7 ½
    • 23 5/8 – 23 7/8 ….  7 5/8
    • 24 – 24 ¼ ….          7 ¾
    • 24 3/8 – 24 5/8 ….  7 7/8
    • 24 ¾ – 25 ….           8

In addition to hat size, heads come in different shapes.  To accommodate different shapes cowboy hats usually come in 3 different fits.

  • Regular oval
  • Long oval
  • Round oval

Stetson makes mostly regular oval and round oval
Resistol makes long oval and round oval
Larry Mahan hats are made wider at the temple.

Brims come in various sizes 3 ½ inch, 4 inch, 5 inch and larger.

Crowns can be shaped in cattleman, 3 finger pinch, brick, etc.

Hat fit is your preference.  A tight fitting hat stays on better but might take some getting accustomed to.

Fitting a Barrel Saddle, Trail Saddle or Ranch Saddle to a Horse

If you need a barrel saddle or trail saddle or even a ranch saddle you have to realize that just like people, horses change size.  Horses grow, add muscle, lose muscle, eat, etc.  You can buy a perfectly fitted saddle today and you may need to add shims and padding next year.

Most saddles are built for Quarter Horse builds.  Quarter Horse type breeds are round with hardly any withers with a flat back.   If you have a horse built like a Quarter Horse, you have a large selection of saddles.

If you have a gaited horse, draft horse, Arabian, Morgan, Paso, or other breeds not shaped like quarter horse be prepared to look harder for a saddle and pay more for it.

Rigid Saddle Tree

This is the frame or skeleton of the saddle.  The tree is made of wood or polymer plastic.  Both types properly constructed make a quality saddle.  Wood if not properly constructed, rawhide or fiberglass covered and made water-resistant can rot.  Wood is usually heavier.  Plastic is one piece construction.  Two companies make many of the trees in the US, Ralide Corp and Steele Saddle Tree Co.

  • Bars.  The bars contact the horse and support the saddle and the weight of the rider.
  • Pommel.  The front of the saddle tree attached to the bars and supporting the horn.
  • Cantle.  The back of the tree attached to the bars.
  • Horn.  Attached to the pommel with screws or nails.

Flexible Saddle Tree

This tree differs from the standard tree in that it has some flex from front to back.  The bars are plastic polymer that is a formula with a little flex.  The flex tree has little flex from shoulder to shoulder.  If you don’t have a saddle fitted to each of your horses and your horses have similar build, you might want to consider a flexible tree.  Buy the saddle to fit the widest horse.
Gullet.  The gullet is the part of the saddle where the pommel attaches to the bars of the tree on each side. The measurement is the width from side to side. Gullet height is the measurement to the underside of the pommel with the bare tree sitting on the floor.

Bar Types.  The bar type is the angle at which the bars lay on the horses back or if they may flare out in the front to make room for the shoulders.  Most single piece polymer trees are designed for Quarter Horses.  Unlike polymer trees, the bar type on wooden trees can be changed.

  • Quarter Bar.  Standard tree.  (Gullet width 6 ¾” at the tree)
  • Semi Quarter.  Bars are angled more than the quarter bar for horses with more withers like Arabians.
  • Full Quarter.  Larger, wider horses.  The back of the bars are the same and the front of the bars are wider to about 7”.
  • Gaited Bar
  • Draft Bar
  • Mule Bar
  • Arabian Bar

    The best advise is to become a knowledgeable saddle buyer and take your horse with you to try on saddles.  Take your time shopping and when you know what you want, buy from a reputable manufacturer.

Texas Boot and Saddle Makers Show 2010, October, 1 & 2

October 1 & 2, 2010
Two Days for $10

@ The MPEC
1000 Fifth Street
Wichita Falls, Tx

Contact Info:
Eddie & Kathy Kimmel
325.356.3197 ofc
325.356.2490 ofc/fax


Come And Take It

175 Years ago, October 1835, Texans began the struggle for Independence at Gonzales.  The reenactment of the “Come and Take it Battle” begins October 2, 2010.

The battle was really a skirmish.  Texans fired on the Mexicans over a canon used to protect Gonzales from the Comanche.  The commander of the Mexican troops had been ordered to take the canon from the town of Gonzales.

Buy at Art.com
Gonzales, Tx – “Lexington…
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The Mexican commander was sympathetic with the Texans and opposed the Centralist Big government being forced on Texas by Santa Anna.  Even at this early date in Texas history, the Texans valued personal independence and freedom over an oppressive central government.

The Texan commander John Henry Moore, ordered the attack on the Mexicans.  The Mexicans withdrew and the battle was over.  This was the major break in relations between The Texans and Mexico.

Later in the war for independence, the Gonzales men would be the only reinforcements to fight their way into the Alamo.

Ladies State Chili Championship of Texas, 2010

40th Annual Ladies State Chili Championship of Texas gets underway this weekend October 1st and 2nd. The event is at Yett Memorial Park, 1813 US Hwy 281 S, Blanco, Texas. They advertise that skill level is immaterial, so this is really just an excuse to party. The margarita mix competition and Texas Hold-Em competition allude to my party theory. Chili Cook-off follows Tolbert’s Rules.

Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, Ft Worth

Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame recognizes Texas individuals and women that have excelled in the sports as well as business enterprise of rodeo, as well as a traditional western way of life. A handful of of the Inductees consists of: Nolan Ryan, Tommy Lee Jones, Trevor Brazile, Don Edwards, George Strait, Lane Frost, Ty Murray, Barry Corbin, Red Steagall, Tuff Hedeman, J.J. Hampton (17 time PWRA World Champion), Charmayne James, and Don Gay (8 time PRCA World Champion Bull Rider)! Each one of the Inductees possess their personal unique presentation area that includes individual collectibles for the visitors to see.

 Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame opened its doors in 2001. The structure housing Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame is one of the horse and mule barns of the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. Initially constructed in 1888, all of these barns housed more than 3,000 horses and mules. The unique wooden barns which stood in this area were burned March 14, 1911 when the spark coming from a moving train ignited a fire. They were reconstructed and finished in March 1912 and regarded the initial “fire proof” barns. The bricks, columns, metal doors, cat-walks, and cinder blocks found here are all authentic architecture of yes-ter-year.

 Guests discover many of the world-class displays for a single, minimal, all-day entrance charge.

Texas-Best State Fair Starts Friday 24th

State Fair is held annually in Dallas. The event starts the last Friday during September and concludes 24 days later. The fair is presented in Dallas Fair Park where it has long been held since 1886. Your 2010 event is going to be presented from September 24 to October 17.


The Texas Event is the biggest within the United States. State Fair attendance has previously been estimated at more than 3 million individuals.

Visitors first see the 212-foot Texas Star Ferris wheel when approaching the fair. The Texas Star has been the biggest Ferris wheel in North America ever since it first showed in October 1985.

One of the centerpieces for your fair includes the yearly college football competition involving Texas and Oklahoma. The Red River Shootout is played inside the Cotton Bowl at the heart of Fair Park. This year, 2010, Baylor and Texas Tech are going to hold a game during the State Fair for the first time.

Big Tex is one of the fair symbols since 1952. Your State Fair also incorporates an auto exhibit, dating back to 1904, utilizing more than 300,000 sq feet of floorspace and displaying most of latest model automobiles.

It can’t be the State Fair of Texas without showcasing distinctive, high-fat goodies such as fried butter and this year’s champion fried Frito Chili Pie.

Everyone is required to eat at least one Fletcher’s brand corny dog.

The past decades have experienced the introduction of innovative uncommon deep-fried offerings, such as deep-fried Oreo cookies; deep-fried Twinkies; deep-fried pork ribs; fried cheesecake; deep-fried peanut butter, jelly, and banana sandwiches; and most recently a batter-based fried Coke. Innovative food items in 2008 included chicken fried bacon and fried banana splits.

Autumn Trails 2010, Winnsboro, Texas

Winnsboro, Texas – AUTUMN TRAILS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS —Every Weekend in October

Saturday, October 2 — Coronation of Queen Autumn Trails XLVIV at 7:00pm, Winnsboro High School Auditorium. Tickets available from the Autumn Trails office or at the door.

Saturday, October 9– Arts and Crafts – City Park – For space reservations call 903-342-1958.

Friday & Saturday, October 8 & 9 —- Antique Tractor Show & Pull, City Park. Friday activities at 6:00p.m. — Saturday beginning at 9:00am with the parade of tractors from the Depot to City Park. — Tractor pull starts at 10:00a.m. — BBQ Cook-Off at City Park. Entry forms available at the Autumn Trails office or call 903-342-1958 for more information. —- Annual Tour de’ Trails Bicycle Race sponsored by the Pilot Club.

Friday, October 15 –Trail Ride Welcome Parade – 4pm, Downtown. —- Trail Riders’ Campout, all weekend at City Park. $2:00 per vehicle, per day. Showers and Concessions available.

Saturday, October 16 — “42” Tournament – 9:00am Winnsboro Senior Citizens Center. Registration at Autumn Trails Office or by calling 903-342-1958. —–TASTE OF WINNSBORO Cook Out – 5:00pm, City Park.– Barn Dance at City Auditorium at 8pm.

Sunday, October 17 — Big Woods Trail Ride.

Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, October 22, 23, 24, — Trades Day & Swap Meet – Flea Market – 8:00am – 5:00pm at City Park. REGISTRATION begins at noon on Thursday, Oct 21.

Saturday, October 23 — Antique Car Grand Entry Parade, 10:30am, Downtown Winnsboro. Competition Events Downtown Winnsboro, open to Model A and Model T cars following the parade. — Sidewalk Sales all day in Downtown.—– BBQ and Awards presentation 5:00pm at City Auditorium. For reservations call 903-342-1958. Limited tickets at the door. —- Annual WHS Ex-Students’ Association Stew after the parade at the Old Rock Gym. —– All School Reunion at Old Rock Gym in the afternoon. Program at 7:00pm.

Sunday, October 24 — Antique Car Tour – leaves the Trails Country Motel at 9:00am.

Saturday, October 30 — Livestock & Dairy Show. Register from 7:30 to 9:30am. $10.00 Entry Fee. For more information – 903-342-6759 or 903-342-3641

2010 Hopkins County Stew Contest

Sulphur Springs Texas – The 41st Annual World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest will be held Saturday, September 18 at Buford City Park.  Over 100 cooking teams.  Stew is served at 11:00 AM.  Our Hopkins County Stew recipe has a permanent spot at http://www.texas-best.com/things/texas-food/