Well, it’s Friday the thirteenth. I don’t fancy myself a superstitious person (I do not count my quirks and phobias in this statement, which include my terror of down-escalators and cooking with yeast). However, if I see a penny on the ground, I admit to picking it up because all day long I’ll have good luck. I especially like finding a dime because that way I get ten lucks.
So I reckoned there must be some kind of superstitions in the Old West among our cowboy heroes. Somehow. Somewhere. So this is what I found.
Cowboys seem to have many superstitions about their boots. First off, they believe old boots should be worn on Friday the thirteenth for good luck. So check your cowboy’s feet today. New boots: no-no.
Tripping over a boot is a bad omen. Furthermore, cowboys consider it bad luck to step into their left boot first. Similarly, a bronco rider always puts the right foot in the stirrup first. For some reason, it’s bad juju to use those boots to kick a paper cup thrown down at a rodeo.
However, if a cowboy drops an old boot outside the door as he leaves on a trip, he’ll have only good luck during his journey.
He’ll quarrel with someone soon if he sets his boots on a table. Duh. I’d sure quarrel with anybody who did that in my house.
If he wears out his boots at the toe, he’ll spend money as he goes.
A cowboy won’t stow his boots higher than his head at night because if he does, he’ll have a restless night’s sleep. I reckon this is when he’s camping out along the trail.
If he walks wearing only one boot, he’ll have as many bad days ahead as steps he’s taken. And he sure shouldn’t give boots to a friend. That means the friend will walk away from him. Furthermore, he’ll end up walking in the former owner’s troubles if he takes somebody else’s boots even as a gift.
If his new boots creak as he walks, this means he still owes money on them. And new unworn boots should be put high above the floor for luck. (Unless it’s that table-quarrel thing.)
In every day life, if a cowboy wears his boots while his baby is being born, it’ll be a boy. Seeing a boot set atop a fence post is a sign that someone is at home. And seeing boots hung with the toes pointed toward the wall means their owner is dead.
For maintenance, our cowboy should place red pepper in his boots during winter to keep his feet warm. For a bad fit, he should fill his boots with dry beans or corn, pour in some water, and tie the tops shut. Or…put a zip-lock bag filled with water in the boot, and place the whole she-bang in the freezer.
Well, there’s more cowboy lore regarding rodeo superstitions and hat superstitions and of course, the whole range of Superstition Mountains in Arizona…but I think this will do for now.
Of course, dying with his boots on was the cowboy’s greatest dignity. Who can forget our favorite huckleberry, Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday on his death bed, peering dolefully at his bare toes and saying, “Now that’s funny?” Sigh.
How about ya’ll? Any superstitions out there? Anybody wear cowboy boots?