These Boots are Made for Walkin’…and ridin’…and ropin’…and rodeo…

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cowboy-in-sunsetWell, 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. cowboy-spurs

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.  cowboy-boots-on-fence

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.

 

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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.

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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?

Tanya Hanson
A California beach girl, I love cowboys and happy-ever-afters. My firefighter hubby and I enjoy travel, our two little grandsons, country music, McDonald's iced coffee, and volunteering at the local horse rescue. I was thrilled last year to receive the CTRR Award at Coffeetime Romance for Sanctuary, my tribute to my cancer-survin' hubby!
Updated: November 13, 2009 — 11:05 am

26 Comments

  1. Love those boots, and the men in them. I haven’t worn cowboy boots since my 4H days. The ones I had were definitely NOT made for walking. I spent an entire day in them as ring steward at a horse show and I still remember how much my feet hurt! They were perfect for riding, though, and they looked great. Fun post!

  2. Hi Tanya, I didn’t have cowboy boots until a few months ago. They’re white leather and really cool! Now I need a place to wear them. Fun blog!

  3. Hi Jennie, always so good to see you here. Oh, there’s nothing as awful as feet hurting. But I bet you looked awesome in them. I too love the way they look on a foot LOL. Thanks for stopping by today.

  4. Vicki, your boots sound great! You’ll need to go to some country singer’s contest in them! E.g. Tim McGraw 🙂

    We’re planning a covered-wagon trip around the Tetons next August, and the ranch says if you wanna wear boots, get ’em early and break ’em in before you get there. So I better give myself enough time.

    Thanks for posting today. oxoxoxoxox

  5. I love this post, I am not a very suppersticious person, but I do like to learn about things like that. very insignificant at first, but rooted with truth if you dig further. espacially the toe turn to the wall thing. I never put my shoes toe turn to the wall. I never like that. feels weird… it that suppersticion?
    A few of them I didn’t get much, but overall I enjoy it.

  6. Hi Alexandra, thanks for visting the Junction today. I thought this was fun stuff to learn, too. Yes, I do think feeling weird about your shoes facing the wall is a bit superstitious :). Good to hear from you. And stay lucky, okay!

  7. Hi Tanya! I do not own any boots, but-I did when I was a little girl..that was one my most favorite Christmas gifts ever-a pair of boots!

    As for superstitions-I really dont have any-but I think it’s really fun to hear about/read about all the ones that are out there!

    Oh-and…be sure to check out my response on FB about those books you bought!! 😉

    Have a great Friday the 13th!

  8. Heck yeah, I wear boots! Got me some Ariats that I love, and am wearing my Frye’s right now, under my jeans. I wear western boots with anything — skirts, jeans, and even a dress or two, and to WORK too (I’m a US Navy civilian/DOD/Federal.) If they don’t like it — well, that’s THEIR problem!

    Happy Friday the 13th!

  9. I don’t wear boots, but I think I’m going to start. 🙂

    We have a farmer near us who for DECADES has been putting old boots on his fence posts until he’s now got several miles of wooden fence posts with a boot dropped over the top. Some of them are getting very battered but I always like the look of that.

  10. Tanya – great and fun superstitutions about boots! I only wear half-boots, but love the one sitting on my office table filled with roses. Wink Wink!

  11. Hi Melissa, so good to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by. Did you cry when you outgrew those little girl boots? Off to FB soon to read your “book review.” oxoxox

  12. Hi Wanda Sue, yay to those boots. I loved watching the CMA awards the other night and seeing Taylor Swift in her boots and fancy dreses. I love the look of those boots with absolutely anything.

    Hi Mary, yeah, I’m ready to succumb to a pair myself. Now, you know you need to post a picture of that fence post, don’t you?

    Thanks for stopping by. oxoxoxox

  13. Hi, Tanya,

    I started to say that I hadn’t worn boots since
    high school when I was in the drum & bugle corps
    which wore a western-styled uniform. Then I recalled
    that I have a pair of boots way back in the depths of my closet. As you can tell, I haven’t worn them
    in quite some time! LOL

    Pat Cochran

  14. Hi Charlene, oh yes, I love your boot, stuffed with roses for each book you’ve written. It’s totally overflowed by now, right?

    Did I tell you I got a porcelain old-fashioned lady’s shoe at the flea market for mine? Looks very cute. oxoxoxoxo

  15. Hi Pat, always fun to read your posts. You better dig those babies out from the depths and break them in again! I’d love to see that high school uniform.

  16. Tanya, I’ve never heard these superstitions. Wow! It certainly doesn’t pay to come between a man (or woman) and her boots. I have a pair of cowboy boots that I wear sometimes with long skirts. I really like the fit. They’re more comfortable than many of my other shoes. And winter’s coming so I’ll bet I’ll wear them quite a bit. Won’t be putting any red pepper in them though. LOL

  17. Hey Tanya! I own a pair of cowboy boots but don’t wear them too often. My hubby has some (and looks scrumptious in them, I might add) and I love it when he dons his black cowboy hat and boots. Fun post!

  18. Hi Linda, oh I love the look of western boots with a long skirt. I think I’ve still got my old denim one hanging in the closet. Hmmmm. I’ve a mind to get myself a pair of boots for hubby to give me for Christmas LOL.

    The red pepper thing cracked me up. Thanks for posting today! oxoxoxox

  19. hi Helen, always so good to see you here especially as I know how busy you are. 40K words already for NaNo! Wow.

    Ooooooooh…boots and a black cowboy hat. Too hot. Be still my heart.

  20. Hi Tanya,

    I have cowboy boots. I really enjoyed your post today

    Walk in harmony,

    Melinda

  21. Thanks, Melinda. Walk in harmony In Boots 🙂

    I always appreciate you stopping by to post.

  22. I don’t really have any superstitions but I do pick up a penny if I see one for luck, I’m not sure it helps any but it can’t hurt.

  23. hi Quilt Lady, you sound like me! I haven’t found one for a while, come to think of it…maybe folks are putting them in their piggy banks.

    Thanks for visiting the Junction today.

  24. Avatar

    Interesting post.It is amazing how much lore can surround something. No real superstitions here. There are a few things that I don’t do, just not to tempt fate. Don’t set the nursery up too early, something might happen with the pregnancy (got skittish after a few miscarriages).
    We do have cowboy boots, but don’t wear them very often.
    I pick up pennies. Why not? They might bring good luck, but why turn down free money:-)

  25. Don’t have boots, but I have to put footwear on in this order: left sock, left shoe, right sock, right shoe. I think it’s more of a weird Monk thing than a superstition. I pick up pennies too.

  26. Thanks for the nice picture from the boots
    R.H.

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