Have you ever seen a boot on a fence? Many in Texas may have noticed that at some ranches, there are boot on the fence- but what does it mean? Apparently there are several reasons and I have to tell you, they are just about the most heartwarming reasons you'll hear!

Laurie Bariola via Unsplash
Laurie Bariola via Unsplash

Many ranches and farms across Texas are very well known to be family-owned, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that some of these ranchers might hold on to traditions and customs near and dear to their hearts!

If you're a city folk like I am, then some of these traditions may not make much sense to you, but I'm sure you can certainly respect and appreciate them! So if you encounter a boot, or several boots on a fence, you may seem a bit confused at first, or you may think that some rancher out there is walking around bootless- and it definitely does not mean you get a free boot!

However, the sight of a boot on a fence holds several meanings- here is what The Family Handyman says about boots on fences:

  • A rancher is honoring their deceased horse. When a cowboy has a strong bond with their horse, it may become their daily workhorse. When a special horse like this is sold or dies, a rancher will hang a pair of his boots on the fence to symbolize respect for the animal.
  • Another rancher has passed away. When a comrade passes away, a rancher may hang a boot on a fence post as a memorial.
  • The boots have worn out and represent hard work. Because a rancher grows attached to their boots and wears them daily, it’s a tradition to hang them on a fence whenever they have worn out. This represents the hard work the boots made possible.
  • The rancher is home. This older tradition was to hang boots up to let others know they were home before telephones and electricity made it easier to contact them.
Ranch Fence in Texas
Greg Rakozy via Unsplash

Are these not some of the most heartwarming reasons to hang a boot on a fence? So the next time you find yourself near a ranch and see a boot on a fence- try and remember that it may have any of these significant meanings- and, for the love of all that is good, do not take the boot!

LOOK: Here is a great example of what you will find at the Texas Farm Ranch and Wildlife Expo

Every year the Abilene Chamber of Commerce brings in the best, and newest equipment during the Farm, Ranch, and Wildlife Expo. See what you've been missing.

Gallery Credit: Rudy Fernandez

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