If you compete in Cowboy Mounted Shooting and you want to wear jeans during competition, you must wear a pair of chinks or chaps. Most people opt for chinks.
Traditionally, chinks and armitas were developed by the vaqueros of California and the Southwest, who wanted greater versatility and air circulation while riding in hot weather. Eventually they were improved upon and became the popular standard amongst the working cowboys and buckaroos of the Great Basin Region. Chinks are still popular especially for cowboys and cowgirls that are looking to stay cool while protect their legs from the elements.
I recently sat down with Virgil Arellano of Virgil Arellano Saddlery and Rolano Sierra Custom Leather to discuss the proper fit of chinks for Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Virgil has been doing leather work since he was in high school and
has been operating his business since 1990. Here are his suggestions for getting the proper fit on your next pair of chinks.
Solid Leather Length
What are you getting the horse lover in your life for Christmas? Do you need some ideas? Here are a few items that I love that might help you out.
Whipin' Wild Rags
Spring may seem far away at the moment, but before you know it your horses will be shedding that winter coat and you will be covered in horse hair. I've always used those metal shedding blades to get all the winter hair off my horses and I've never been impressed. This past spring I came across Strip Hair. This is an amazing product with multiple uses. Not only will this groomer pull off all that winter hair, but you can use it to clean off mud, give your horse an extra shine, or a good massage. Additionally, you can use the saddle pad groomer to pull off all the hair that builds up on your saddle pads. I purchased the Strip Hair Bundle and I have used every product and they are all amazing! Now through Cyber Monday, the StripHair Bundle is on sale for $48.00, normally $64.00
Photo curtesy of Chelsey Stimson
Chelsey Stimson is the surviving spouse of SO1 Tyler Stimson, a Navy SEAL and former Marine. Chelsey, a veteran herself, beautifully paints American flags onto feathers and sells them on her Etsy site American Feathers. You might have seen some of your favorite NFR cowboys and cowgirls wearing them in their hat bands. These feathers are such an amazing tribute and a great way to show your American pride.
Mounted Shooting Log Book
It's been proven that tracking your progress can help you reach your goals. This log book is the perfect way to do that. I developed this out of necessity and it's been a game changer for me and many other shooters.
You can pick up your copy here.
Give your mounted shooter the gift of fun and a weekend well spent. Offer to cover the cost of the entry fees for a shoot. This could range anywhere from $80-$1,000 depending on what shoot they want to go to, but it's totally worth the memories that will be made. Plus the mounted shooter in your life will be filled with joy!
Portable Panels from Affordable Portable Products
What I love most about this company is that you can get some great portable panels at a reasonable price. They come pre-assembled, or if you want to save a little $$ you can get the "Honey-Do" box set. They come in horse or pony/mini size, and in two or three rails. Additionally, you can choose the color of the connecting pieces. Be sure to check them out soon as they have some awesome discounts going on for the holidays.
Photos curtesy of Affordable Portable Products
I've been competing in Cowboy Mounted Shooting since 2010. When I first started I felt it was more important to put my money into a good horse and equipment, so that's what I did. Having a living quarters horse trailer was just too far beyond my financial means. So I spent 7 seasons sleeping in a tent, on a cot. I had a pretty good attitude about it because winning is more fun when your the girl that's sleeping in a tent. However, it did have it's limitations as you can imagine.
Finally, in 2017 I got an over cab camper for the back of my truck. Not perfect but a huge step up from a tent. Well, halfway through the season there was a small "issue" with someone else driving my truck with the camper on it. The other person may have taken it through a drive through. *facepalm We were 1,200 miles from home but we got it patched up enough to get us back safely. Sigh....now I was stuck with a camper that I could no longer use and I still had more shoots to go to. Back to a tent I go, or so I thought.
After talking with the insurance company, and looking at finances, it became very obvious that a new trailer was possible. Not only possible but affordable! It was almost too easy to make it all happen. Everything fell into place and before I knew it I was driving around looking at trailers. I found the prefect fit at Don Johnson Trailer Sales in Walla, Walla, WA. A week later I went to pick it up.
We did a little Vlog to document this amazing moment. The whole time we were there I was trying to play it cool. Inside I was doing backflips and crying tears of joy. Having this amazing trailer is a game changer and I feel so blessed to be able to make it happen. This is a huge goal and I was able to achieve it long before I ever thought I would. Goes to show that hard work really does pay off.
A huge thank you Sam at Don Johnson Trailer Sales for making the process easy and hassle free. Your customer service and professionalism are above and beyond. Thank you for helping make my dream happen.
I have a very cute two horse, slant load trailer. I don’t have a proper barn at my home so the trailer tack room is the only tack room I have. As most of you are aware, horse people have a tendency for acquiring lots of tack/horse related stuff. There are things in my tack room that I don’t recall purchasing. They just appeared in there. My tack collection has started to spilled into my husband’s shop. I have a little corner that is mine. I keep all the winter blankets there, plus two saddles and several saddle pads.
This spring I have decided to clean out what I really don’t need. We have a 4-H tack swap each year and I started there. I sold quite a few items which gave me some extra cash in my pocket. I’ve also just gotten rid of a lot of things that I no longer need and I know I won’t be able to sell. But even with this purge, I was still struggling with all the splint and bell boots I have.
For the past 7 years I have been keeping all those horse boots in a large bag. Problem is, that if I want my red boots and they are in the bottom of the bag, I have to take everything out. Annoying! What is a girl to do when looking for organization solutions? Pinterest of course!
After a quick search, I found the perfect solution. Velcro on the walls of my trailer to attach the boots to, perfect! A quick trip to my local Hobby Lobby was fruitful. I purchased Black 2" wide Stick-On Hook & Loop Industrial Strips. I got a coupon from Hobby Lobby’s web site for 40% off of one item for a total cost of $7.00. Score!
I wiped off the wall I wanted to put the boots on and then carefully applied the Velcro with the hooks as the top row because it sticks better to the splint boots. I then used the strip with the loops for the bell boots just below the first strip. I made sure that there was enough room between the two strips so that the splint boots and bell boots don't overlap. I had to cut the 4 foot strips in half to fit in my trailer but it worked just fine.
I can't believe I waited so long to do this project. It took me about 5 minutes to complete and I'm so happy with it. No more annoying bag of boots to dig through.
What tack room organization hacks have you used? Feel free to share in the comment section below.
I've talked about D.W. Equis before but I wanted to elaborate now that I've been using their bell boots for several months. My horses never get turned out without these bell boots. I also use them when I'm hauling horses in the trailer. I've really put these bell boots to the test and they have held up extremely well and most importantly, they have helped keep my horses injury free.
Some of you may remember Stella from a previous post. She is well on her way to becoming a great shooting horse but there is still work to be done. This is technically the second video I have done on her and I have decided to make her journey into a series. The "Making a Shooting Horse" series is going to be on going and will probably take over a year to complete. I am by now means an amazing horse trainer. I make my share of mistakes. However, I am always studying and learning from others. I truly believe that you can learn something from everyone you meet when it comes to training horses. Take what you like and leave the rest. What works for one person may not work for another. I offer to you just another way to train a horse for mounted shooting. So enjoy this episode and as always, feel free to ask questions in the comment section below.
I met Jessie Johnson in 2014 when she attended her first shoot. Since then we have competed against each other, traveled to World's together, and have formed a great friendship. Even though she lives three hours away, whenever we see each other, our friendship always picks up right where it left off. It's been so much fun to see her set goals and achieve them. She was gracious enough to let me interview her this summer and I'm so glad that she did. She is a rising star in the mounted shooting world and defiantly one to watch.
Courtney brings over 25 years of horse experience to the arena. She has spent time in the show ring competing with Saddlebreds in show pleasure and equitation. While competing in that discipline she had several undefeated years with too many championships to list. She then made the transition into rodeo where she competed in barrel racing, team roping, breakaway roping, and goat tying. Courtney found her true passion when she tried Cowboy Mounted Shooting. After just one ride she was hooked. Since then she has won State and Regional buckles, qualified for the CMSA World Championships several times, and placed 7th in the world in 2014.