Boots On Texas Fenceposts: What Does It Mean?

Mike Marcotte, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Whether you’re a tried-and-true Texan or you just wish you were from the deep South, it’s likely that you’ve noticed boots on fenceposts in the Lone Star State. Many ranchers participate in this practice, although no one is quite sure how the concept of covering fenceposts with cowboy boots got its start.

 

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There’s no doubt about it–ranchers have been hanging cowboy boots on fenceposts for a long time. Some ranchers believe that the trend got started to help ranchers let others know whether they were home. A boot toe facing the ranch gate meant that the rancher was home, while a boot pointed away from the fence gate meant that the rancher was out for the day.

 

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Another theory states that in the days before ranchers had the materials that they needed to preserve wood, placing a boot on top of a fence post helped to keep the wood strong. Others say that placing a boot on top of a fencepost may be in memoriam to a cowboy whose life has been lost, and others still say that the tradition may be purely decorative.

 

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What do you think it means – or what does it mean to you?

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