American cattle drives loom large in our imagination, but in reality they only lasted a short time in our history. The Chisolm Trail is iconic Americana and often what people think of when they envision an old west cattle drive. However, the lesser known Western Trail which succeeded the Chisolm was longer, carried more cattle and was traveled for more years.
Busy with the demands and struggles of everyday life, it was hard to realize the things one used on a daily basis would someday be historical treasures.
As you pass abandoned homesteads, schools, depots and the myriad of other buildings left alone to face unforgiving elements, don’t you wonder about the stories that may be whispering in the crumbling walls or have been blown away by a prairie wind?
A good saddle would often cost a month or two of wages. This was money well spent; a well-made saddle would serve its owner well for thirty years or more. A good saddle and a considerate rider could travel 70 miles a day and still have a healthy horse. A thoughtless rider in a poor saddle could make a horse sore in an hour.