A Boot On A Fencepost Has Special Meaning For Ranchers And Sends a Cowboy’s Soul to the Afterlife
When I saw the first photo of a boot on a fencepost I thought, what a fun picture. I was sure this boot on a post has some meaning. I had no idea it had so much meaning.
Perhaps those boots, found on ranches throughout the Western United States, were just put there for the fun of it. That's okay it looks interesting and it makes people stop. But there was a deeper meaning to this cowboy superstition.
Early History Of Wyoming is a Facebook page that allows anyone with a passion for history to go digging in search of mysteries of the past. A couple of their members decided to have a look at why you might see an occasional boot on a post, or maybe a row of them.
Boots are only put on a post when they are beyond repair. That comes from a time when folks did not throw something out just because it had a developed a worn spot or two.
I Googled the question of what it means and was shocked to find several answers. Here are some of the reasons found for a boot on a post:
- It points to where the rancher may be working so others can find him.
- Honoring a loved one. It might be the boot of someone who has passed.
- Bottoms up so the souls of cowboys could go to heaven.
- The more practical reason of preventing water damage on the top of the post.
On Facebook, Patti Lunbeck Olesen posted this photo and wrote: "But the more I think on this, yes someone somewhere started a tradition and folks have just rolled with it, I found one on my little acre of land so of course, I planted it upside down on a post cause that's what we do😂 So from now on I plan to take a picture of every boot I see on a fence! Your thoughts?"