The tradition of leaving a boot on a barbed wire fence in country states has meaning behind it. This is purposeful, not an accident. If you don’t want to offend anyone, especially the owner of the property, you should never touch these boots.
If you take a trip to Texas or Nebraska, don’t be surprised if you see abandoned cowboy boots on barbed wire fences. There is actually a reason for this common occurrence.
Why are perfectly good cowboy boots being left on fence posts in Texas?
The locals say that these boots might be roadside memorials, either for the cowboy or his horse. Although they’re not as picturesque, the heartfelt intention is what matters most. It’s common knowledge that cowboy boots are a necessary item for any Texan wardrobe.
The origins of this practice are unknown. There are jokes that cowboys camp out “upside-down” because they can see heaven through the holes in their boots.
Many tourists take photos of the cowboy boots latched onto the barbed wire fence on Highway 49 near Placerville. What most don’t know is that this fence has a story behind it.
The memorial for Patty Navarro’s son, David, was the beginning of it all.
David was a true cowboy. He grew up around them and, according to his mother, “was born with a pair of boots on.” Tragically, he died in a car accident at 23. He was young with many years ahead of him. His father’s heart broke when he passed away because his dad also died that day from a heart attack.
This fence, lined with boot-adorned ads, pays tribute to the many cowboys across rural America – David being the first cowboy commemorated on this particular fence.
These boots may also represent horses, in addition to lost cowboys.
While some people claim that the boots you often see on barbed-wire fences are memorials for horses, in reality, they could be commemorations for any animal. All over the world, cultures have long held a deep affection for horses because of their many positive attributes. So, when one dies it can feel just as devastating as losing any other type of beloved pet or family member.
It’s well-known that cowboys and their horses are inseparable. So, it’s possible that the cowboy boots placed on these fences might be in memory of a horse that has died.
Additionally, another explanation for these boots on the fences is that it serves as a way to notify people that a cowboy is no longer home.
Though we may not know which belief is correct, they all hold sentimental value. If you come across one of these beliefs, it is best to show respect. This means refraining from ridicule or causing harm.
The boot that you are disrespecting could be a family’s way to honor a loved one who passed away. They could be a symbol of a friend, brother, son, or beloved horse for all to see.