We were privileged to have Travis Sparks come by and do a packing demo the other day. Hunting is a totally different experience with horses. One hunter told me his story about finally getting his deer right at the end of the day, and was dreading the hike back uphill to the truck. Luckily some horse packers saw him, came down, and helped him quarter & pack out the deer. He would have been out there way past sunset without their help!
Packing isn’t just about packing out quarters. Your mule or horse might have tent poles, a shovel, lawn chairs, your bedroll, coolers, cooking supplies, or feed on his back. When you throw in antlers into the mix, packing turns into a real art & skill developed through practice.
Travis is a member of the Back Country Horsemen of Utah & does a lot of packing himself. He gave us a detailed demonstration of the Double Diamond hitch, and answered several questions about packing.
Watch Horse Packing Tips & Knot How-To
I split Travis’s presentation into two videos for you. First, you can see exactly how to do the Double Diamond knot on our trusted cavalry horse. This is a great hitch for top packing. Then, sit back and listen to Travis’s question & answer session about packing elk antlers, using a pack scale to balance your load, using soft packs vs hard packs, and tightening a cinch.
Packing with a Double Diamond knot. Thanks to Troy Higgs for this picture!
Watch: How to tie a Double Diamond Knot
Use a 45-foot rope to make this hitch, which starts out similar to the box hitch. Make sure and pull the rope tight.
Watch: Horse Packing for Hunting Q&A
Where to get those Pack Bags
We make the pack bags shown in Travis’s demo, these are the #663 designed for coolers. We also make a narrower bag without flaps, #1665, and #1666 with flaps.
We here at Smith and Edwards have often wondered, “What makes a good, leather work glove?” The folks at Yellowstone Leather Products have been showing us what a good quality work glove looks like for the past 47 years, and we couldn’t be more excited about it!
Kevin, from our hardware department, modeling our Yellowstone elkskin and deerskin gloves.
Yellowstone Leather Products is an Idaho-based business that opened in 1960. In 1969, now owner, Boyd Zollinger bought the company and went to work marketing and distributing American made work gloves. Zollinger said, “I was back east for school and was looking for a way to get back to Idaho,” where he was originally from. “My family and I looked at this company that was for sale and we thought, ‘we could work with that.'” That’s exactly what they have been doing now for the last 47 years.
Smith & Edwards has had a long partnership with Boyd and Yellowstone, reaching back to 1969:
“We found their quality is far superior to any other glove we carry,” said Jim Smith, president of Smith & Edwards, an Ogden, Utah, retailer that has stocked Yellowstone Gloves for more than 35 years. “Most people who buy Yellowstone know they are quality gloves that will last longer than two or three other pairs they could buy cheaper.”
– Article from 2010 by Clark Corbin with the Idaho Falls Post Register
What makes Yellowstone Leather work gloves different?
The patented pattern of Yellowstone work gloves is really, what sets them apart from other work gloves. All of the premium leather gloves made at their warehouse in Idaho Falls feature both a seamless palm and back, making these work gloves form fitting. They fit tighter to your hand, Zollinger said, thus making it more like working with your bare hands, but with the protection necessary for even the toughest jobs.
Jean, one of our managers, modeling our Yellowstone elkskin and deerskin gloves. Jean manages the gloves department as well as our famous candy section!
Talking about premium leather, these gloves are made from some of the finest, hand selected elk, deer, and goatskin in the western United States. When asked about the difference in materials, Smith and Edwards’ own Jean Dimick said, “Elkskin and deerskin last longer than traditional cowhide gloves. They won’t get hard and brittle if they get wet.” You can enjoy soft, supple gloves no matter what.
What projects can I use my Yellowstone Leather work gloves for?
These deer and elkskin gloves can be used for any job, big or small, tough or easy. Elkskin is a heavier leather than deerskin and are best for heavy-duty jobs, such as fencing and other ranch work and construction. Deerskin gloves are more pliable and comfortable, and better for easy jobs.
Smith and Edwards own Kevin and Jean modeling our Yellowstone elkskin and deerskin gloves.
We would rave about these gloves all day if we could. So come on in and find out for yourself what makes these work gloves so special. We know you’ll fall in love with the Idaho-based, made in USA, leather work gloves that we have come to love and depend on too. Yellowstone Leather also distributes a high quality, imported brand of leather work gloves called Rocky Mountain Gloves.
What they wore:
102216412LTLL Carhartt Hubbard Classic Plaid Button Up Shirt
How stiff or soft your rope is. Heelers want a stiffer rope that will hold open longer (to get under the hooves). Heading ropes are softer.
How we Dummy Rope at Smith & Edwards – & you can in your backyard!
You need 3 people: a header, a heeler, and someone to push the dummy.
The header checks in with his heeler, and nods to the person pushing the dummy when he’s ready.
The header runs after the dummy and catches the horns or neck. Then, the header pulls the dummy straight, to the left, giving the heeler a good opportunity to get the rope under and around the dummy’s back legs. Pull the rope tight (dally the slack), and you’ve got it!
How to Score
We timed each run, from the moment the dummy moves forward, with a stopwatch. We stop the timer when the dummy is both headed & heeled.
It has to be a legal head catch: both horns, half a head (1 horn), or around the neck. We added a 5 second penalty if only caught one heel.
Come Give it a Try!
Ready to rope, too? Come in to our Western department and pick up your rope & dallies. Or, click over to Shop for Roping Supplies on our website. We’ll get you what you need!
“You had me at yellow” is how this young couple came to be.
Spencer, part of the Sporting Goods team here at Smith & Edwards, and his lovely new wife Emily, said they would love to be the models of our new Valentine’s Day outfits.
So, we took them across the road to Willard Bay, and what a beautiful winter day for this cute couple to spend together!
You had me at Yellow…
Emily looks amazing in this cute yellow and gray raglan tee from Cruel. The 3/4 length sleeves and geometric pattern print on the front are both comfy and stylish. And she’s combined it with a Cruel hat with navy and yellow embroidery to match the geometric design of her top.
Do it like Spencer, flirty in a lightweight gray t-shirt from Hooey. It’s great on its own, or you can combine it with a nice button-up for a dressier look. He’s wearing a Stetson pink and blue plaid button-up shirt loosely over top.
Keep it comfortable in jeans like Spencer’s Regular Joes by Tin Haul, and Emily’s Bailey Cinch jeans.
I’d be blue without you…
Another great look for this Valentine’s Day is “I’d be blue without you.”
Emily has this written all over her with this fashionable navy blue Cruel cotton button-up shirt with cute stitching and arrow print.
With all of her outfits, Emily has added the perfect touch with some arrow designed jewelry from Rock 47 by Wrangler.
And for the finishing detail, Emily has on Latigo Tucson boots from Tony Lama. These are perfect for any outfit with a great tan color and beautiful decorative stitching. Spencer sports Hooey Twisted X boots with stitching up the dark leather shaft and Hooey embroidered logo on the vamp. Click here to shop cowboy boots on our website!
A big thanks to Spencer and Emily for modeling and standing out in the freezing cold with us! They did amazing, and it was so much fun to do this shoot with them.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t always mean pink and red! Mix it up with these “You had me at Yellow” and “I’d be Blue without you” fashions this Valentine’s Day.
Cute Valentine’s Day puns courtesy of Kelsy in the clothing department at Smith & Edwards – Thanks Kelsy!
There are all kinds of horse blankets out there, and we like the Equibrand especially. Keep your horse warm and dry from the snow and rain with a blanket that moves with them. This makes for less cleanup work for you, too!
Hoof Pads & Snow Boots
If you’re venturing into the snow-filled hills on horseback, make sure and ask your farrier about ways to protect your horse. When you’re shoeing your horse, you have several options that prevent snow buildup under the horse’s hooves. Click here to see hoof pads and boots.
Snow buildup is extremely cold for your horse – plus, kt makes each tread slippery, instead of sure. Plus, the compacted snow adds pressure on the frog, so there are a few styles of hoof pads to keep your horse snow-free.
The Mustad no-snow tube-style hoof pads compresses, and pops back, which prevents the snow from building up on the hoof.
The other style, the Snowball black plastic hoof pad, presses a bubble down into the snow, keeping it away from the hoof and giving your horse a surer step.
Keep Yourself Warm
Known for their ranchwear, Schaefer vests & coats are designed to stand up to windstorms and blizzards that would make your eyes tear. Wool vests and jackets will give you years of use.
We love the Wyoming Traders line of wild rags. These 100% silk wild rags will keep you warm without weighing you down. We just got some new Aztec patterns in, and we’ve got both youth sizes and adult sizes in polka dots, solids, paisley, and more.
Silk is warmer than wool, it gets softer with wear, and naturally wicks moisture away.
Breaking ice in the trough – Wells is wearing a Stormy Kromer hat, and both boys are staying warm with wild rags!
If you don’t have a felt hat, look at a good Stormy Kromer hat. We carry these hats in store and they are so popular! Made in a wool/nylon blend with 100% cotton flannel, these hats are made in USA and are called “an icon of the great American outdoors.” This hat’s been around for more than 100 years, and it’s still made of six hand-stitched panels.
Don’t let your fingers freeze! Draw on your foam-lined Yellowstone gloves – an old favorite for standing up to barbed wire, these elkskin and deerskin gloves have a foam-lined option for winter.
I have always looked at Rodeo Queen contestants and wondered how they got all their outfits to match so perfectly. It’s incredible! From their hats, to their boots, and even their horse tack, it is all the same shade.
A frequent question we get asked is, How do I dye my own rodeo queen outfits? So, we asked around to give you the answers.
Ron: Ever since my little girl started doing rodeo queen contests, I’ve started dyeing her outfits. Pretty soon, word got out, and I began sending out dye orders for rodeo queens all over the states. It’s been 5 years now since I’ve started, and since Rodeo Ink opened for business.
S&E: What are some common mistakes people will make when dyeing on their own?
Ron: Well, dyeing is kind of a tricky thing. Many times, people don’t take into account all the different materials and dyes you have to use to get the same shade on everything. People can very easily can ruin a pair of jeans when dyeing. I hear a lot of “Help me fix this!” and a lot of times, stripping the dye out again is nearly impossible.
So I help people start over. Some good jeans to start with when dyeing are white Wranglers, style 13 or 14, and blank white boots. That way the dye goes on in its pure color, and you’re not overlapping and getting strange colors in the end.
S&E: What does a rodeo queen need dyed?
Ron: Just about everything! That includes shirt, jeans, boots, etc. Even reins, saddle pads, and custom tack. I can dye all those all the same color to match the outfit. Also, I have a contact with someone who does custom jewelry, airbrushing, and more.
S&E: What other events do you do dyeing for?
Ron: I do stuff for high school rodeo queen contestants, horse shows, Western pleasure, Texas stock shows, and even youth competitions – not just high schoolers. Also, I have worked with State Queens and Miss Rodeo America contestants.
Pearl and Perri Douglas for Box Elder County Minnie Princess
S&E: What’s rodeo queening’s effect on families?
Ron: Rodeo Queening is a great program for families. I have been involved in rodeo for more than 30 years and I was a rodeo clown & bull fighter for about 13 years. My whole family has been involved in rodeo for 10 years now and we have learned a lot, and not only about rodeo.
Being involved in rodeo queen pageants teaches kids about responsibility and self-worth, which is something that can help these kids out a lot when growing up.
Now We Know!
Thank you Ron! He gave us some awesome tips and ideas and we hope that those were able to help you as well. He’s got a knack for dyeing and says that he can match any color you send him. He recently added a new gal to help him out during the peak season, where they send out about 10-12 pairs in a week to orders from all across the United States and Canada.
Whether you’re working out on the ranch, or goin’ out on the town, a young cowboy or a timeless one, some things just never change. Just how Wranglers have been around for what seems like forever and they have never lost their style.
As for the Egger family, passing on these timeless traditions to their kids, as well as adding some of their own, is a must.
We recently had this cute little family buy some of the 100% silk Wild Rags we sell here in our store. Afterwards, they sent us some beautiful photos they had taken of their young son, Colton, by Sallie Scott with Country Grace Photography.
Colton’s set up camp and he’s ready to play!
The photos turned out so cute! This little cowboy is a natural. And he’s got on a Wild Rag! If that doesn’t convince you they’re good looking, I don’t know what will.
The Eggers aren’t the only family loving these scarves. Marty Thompson, our Western Tack manager here at Smith and Edwards, and his family also love them. His cute kids know a couple different ways tie a Wild Rag to be the slickest lookin’ cowboy around. Click here to see Marty’s son Wells show you How to Tie Wild Rags.
Besides being good looking, Wild Rags are really very practical. They can keep you warm in the cold, and wick away the moisture in the heat. Use them to filter out dust in their air and breathe through it, or to filter out dirty water to drink. And those are just some of their many uses!
They come in many different designs and colors, you can choose whichever fits you best. Here at Smith and Edwards, we happen to have a wide selection of Wild Rags to choose from. Click here to see Wild Rags.
So enjoy your own! Just like the Egger family, you can send us photos of how you use your Wild Rags! Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And just like Colton, you can be toughest and most handsome cowboy out there.
Special thanks to Colton Egger, his dad Clint, and photographer Sallie Scott of Country Grace Photography!
The elk herd over on Highway 89 definitely exists. Check out those earrings!
Everyone knows about the elk herd over on Highway 89, north of Pettingill’s and just across the freeway from us. Smith & Edwards, you may not realize, has been raising a mule herd for decades.
I wouldn’t tell you a tall tale! These mules have been here in the yard since we started making tack back in 1979. We feed them corn cobs, pemmican bites, leftover MREs, all kinds of things.
That turns them a little blue, just like the mule hide. (Eeyore is a distant bloodline member).
Some times we bring these mules packing with us. They’re great for elk quarters as well as bringing all types of fishing gear when we go out to Willard Bay!
Anyway, the reason we have Utah’s biggest blue mule herd is to keep up with demand for mule hide horn wraps. And the first question we get from buckaroos and ranch hands is, what’s the best way to install a mule hide wrap?
So, Marty made this video to see exactly how it’s done. Check out his saddle string tip!
Why use a Mule Hide Horn Wrap?
Wrapping your saddle horn with a strip of mule hide will protect it, but that’s just one benefit. Having this strip on your horn will act the opposite of a rubber dally: instead of gripping your rope, the mule hide practically turns to glass and allows you to feed the rope.
So how do you wrap a saddle horn with mule hide?
First, nail the end of the wrap to the bottom of your saddle. Then, bring the wrap up and over the swells. Here’s Marty’s tip: take your saddle strings and lay them under the wrap.
Then, wrap the mule hide around your horn, making sure to get the swells on your last loop. The last step of the wrap is pulling the end of the wrap underneath your first wrap, using Marty’s saddle string trick.
Then, you can use an old shovel handle with a strip of leather to smooth & tighten the wrap, getting rid of any bubbles.
Did you know? The blue color comes from the chrome tan process for these leather strips.
Rodeo season is gearing up! So for both the serious competitor and the die-hard rodeo fan, we have the rodeo apparel you need, to get you noticed.
Kelsey from our Clothing department helped us out by modeling both of these outfits – thanks, Kelsey!
Stay cool in blue with these fun women’s rodeo outfits by rodeo fan favorites: Wrangler, Cowgirl Tuff, and Rock 47.
Rodeo Fan Outfit
This fun Cowgirl Tuff printed tee is perfect for the rodeo or everyday. Top it off with a 6X Seratelli hat!
For cheering in the stands or after the competition, the Cowgirl Tuff cap sleeve v-neck t-shirt is a fun compliment to any jean. I have this one in my closet!
These Sadie jeans from Wrangler look great – you’re ready to have FUN!
Wrangler’s Booty UP Sadie jeans are everything that any woman wants in one jean. These jeans lift and define the seat – which is flattering, but doesn’t compromise comfort. The right blend of cotton, polyester and spandex make them just downright comfy.
Rodeo Competitor Outfit
Gorgeous cobalt stitching and cobalt & silver sparkles make this cotton shirt stand out.
This Rock 47 shirt features black gem-cut snaps on the sleeves and front, with a top button.
This Wrangler Rock 47 embroidered and embellished woven long sleeve cotton top is the perfect combination of style and flash. It features diamond blue stitching on both the front and the back around blue and silver rhinestone spots.
Look cool in blue as you do breakaway or barrels with this tough-but-cute outfit. Pair with matching cowboy boots like blue-stitched Ariat Pro Baby Flame boots.
Top it off with a 6X Seratelli hat. Then, accessorize with jewelry & cowboy boots. Kelsey picked the Ariat Pro Baby Flame boots – you can get yours online here!
Nobody loves a good joke more than our Western department. They are infamous for their many pranks. Insomuch that when I joined Smith and Edwards I was even warned not to go over there on April Fool’s Day!
So in light of April Fool’s Day coming up I’m going to share with you some of their pranks that you might want to use for your own April Fool’s pranks!
Drop for Drinks
When you bring up the topic of past pranks in the Western department, there is one that seems to be revered over all, even honored. If they had a Hall of Fame prank board, this would be at the top. They call it Drop for Drinks.
For this “game” you need a quarter, a funnel, and what’s a good prank without ice-cold water.
Start by telling your “victim” the rules of the game. Entice him by telling him the loser buys drinks for everyone else. The idea behind the game is that you drop a quarter from your forehead in a funnel that you are holding up in the waist of your pants. When you make it in, you get to step out of the circle. The last one to catch his quarter buys drinks for everyone else. (I realize it sounds like you’d actually have to be drunk to play this game, but truth is, most our guys are water drinkers!)
Everyone gets in a circle and has a “practice round.” When it’s time for your “friend” to take his turn, wait for him to lean back to get his quarter ready. That’s the time to pour ice-cold water down his funnel. But watch out. After the shock wears off you may need to run! Can you picture why this is a Western department favorite?
This next prank they were laughing so hard I couldn’t always understand them! It involves a tarantula, a plastic container, and a co-worker with some serious arachnophobia.
One early morning Shaun came to work with a tarantula in a plastic container. Marty, their fearless leader, made a tarantula look-alike with a sheepskin for the body and dangling leather for the legs – all painted black. They tied it to an unsuspecting, unnamed co-worker’s work apron. (They manufacture leather tack for their wholesale department right here in our store.)
When the man came in to work, Shaun was holding the tarantula in its case, looking around frantically. The co-worker asked what was wrong and Shaun told him that when he came to work that morning there were two tarantulas in that box and now there was only one! You could see the other guy glancing around nervously. He carefully went to his workbench and reached for his apron while still scanning the area anxiously. As he went to put his apron on he saw the tarantula Marty had made dangling off his apron.
Now at this point in the story they are laughing so hard it’s hard to tell what they’re saying.
The poor man couldn’t stretch his arms out long enough to keep that apron away from him as he was screeching and backing up into the middle of the store. (We weren’t open yet so there were no customers to watch the scene, thank heavens!)
He realized it was a joke when he finally noticed everyone laughing. In the words of Marty, “That’s when he started breathing again.”
More Drink Than You Bargain For
The next two pranks show that you should never leave your drink unattended back in the Western department.
Next time you see a fast food drink sitting around, try this favorite trick! All you need is the cup with a straw and lid, a packet of Arby’s sauce (feel free to use Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, or any other sauce you can find), and some tape.
While the owner is gone, take off the lid. Make a small slit in the Arby’s sauce so the straw can just fit through. Secure it to the straw with tape and replace it in the cup with the lid. When he comes back he’ll take a big swig and get a special surprise!
I love this one, but once again, you’ll need your running shoes on!
The Leaky Pop Can
Don’t let Marty get a hold of your pop can, or water bottle, or pretty much anything that you value.
Apparently he likes to use a razor blade to cut a horizontal slit about 1″ down from the rim, right below the drink opening. The “victim” doesn’t realize it’s there and when he drinks he dribbles all over himself!
Oreo Horseradish Cookies
The next three pranks are simply irresistible!
Start by gently taking off the top of your Oreo. Carefully scrape out the middle of the filling, leaving just a thin outer layer. Fill it in with horseradish sauce, or something similar.
Replace the top of your cookie and replace in the Oreo package. Now you are ready to serve your delightfully deceptive treats!
Tabasco Sauce Donuts
This idea is a pretty simple concept that really packs a punch! First you need a box of store-bought donuts. (I suggest maple bars, but only if you’re sharing with me.)
Fill a clean syringe with Tabasco sauce and carefully insert into the middle of some of the donuts. Your “victim” will see you eating donuts, so won’t think twice about it when you offer him a Tabasco-filled one. Watch the pleasure turn to horror when he starts eating!
Chocolate Cupcake Surprise
Here’s a story I’ve heard over and over again. I guess if they prank a manager it goes down in the history books!
One April Fool’s Day Dani decided to buy some chocolate cupcakes from the store and add a little something of her own – black food color. She injected it in the middle of the cupcake with a syringe. (Apparently a pretty handy tool to have back in the Western department!)
Most of the cupcakes were untouched, and everyone was eating them – so when one was offered to our co-worker, he jumped at the chance.
He started realizing there was a problem when he saw black dye on his hands. Too late. His lips and tongue were black the rest of the day!
For this simple prank you just need an ink pad and some binoculars. Ink around the binocular lenses with the pad so that when the unsuspecting wearer looks into them, they leave him with a surprise he won’t notice til someone tells him – or he looks in a mirror.
The guys in Western did this to a co-worker one time and he went most the day with the “ink spectacles” around his eyes before a co-worker from another department told him about it. Not saying it’s nice, just saying it works. Hehehe
Glue Bottle Jump
I call this the Glue Bottle Jump because that’s exactly what I did when they did this to me! You just need an empty glue bottle and some white 1/8″ cotton cord.
Take an empty bottle of glue and clean out the nozzle well. Marty uses a big bottle of Tear Mender because that’s what he uses all the time. Cut a 1/8″ cotton cord about 12″-15″ long and tie a knot at one end.
With the knot on the inside of the lid, insert the other end through the nozzle and make another knot on the open end. Now it is securely in place so it won’t come out. Pull the thread back through the lid so only the knot is showing on the nozzle of the lid. Attach your nozzle back to the bottle.
Marty, the Western department manager is fabulous at telling stories. He leads you up to the prank by showing you some of his work, or how he makes something. Then, when the moment is just right and he is showing you the glue, he’ll squeeze the bottle right at you and watch you jump…..and sometimes yelp. I’ve seen him do this to others and this harmless joke is always fun for a good laugh! Our friend Jeff was the last victim to his prank so we recorded it and you can see it below. Jeff says he doesn’t get scared easily so we’re pretty proud that we got any reaction out of him.
Thanks for being a great sport Jeff!
These are really only the beginning of the pranks and tricks you might find around here in the Western department. Maybe it’ll give you some ideas for April Fools pranks you can use!
Got some fun April Fools pranks of your own? We’d love to hear them! Please share them below.
Love all things Western? Tom teaches us how to tie a honda in this informative and easy-to-understand video. Check it out here!