Cowboy Boots on Fence Posts: What Does It Mean?
Ever seen cowboy boots on fence posts? Maybe it’s something you saw at a friend’s house or a relative’s house growing up — or maybe your own home’s fence has some boots on it. It’s mysterious, no doubt, so what does it even mean?
Colorado publication The Longmont Times-Call has a story about steel fence posts adorned with not just cowboy boots, but other shoes, at a cul-de-sac in the area.
The fence separates the airport from the Amgen campus in an unpopulated area. A child’s green slipper, a black cleat, workman’s boots — they’re all among the dozens of shoes capped on the posts. According to the article, a source who works at the airport near the fence said it’s been years that the shoes and cowboy boots have been on the posts. Initially, he thought the shoes belonged to parachutists called “swoopers” who, after doing a successful jump, donated a shoe to put up on the fence.
Not so, said a representative from the skydiving business. Apparently an “elderly man with a metal detector” is responsible for the shoes. Still though, they don’t really have a definite explanation.
Cowboy boots on fence posts at ranches isn’t something new. The article mentions how it used to be a signal that a ranch or homeowner was at home when there was a cowboy boot sitting on top of a fence. Again, though, there’s no definite explanation for the Longmont fence.
This made us awfully curious, so we couldn’t help but search around for more info. Just why do people but cowboy boots on fence posts?! Looks like someone else was curious about the same thing, as they posed the question at AnswerBag. Responses from others included some interesting explanations, including one that said once ranchers had worn out a pair of cowboy boots, they put ‘em on top of the posts to protect the wood from rain. Another one said the tradition started as a sign of respect to a rancher or farmer who had passed away.
Anyway, it seems like there may not be just one reason for cowboy boots placed on fence posts — it may have a different meaning for everyone. Or, hey, maybe it’s just plain good ol’ fashioned cowboy fun.