| No type of the Old West
has been portrayed with less accuracy than the cowboy. His costume
and his "outfit," his customs and habits and vices have all been
described time and time again, but usually with so little knowledge
of real facts and detail as to disgust the old-time cowpuncher.
There were really two distinct types and species of cowpunchers.
The California cowboy was strong on ornamentation--silver mounted
spurs, bits, and conchas--known as "hoss jewelry." Instead of quirt,
as the short, heavy, braided leather whips carried by cowpunchers
were called, the California man had what was called a romal or quirt
braided to the end of the reins. Their "chaps" were made usually
of fur or hair, either bear, angora goat or sealskin.
The Texas type of cowpuncher was not so strong on fancy ornamentation.
His saddle had a lower horn and was of the type known as rim-fire
or double-cinch. His rope was shorter by 20 feet, seldom exceeding
40 feet in length. This was because, riding in a brush country,
he was forced to swing a small loop. His "chaps" were usually made
from heavy bullhide, to protect the legs from brush and thorns.