western belt buckle material types

Utah Western Belt Buckle Material Types: Steel, Brass

Many of our favorite items can be made using a few different source materials, and one of the best examples here in Western circles is the belt buckle. Whether for fashion use or use within rodeo and other Western settings, belt buckles can be fashioned from several different high-quality materials – how do they differ, and which is best for you?

At A Cut Above Buckles, we’re here to offer a huge selection of custom rodeo trophy buckles and other Western belt buckles, made from the finest materials. What are some of the top materials used today for these buckles, and which is ideal for your needs? This two-part blog series will take a look.

Stainless Steel

One of the best materials for those looking for an aesthetically-pleasing, easy-to-care-for buckle is stainless steel. This metal is not only durable and strong, but it also does not rust or corrode like many other types of metals. It’s also relatively lightweight, so that means you can easily attach your belt buckle to a variety of different belts without worrying about the weight causing any wear or damage.

Stainless steel buckles are used in a variety of different settings, from fashion to rodeo. They are also often used in awards and trophies due to their attractive sheen and classic look. One of the great things about steel is how easy it is to polish and keep clean; a simple cloth and some metal polish can help keep your stainless steel buckles looking great for years to come.


Another great option here, one that’s known for versatility and strength, is brass. Brass buckles are usually much heavier than stainless steel varieties, but they also have a greater level of detail and can be used for various decorative purposes. Like stainless steel, brass does not corrode or rust over time – it’s incredibly durable and built to last.

Brass buckles often feature intricate designs or engravings, making them perfect for any occasion. They are also incredibly affordable, even when compared to stainless steel buckles; this makes them a great option if you’re on a budget and want a great-looking buckle that won’t break the bank.

If you do decide to go the brass route, be sure you’re aware that over time, brass develops what’s known as a “patina” – a darkening of the metal’s surface. This natural change can be seen as attractive, but some people prefer to keep their buckles looking shiny and new, so this should be taken into consideration when making your selection.

In part two of our series, we’ll look at a few additional materials that are ideal for belt buckles. Stay tuned to learn more about the material best suited for you! For more on this, or to learn about any of our Western or rodeo belt buckles, speak to our team at A Cut Above Buckles today.

Halloween rodeo costumes roper

Texas Halloween Rodeo Costumes: Roper, Bronc Rider, Cowboy

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the top ideas you might pass on to your kids if they’re looking for a rodeo theme in their Halloween costume this year. While we know it’s still quite a while until the spooky day actually hits, we know many kids and their parents love to get started on costume ideas months in advance, and we figured we’d line up with the program!

At A Cut Above Buckles, we’re happy to offer a wide selection of custom rodeo belt buckles, Western accessories and numerous other items to help you build any kind of Western outfit you’re in need of in Texas — and Halloween is one of our busiest times each year. What are some other possible ideas to consider for your child’s rodeo-themed Halloween costume? Here are a few.


For those looking for a slightly simpler costume idea, but one where your child can carry multiple accessories and really look the part, consider going as a roper. A cowboy hat, chaps, Western boots and of course, a lasso are all you really need to put this one together. You can find most of these items used — or even better, borrow them from a friend who rides!

For those who aren’t familiar, the roper is the one on horseback who tries to lasso the calf (or in this case, perhaps a younger sibling) and secure it for points. If you’re going this route for your child, just be sure they’re old and mature enough to know not to use their rope in any mean or dangerous ways when interacting with others.

Bronc Rider

One of the most well-known rodeo events, bronc riding, is a great option for a Halloween costume as well. A plain Western shirt, jeans, boots and a cowboy hat are the foundation for this outfit. You can even find fake horses at some party stores to help complete the look — or if you have access to a real horse, that’s an even better option!

Cowboy or Cowgirl

Finally, perhaps the single most common rodeo-themed costume idea of all is to just go as a cowboy or cowgirl. This one is easy enough that just about anyone can do it, and you have a lot of leeway in terms of what kind of accessories you want to add. A bandana, rodeo belt buckle, Western boots and a cowboy hat are some classic choices, but you can really add or subtract just about anything to personalize the costume to your child’s liking.

As you can see, there are plenty of great rodeo-themed Halloween costume ideas out there for kids of all ages. At A Cut Above Buckles, we’re proud to be your go-to source for custom rodeo belt buckles and other products in Texas. Contact us today to learn about our products or services!

halloween rodeo costume

Halloween Rodeo Costumes: Bull Rider, Barrel Racer, Rodeo Clown

While we know Halloween is still multiple months away, we also know many people — especially kids — like to get their costume ideas and shopping done very early. And if you live in an area where rodeo events are popular, or if you’ve introduced your children to this world in the past and they’ve taken a great interest in it, their desired Halloween costume may just be rodeo-related this year.

At A Cut Above Buckles, we’re here to help with any Western or rodeo look you or your children are going for, offering everything from quality belt buckles to Western jewelry, accessories and more. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over several Halloween costume ideas that are common in our world, plus which might be right for your child.

Bull Rider

One of the most popular rodeo events out there is bull riding, which takes a lot of bravery, skill and practice. If your child loves the adrenaline rush that comes with this event or just thinks it looks really cool, they may want to dress up as a bull rider for Halloween this year.

To get the look right, start with some key clothing items like a plaid shirt, cowboy boots, denim jeans and a cowboy hat. From there, you can accessorize with items like a rope or bandana tied around the neck, a fake bull riding vest and more. You may also want to consider adding some face paint to make your child’s costume look even more authentic.

If your child happens to have a favorite bull rider from the events they’ve attended or watched, they may also want to dress up as that specific person. This can be done by including items like a replica of that rider’s jersey number or even having them wear the same brand of clothing that rider is typically seen in.

Barrel Racer

Another popular rodeo event, especially with young girls, is barrel racing. This involves a horse and rider working together to complete a cloverleaf pattern around barrels in the shortest amount of time possible.

To dress up as a barrel racer for Halloween, your child will need a few key items like a Western shirt, cowboy boots, denim jeans or shorts and a cowboy hat. You can also accessorize with items like chaps (these can be real or fake), a lariat rope, a halter and lead rope for their horse (if they’re using a toy horse) and more. Again, face paint can also help to complete the look.

Rodeo Clown

For kids who enjoy being goofy and having a little fun with their Halloween costume, dressing up as a rodeo clown may be the perfect option. Rodeo clowns play an important role in rodeo events, helping to protect bull riders from being hurt by angry bulls after their ride.

To get the look of a rodeo clown, start with some key clothing items like oversized overalls or denim jeans, a brightly-colored shirt, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. From there, you can accessorize with items like face paint, a red nose, suspenders and more. If your child is dressing up as a specific rodeo clown that they’re familiar with, be sure to include items that will help make them recognizable.

In part two of our series, we’ll go over some further themes here. For more on this, or to learn about any of our custom belt buckles or other Western accessories, speak to the team at A Cut Above Buckles today.

cowboy rodeo equipment flank saddle

Cowboy Rodeo Equipment: Flank Strap, Tape, Saddle, Rope and Bell

In parts one and two of this multi-part blog series, we went over some of the most common and important pieces of equipment worn by rodeo cowboys. From belt buckles to a variety of other items, cowboys need to be properly stocked to ensure they’re both safe and stylish during any rodeo event.

At A Cut Above Buckles, we’re proud to be your one-stop shop for all custom rodeo belt buckles, including our Championship series and several others. In addition, we’re happy to assist rodeo cowboys and many others with all their important needs for any event they’re taking part in. Today’s final entry in our series will look at a few additional items that should be considered for any rodeo event cowboy.

Flank Strap

For both bronc and bull riding, flank straps are used to help the rider keep his grip and control on a bucking animal. The flank strap is applied to the bowels of a horse and, when tightened properly, is extremely effective at keeping a cowboy in place as he rides.

Despite some silly myths to the contrary, flank straps are not tied around the groin area of the animal, but rather the hips and stifles. If you’re a cowboy competing in this type of rodeo, remember to never cross your leg over the flank strap!


Roughstock events are straining and stressful on the body, and many cowboys will use tape to wrap their joints and limbs. Ankles, wrists, knees and elbows are common spots for athletes to apply sports tape to reduce the risk of injury during competition.

Rodeo Athletic Tape is a good option for cowboys looking for high-quality adhesive athletic tape that can withstand outdoor elements while still providing support or protection where needed. It’s also available in a variety of colors, which can be used to help cowboys coordinate their outfits while still offering the support they need.


In most bronc riding events, contestants bring their own saddles to use as equipment. The type of saddle cowboys bring with them will vary depending on the event and their personal preferences.

Rope and Bell

For those who compete in bull riding events, a rope and bell is necessary as equipment. This particular piece of gear is used as both protection and decoration during rodeo competitions.

Typically, this rope will be a 16-foot braided piece of polypropylene, with a bell at the bottom of the coil. If you’re a bucking bull rider, this is equipment you should have, allowing you to maintain a solid grip for any bucking type event.

For more on the equipment often kept and utilized by rodeo cowboys on a regular basis, or to learn about any of our trophy or championship belt buckles, speak to the pros at A Cut Above Buckles today.

cowboy rodeo equipment spurs gloves

Cowboy Rodeo Equipment: Spurs, Gloves, Riggin, Glue

In part one of this multi-part blog series, we discussed some of the most common and important pieces of equipment maintained by roughstock cowboys for various rodeo events. From basic safety and protection to that well-known cowboy style that must be maintained, the average cowboy might utilize a variety of different equipment pieces within a single rodeo.

At A Cut Above Buckles, we’re here to help. We offer a huge selection of custom rodeo belt buckles to clients throughout Utah, including our Competitor Series that can be customized in several ways to meet your design and practical needs. What are some of the other most important items you’ll often find on a cowboy at any major rodeo event, and why does each of them matter? Here’s a primer.


For those unaware, spurs in the rodeo world refer to small metal tools attached to the heel of a boot, allowing the rider to dig into the flanks of their mount in order to spur them into action or force them to move in a certain direction. These tools (generally) come in two varieties: “Texas” and “Garrison.”

The former style employs longer rowels (the circular piece with protruding spikes that is responsible for the spurring action) with long, pointed bobbles (which help prevent against getting their shanks (the metal piece mounted to the spur) caught in a rope or other obstacle), while the latter are shorter but utilize more points of contact for additional control over the horse. These are just two styles that have endured throughout history despite many others that have faded into obscurity.


Also vital for rodeo cowboys are riding gloves, which are used to protect the hands from rope burns and small cuts that can cause serious problems. They also help maintain that traditional cowboy appearance by being made out of leather. Modern versions are usually substantially better than the classic “chamois” style, though chamois are still available if one is trying to be true to tradition.


Referring to a handhold that’s customized to the grip of the rider, “riggin” is a piece of equipment that is often made of leather and placed around the neck to assist in maintaining a proper position on top of cattle, horses, or bulls. This holds true whether one is riding “free-style” (no animal) or mounted atop an actual competitor. It’s most common in the bareback riding event, and will typically be made of leather and rawhide.

Glue (or Rosin)

Roughstock riders will often use glue, also known as rosin, to improve their grip on anything from their spurs to rigging. It can be found in a paste form, as well as powdered and applied via brush – the former is more common for those interested in having a more traditional look.

For more on the important pieces of equipment you’ll see used by cowboys during rodeo events, or to learn about any of our custom rodeo belt buckles in Utah, speak to the staff at A Cut Above Buckles today.

cowboy rodeo equipment belt buckle

Cowboy Rodeo Equipment: Belt Buckle, Hat, Chaps, Vest

Today’s modern rodeo cowboy needs the right equipment for both practical use and showcasing their style, and at A Cut Above Buckles, we’re here to help in one major area: Belt buckles. Our wide selection of custom rodeo trophy buckles and other belt buckles is ideal for any and all rodeo cowboy needs, and we’ve helped numerous clients outfit themselves both safely and in-style.

The belt buckle is just one of several pieces of rodeo equipment that play both practical and aesthetic roles for cowboys and cowgirls, and we’re here to assist you with your entire setup for any rodeo event. This multi-part blog series will go over a number of important equipment pieces specific to roughstock rodeo events like bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding, ensuring you’re completely set up for your next event.

Helmet or Cowboy Hat

One of the most visible and well-known pieces of rodeo k is the cowboy hat, and this is a practical and aesthetic piece of equipment that you’ll need to use throughout your rodeo career. Depending on the type of event, cowboys will utilize a different style of helmet or cowboy hat – for example, those competing in saddle bronc riding might have a harness holding their cowboy hats in place as they ride horseback.

In other cases, cowboys will wear a helmet for certain events – bareback riders and bull riders opt for helmets due to the dangerous nature of their respective events.


For these kinds of roughstock events, chaps are used to protect the rider’s legs. Chaps are made out of leather or wool, depending on the preference of each individual cowboy, and are designed to help protect against injuries during the event.

Chaps come in many different styles – some have fringe while others are plain, made from various materials and with particular decorative elements that represent a certain rodeo association. These personal touches make chaps more than just equipment – they represent a cowboy’s identity and spirit.


Especially in bull riding, but also sometimes in bronc riding and other events, you’ll see contestants wearing vests to help protect their chests from injury. Just like chaps, vests can have a variety of configurations and designs that represent the cowboy’s personal style.

Belt Buckle

While some may not realize it, cowboy belt buckles play both a practical and stylistic role for rodeo cowboys. A strong, durable belt buckle helps a cowboy carry the right equipment while also showcasing a sense of style.

At A Cut Above Buckles, we’re proud to offer our rodeo belt buckles in wide variety of shapes and styles that allow you to find the best option for your needs and preferences. Whether you prefer simple or ornate designs, silver or gold, we have a buckle for you.

Contact us today to learn about any of our products or how we can help outfit you for your next rodeo.

history custom belt buckles

The History Behind Today’s Custom Belt Buckles

The custom belt buckle is a vital part of many rodeo, equestrian and other Western events, but it’s a product with a history that dates back much longer than these pursuits. Belts and buckles have been around in some form for hundreds or even thousands of years, though opinions differ slightly on when custom belt buckles truly became part of our culture.

At A Cut Above Buckles, we’re proud to offer a wide range of custom belt buckles for any purpose, and we’re also cognizant of the long history behind our products — both in the Western US and throughout the world. For our clients who are interested, here’s a brief history of belts and custom belt buckles so you can trace the origins of these products in our society.

Ancient Introduction

Technically speaking, the first buckles of any kind in known human history were created by the Greeks during the period of the Roman Empire. These buckles were made of either metal or bone, at least in most cases, and were used to secure clothing (a strange concept by today’s standards, of course). There are also tools created specifically for the purposes of creating these buckles, including the first rivet-making tools.

Belt Buckles

However, most agree that when it comes to buckles specifically for belts, it would be several hundred more years before the first such products were seen. Most accounts trace this back to the 16th century in Italy, where people began using ornately designed belts with metal buckles to secure their pants or other forms of lower-body clothing.

Of course, these buckles weren’t intended for personalization or much other decoration — the buckle was simply meant to serve its purpose. However, people were creative by nature, and soon they began adding embroidery or enamel work on top of these belt buckles.

Western US and Cowboys

Belt buckles were largely a functional item for several hundred years after this point, up to a vital piece of history for our company: When cowboys began using them for several purposes, including within rodeos and other Western events in the late 1800s.

Custom buckles really became a thing in the Western US, and it didn’t take long before just about every cowboy owned one. One way to tell a real cowboy from a pretender was which buckle they wore — that is, until other people started using them just for decoration or even fashion purposes.

And over the last several decades, custom belt buckles have served both these purposes well. They’re both must-have items for rodeos and equestrian events plus quality style options for many people, even those who don’t regularly compete in such events.

For more on the history of custom belt buckles, or to learn about any of our custom buckle options, speak to the staff at A Cut Above Buckles today.