Cowboy Rodeo Equipment: Spurs, Gloves, Riggin, Glue

December 14, 2021

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.

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