Tack & Gear

Step Through Time: Tack Through the Decades

Since 1936 Western Horseman has honored the American stock horse, and with the great cowboys of the West comes a rich history of the tack they found worthy to use.

A lot has changed since the first issue of Western Horseman was printed. The horses have changed, the industry has changed and the tack has changed. But a few things remain the same: the love of the horse and the good folks in the Western industry. From everyday horsemen to performance horse legends and ranchers who have survived the test of time, they’ve all cared about the horse.

Horses have served as our stable companions and a means of completing work for decades. As much thought and research as we horsemen have put into caring for our horses, the tack we use — both for show and for work — is equally important. Let’s take a look at the tack horsemen have trusted and have subsequentially graced the pages of Western Horseman throughout the years.

Early 1900s, ’30s & ’40s

From the Cavalry Scout of 1916 to Anna Lee Hansen and her favorite stock horse in 1943, even in the early years Western Horseman represented everyone from the everyday cowboy to the aspiring horsemen of the ages.

’50s, ’60s & ’70s

Horsemanship began to evolve in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s and with it the tack progressed as well. Designs and styles focused more and more on the horse and the functionality of each piece.

’80s & ’90s

As horseman moved into an era of increased horse-power, the show pen began to influence both bloodlines and tack.

2000s – Present

When looking at tack today, you’ll find everything from time-tested traditional pieces to modernized styles built with the modern stock horse and the modern cowboy in mind.


This article was originally published in the May 2022 issue of Western Horseman.

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