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Top 5 Cowboy Heirlooms

In every cowboy family, there is usually an item that has been passed down through the generations that hold a special place in everyone’s heart. Let’s talk about cowboy heirlooms and the types of items that typically get passed down from generation to generation. Family heirlooms are not something that can be replaced, not just because of the item itself but also the memories and stories that are attached to them. It goes beyond saying that if you’re lucky enough to have one of these items in your family, then hang on to it for dear life because they don’t come around very often. If you’re looking to start a family heirloom tradition, then this list might be a good place to start. 

Engraved Guns

Since the times of the Old West, families have been proud of the firearms they carry. Whether it was grandpa’s old Magnum Revolver or his .30-30 rifle that his son used to down his first deer, the memories associated with these heirlooms are truly timeless. It might even be an engraved gun that was passed down, but either way, it’s an item that is irreplaceable. If you are looking to acquire a family gun, then there are tons of great options out there to get you going in the right direction. 

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If you’re lucky enough to have a saddle passed down in the family, then it’s also worth it to make sure it’s regularly maintained, oiled, and checked to make sure the tree is still sound. Typically, the foundation of the saddle, called the “tree”, can get worn out, warped, or even break over time. So while saddles make phenomenal cowboy heirlooms, they should either be kept as home decor or properly taken care of to be used on a regular basis. 

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If you come from a ranching family, specifically a buckaroo family, then you know how much pride is taken in their bits. Buckaroos use something called a “spade” bit, which is essentially the final step in a saddle horse’s journey and it marks the highest training achievement between horse and rider. Spade bits are typically very ornate and made out of silver and other precious metals. Just like there are renowned saddle makers, there are also widely recognized bit makers as well that turn an ordinary bit into something worth keeping in the family. In addition to spade bits, show bits, and other quality crafted bits are great to keep in the family as well. 

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This cowboy heirloom doesn’t need a lot of introduction, but an heirloom knife is special in its own right. Whether it is a simple pocket knife that your grandad always used to carry or a set of skinning knives that’s been engraved with your family name, knives can be an amazing family heirloom tradition to start if you don’t have one already. Sometimes the stories that come with these heirlooms are just as important as the items themselves. Passing an item from generation to generation is more about leaving a legacy than the item itself. 

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Just like the bits that we mentioned above, spurs can also make excellent cowboy heirlooms. Most personalized spurs come with initials and a family brand, so whether you’re the one giving or receiving, spurs hold a lot of meaning and family tradition. Not to mention, spurs don’t require a lot of upkeep if you want to keep using them, or they make great ranch home decor as well. Most spur makers these days can make custom spurs as ornate or as simple as you desire. 

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Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine

This article was created for the Fall Issue of the Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine which was released in early July. You can catch this article and many more by checking out the full issue. For more information on Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine, visit the website here.

CLN Community & Event Sponsor

Hi everyone! I'm Krysta Paffrath, I am a proud Arizona native who has a passion for everything business and rodeo. I am beyond thrilled to be the Editor in Chief for Cowboy Lifestyle Network. With my background in digital marketing and rodeo, this was a natural fit for me to join the team. My adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit has guided me to work in many places like the WYO Quarter Horse Ranch in Thermopolis, Wyoming, a working cattle ranch in Seligman, Arizona, and many places in between. I am passionate about preserving the western way of life and working with different brands and rodeos to make that happen. If you're looking for a write-up, please shoot me an email at Learn more about me at Looking forward to hearing from you!

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