When you go out exploring the wilderness in Iowa, you might come across posted signs telling you where to go or not.  Other times things like purple paint will warn you about things that apparently you are supposed to know.

But what if you come across Cowboy Boots on a fence?  Should you help find the rightful owner?  Here are 5 reasons you might see a boot on an Iowa fence.

Boots For The Horse

human hand is caressing horse muzzle

Cowboys and ranchers love their horses.  According to classroom.com that is one of the reasons you may see boots on a fence.

When a cowboy develops a bond with a horse, the cowboy might choose that horse out of all of them on the ranch as their daily "workhorse".  If the horse were to die, the cowboy would "sacrifice" a pair of boots along the fence to show respect.

Boots For Ranch Hands

Cowboy boots and hat sunrise
Josep Pons

Nobody can run a ranch or farm on their own.  This is why they get "hired hands".  Good, loyal, dedicated hands can feel like part of the family.  In many cases, if the hired hand dies, the hand’s boots will be the ones up on the fence.

Open For Business

Evening round up at the end of the day.

With advances in technology, this one is less likely, but before electricity and telephones cowboys would hang their boots on the fence near the house to let folks know the workday was done and they were home.

Memorial To The Boots

Wall of cowboy boots in a country western store

While nowadays most people are wearing boots for fashion, a real cowboy is wearing those boots to work out in the fields.  And it's not easy work.  So the boots wear out.

Instead of throwing out some boots that have seen miles of hard work go in the dump, the cowboy simply hangs them on the fence as a reminder of all the work they put in while wearing the boots.

It's A Tradition

At the end of the day, it's become a tradition.  Whatever the reason, or no reason at all.  Those boots were put there for a reason.  So if you do happen to see some hanging from a fence that look like they could fit for a good night out at the Honkey Tonk, you just need to leave them hanging and keep on walking in your own boots.

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