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Broncho busters and their saddles of 50 years ago

History pages reprinted from the March 1949 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Bronco Busters and Their Saddles of Fifty Years Ago
Bert Sheppard, Longview, Alta.

‘The day that I write about was that which preceded the coming of the automobile or “Stink Wagon” as it was often referred to. In Western Canada, East of the Rockies, it would be from about 1882 to 1907, from the time that the big ranches came into the country, till their curtailment or liquidation due to the disastrous winter of 1906 and 1907, and the settling up of the open range about this time by the homesteaders.

During this era, all over the western plains, there were located cow outfits and horse ranches or a combination of the two, that raised horses for their own use or made a business of raising them to sell. Also, horses were trailered in from Montana and broke and sold in this country.

To handle these unbroken horses, there was on every ranch of any consequence one or more broncho-busters, and on the roundups by necessity there were rough spring riders who rode the mean or spoiled horses.

The old time broncho-busters and open-range cowboys were the forerunner of the rodeo hand of today.’

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