Gift Guide for the Aspiring Cowboy

Cowboy Gift Ideas

With Black Friday rapidly approaching I’m sure many of you are in full-fledged Christmas shopping mode. And if you’re anything like me, you may prefer the “point and click” method of shopping just a touch more than venturing into town to fight the crowds.

If anyone on your Christmas list this year is an aspiring cowboy (or you need some ideas to give the people shopping for you), especially if you are not, read on. I have listed some practical, yet still fun items that they would be delighted to receive. (Full Disclosure: Some of the following links are affiliate links, but the recommendations are all mine. An easy way to support the site at no additional cost to you!)

Western Wear

sts rifelman jacketWhen it comes to clothes and accessories, there is no shortage of styles to choose from. If you are buying for someone just getting into the western lifestyle, this post has some good information on the basic clothing staples.

Of course there are many variations depending on what particular facet they are interested in, so you might be better off buying a gift card, especially when it comes to hats and boots. But if you want to get a super stylish and practical piece (that they will love), I highly recommend this leather jacket from StS Ranchwear. It comes in women’s and men’s and is on sale for Black Friday. If you don’t have anyone who would appreciate this coat on your Christmas list, I wear a medium. 😉

Roping Gear

Even if the gift recipient wants to be a bull rider and not a roper, it is pretty much required that if they are going to live the lifestyle, they have to at least be able to swing a rope. It’s sort of a prerequisite. So, a rope and a dummy always maroping dummyke great gifts. And provide a fun way to pass the time on Christmas Day. these kits are always a lot of fun.

Keep in mind, the dummy pictured here does not come with the head included. You must purchase it separately. Santa Claus learned this lesson the hard way last year when he came to our house and had to fashion a makeshift head out of duct tape, newspaper and a stick. You can pick up the head here. And for the mini roper in the family, these kits are always a lot of fun.

Horsemanship Instruction

buck brannaman dvdI think it’s pretty safe to say that horsemanship is a super-important skill for an aspiring cowboy to develop. And while there is no replacement for hands-on experience, instructional videos can be a very helpful primer. There are many to choose from, and if you happen to get RFD-TV, you can test-drive several horsemanship clinicians included in their lineup to see which one you (or they) like the best. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with Buck Brannaman, so this dvd set is an excellent choice.

If you are looking for something more discipline-specific, like team roping, mounted shooting or bull riding, feel free to shoot me an email. I won’t list all the endless possibilities here, but I am happy to give you my opinion iwf you have something in mind.


You might not think of electronics as an appropriate gift for a cowboy-at-heart, but having the ability to watch themself on camera and self-critique their “form” is incredibly valuable. Video is a great tool to help newcomers progress rapidly in whatever discipline they are learning, be it riding, roping or two-stepping. Plus, when you live like a cowboy, there is ample opportunity to get great footage and show it off to your friends.

The Soloshot is one of the coolest inventions I have come across. It is a a tripod that follows you. That means you don’t need to bribe your friend or significant other to film you while you are [insert western activity here.]

You simply wear a wristband that syncs up to the Soloshot device and get great footage sans cameraman. From what I understand, it does take a little time to get the hang of setting it up at the right angle and distance, but once you’ve got it down, you’re golden. Also, it only works outdoors, so great for the arena, not so much for footage of riding a mechanical bull.

Most people are familiar with the GoPro. In fact, I recently did a roundup post of some excellent GoPro rodeo footage. The GoPro is perfect for taking up-close-and-personal footage of a new western hobby can then be shared with friends on youtube.


lonesome doveThere are a plethora of movies out there, and even more books. One of my podcast listeners just sent me this book to read that he wrote and it looks great, especially for young adults. But for the sake of keeping this post manageable, I am simply going to list my personal favorite cowboy movies.

Lonesome Dove – EPIC miniseries. It is 7 hours long, but oh so worth it. Perfect for watching on blustery winter days. A must-have for any cowboy movie collection

Man From Snowy River – I have watched this movie many, many times. It is a great story with action, romance, family drama and lots of amazing horseback footage. Tom Burlinson, Kirk Douglas and Sigrid Thornton star. Plus, the cinematic score is simply brilliant. I kind of want to watch it right now. There is also a sequel, Return to Snowy River. Not quite as good as the first movie, but if you like the first one, it’s worth a watch.

Eight Seconds – Probably the most successful rodeo movie ever made, featuring Luke Perry as the late, great bull rider, Lane Frost. Great movie.

Electric Horseman – This was one of my favorite movies as a little girl. Robert Redford and Jane Fonda star. I recently found out that Robert Redford’s character is rumored to be fashioned after legendary bronc rider, Casey Tibbs. I can’t tell you what happens in case you haven’t seen it, but as a kid, I was upset by the ending.

Backside First Aid

butt pasteAny new rider (and plenty of old) can tell you their personal “horrible saddle sore” story. A combination of long hours in the saddle combined with tender backsides and dripping sweat results in chafing, which leads to painful, often weepy sores on the derriere (see my complete post on the topic here). One thing veteran riders have figured out along the way is how to minimize that soreness. If you want to give a gift that is practical and funny, make up a little gift pack or basket including the essentials and give it to your new-to-horses friend.

What to include? Baby powder, diaper rash ointment and a pair of tight bicycle shorts (that they can wear under their jeans).

The powder is applied before the ride, the shorts are worn during and the diaper rash ointment is applied to any resulting sores as a means to dry them out and prevent chafing, especially if you are hitting the saddle again the next day. They may not thank you for it out loud, but they will thank you for it. 😉


Not an exhaustive list by any means, but hopefully that will give you a few ideas as you set out to tackle your Christmas shopping. And if you have any questions or need some advice, please feel free to contact me anytime!

Have additional ideas? Leave your comments below.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Bob Lowe

    Thanks for your post. I think when every young kids wants to be a cowboy they want to dress up. I think roping gear just adds the them feeling like real cowboys. A combination of a rope and cow dummy would make for a great gift for any child.

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