Rodeo clown Mike “Scooter” Smith has a huge list of rodeo related accomplishments to his credit. He began riding broncs and bulls back in 1992 and eventually moved into entertaining crowds with a variety of outlandish costumes, characters, and four legged assistants. He has appeared in rodeos all over, on television, in music videos, and in the movie Pure Country II.
When Mike commissioned me to make him a cow whip to use in his shows, I knew it was going to be an interesting project. He wanted an 8ft Florida cow whip with orange, purple, white, and green.
For the handle, I thought of using osage orange at first, but later went with Argentine Lignum Vitae because it’s such a tough wood and would better withstand the rigors of the rodeo. The result was a crazy looking whip with one of the toughest handles you can find:
The next time you’re at a rodeo and you see an orange haired clown with a crazy looking Florida cow whip, it might just be Scooter.
If you’re a rodeo clown and you would like your own custom made whip, let me know!
Visit Scooter on the web at mikescootersmith.com and on Facebook at Mike “Scooter” Smith: Rodeo Clown Extraordinaire.
Leave a comment | tags: bull fighters, bullriders, clowns, Cow Whips, rodeo, rodeo clown, whips | posted in Cow Whips, nylon whips
A while back, I was browsing some other whip websites and I happened across the statement that said that no “real cowboy/cowgirl” would dare carry a whip on their saddle that was any other color than black, tan, or brown. I thought I’d interact with that idea for a bit and demonstrate that, apart from being untrue, a case could be a made that “real” cowboys and cowgirls might actually be better off in some cases with a whip that was made in colors other than black, tan, and brown.
Through my whipmaking adventures, I’ve noted that there’s actually quite a bit of diversity among the cowboys and cowgirls of America. They come in all sizes, shapes, and colors and so do the horses, equipment, and tack that they use. Whips are no different. Suggesting that a “real cowboy” won’t use whips that are only certain colors is just as silly as saying cowboys won’t drive Dodge trucks, wear yellow shirts, eat Krystal burgers, or ride an American Paint Horse.
One big reason why a “real cowboy” might consider ordering a whip in colors other than black, tan, and brown is because whips get lost. About a decade ago, I had a “real” Florida cowboy call and order a solid hot pink whip. His old whip had fallen off his saddle and he wasn’t able to find it. He said he knew he would get laughed at by some of his peers, but he wanted his whip easy to see if it happened to fall off his saddle again.
Indeed, I could probably take my wife out to a nice dinner if I had a dollar for every story cowboys have told me about losing whips while working cows. The earth tone whips often blend in so well that they cannot find them if they backtrack searching. Having a whip that won’t blend in can help with that problem. So in reality, real cowboys ought to seriously consider buying whips with lots of bright colors.
So while I’ll grant that lots of working cowboys do order whips in earth tones, I’m also happy to cater to the ones who want them in other colors and patterns. I’d also like for the reader to note that all the whips pictured in on this post are examples of whips I’ve made for “real cowboys” who derive most (or all) of their income from working with cattle.
Visit my online photo gallery for more examples of whips I’ve made. Stop by the store to buy one! Others may judge you by the color of the whip you order, but I won’t.
Leave a comment | tags: bullwhips, Cow Whips, cowboys, cowgirls, whip, whip maker, whipmaker, whipmakers, working cowboys | posted in bullwhips, Cow Whips, cowboy gear, nylon whips, Rants, Uncategorized, whip makers, whipmaking, Whips
Things are coming along at a nice pace now. If there are no set-backs, I am hopeful that I will be able to offer the DVDs for sale by the end of this month.
At this time, we’ve shot footage covering starting the whip, plaiting the belly, and right now we’re about 8″ into plaiting the final overlay.
I think the exclusive “over-the-shoulder” look at how I make a cow whip will be the next best thing to having me come to your place to teach you one-on-one.
I am very excited about finishing the video and I have seen a great deal of interest in it thus far.
Stay tuned for more details and for ordering information once I release the DVD.
Leave a comment | tags: Cow Whips, DVD, tutorials, whipmaking | posted in Cow Whips, nylon whips, video, Whips
All I have for you is just a quick update for this week. Though I wish I had gotten more plaiting done, I did manage to build a workbench out in my shed so I can make leather lace. Having been a nylon plaiter for so many years, I’ve always had the luxury of working in my house. Making leather lace is a bit more messy than working with nylon, so that project is having to go outside.
Speaking of leather lace, I spent some time this weekend making lace from a cow hide (kip) I got from Ron Allen a while back. I even squeezed in time to make an 8 plait belly that will be made into a 10ft leather cow whip sometime soon. The main thing for me was just to get some time in with my lace making tools. The Dene Williams hand held splitter I have works like a charm. I even took a chance and skived some lace with the Tandy skiving tool I have. It came out fairly good I think. I reckon my son and I made somewhere in the neighborhood of 200+ feet of lace on Friday. When I get the kip hide cow whip finished, I’ll post some pics.
Happy Cracking everyone.
Leave a comment | tags: Cow Whips, Leather whips, Projects | posted in Cow Whips, Leather whips, Projects
One of the greatest things about being a cow whip maker is that I have been blessed with the opportunity to export part of my Florida Cracker heritage all over the U.S.A. and around the world.
As a whipmaker, I appreciate all the folks who buy my whips, but I have to say that there will always be a special place in my heart for the folks who buy my whips and use them to round up livestock.
Below you will see some photos from Custer State Park in South Dakota. These pics were taken last year during a buffalo round-up and sent to me by Kevin MacRitchie. I really appreciate Kevin sending me these pics. It really made my evening when he emailed them to me.
All the riders in these pics are using RK cow whips:
Kevin on his horse with an RK cow whip on his saddle.
Chad Kremer, buffalo herd manager at Custer State Park, being chased by a buffalo cow.
Kevin being chased, with Ron T. and Jennifer T. coming to his aid.
Kevin says this is their view for most of the day!
If you have any photos of my whips in action on the ranch or range, please send them to me and I may use them in a future blog post.
2 Comments | tags: buffalo, Cow Whips, cowgirls, custer state park, whips, working cowboys | posted in Cow Whips