Cowboy Boots Hobbs NM
Santa Fe, NM
Only In America
Horsewright Clothing and Tack Company owners Dave and Nichole Ferry design working cowboy gear while ranching in California’s Tehachapi Mountains.
It’s hard to find tack and ranch equipment that’s still made entirely in America. I bought a John Deere tractor precisely because I wanted to buy American, but was disappointed to find out the frame is made in China and the engine in Japan.
Today, many classic symbols of the American West have been outsourced to countries that don’t even have a word in their language for “cowboy.” It’s likely you ride in boots that were made in China, jeans that were made in Costa Rica, a shirt that was made in Taiwan and a hat that was made in the Dominican Republic.
You might even step up into a saddle that was made in Mexico and communicate with your horse using a Chinese-made bit that probably contains unacceptably high levels of lead.
Your horse may be the only part of your outfit that’s American-made.
Yet, as the horse world rockets into 21st century cyberspace and global marketing, and as hard drives and gigabytes replace cattle drives and horse bites, custom craftsmanship is making a surprising comeback, with many goods being made in the United States.
Horsewright Clothing and Tack Company is one such company, priding itself in producing American-made cowboy gear “designed from the saddle, for the saddle.” If you call to place an order, either Dave or Nichole Ferry, the owners, may well answer the phone from horseback as they move cattle around their 1,900-acre lease in California’s Tehachapi Mountains. After they take the order, they’ll make whatever you requested by hand, one item at a time, in their home, which doubles as their shop.
Both Dave and Nichole have spent countless hours in the saddle and worked on the ground at various California ranches. Each of them can ride with any cowboy, or throw a backhand or a houlihan as well as any buckaroo. They are, quite simply, the real deal.
Dave is the only cowboy you’ll ever meet who played rugby for a school in Scotland and was undefeated in five years of fencing with three different kinds of swords (foil, épée and saber). The son of a Presbyterian minister, he was raised in both California and Scotland.
California inspired Dave’s love of horses. A neighbor in the coastal town of Santa Maria had mustangs, and, as a child, Dave and a friend used to amuse themselves by racing jackrabbits horseback through the hills. After college, Dave “drifted” into law enforcement, but throughout his career he couldn’t keep horses out of his life. A friend needed help starting colts, and after a rough, yet ed...