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SPURS. The use of spurs can be traced to Roman times. Early spurs were made of wood or bone, later ones of metal. Spurs were a necessary implement to the cowboy when he was mounted and a social requirement when he was dismounted. Though spurs are often highly decorative-"gal-leg" spurs, for instance, had shanks shaped like a woman's legs-utility has always been the first consideration. Cowboys used the spur for everything from a branding iron to a grave marker.


Charles de Lacy Lacy, The History of the Spur (n.d.). Louis P. Merrill, "The Spur," Cattleman, September 1941. Jane Pattie, Cowboy Spurs and Their Makers (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1991).


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

"SPURS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.