If You See a Boot on a Missouri Fence, Please Do Not Touch It
Have you ever driven down a rural highway in Missouri and noticed a boot on a fence post? I have and learned that the meaning of it is the reason why you should never touch it.
Missouri is famous for many things including the fact that it is the home of many farmers and ranchers. Those farmers and ranchers have special traditions, many of which are not shared with the general public. A boot placed over a fence post is one of them and for many it's for very solemn reasons.
Why would a Missouri rancher put a boot on a fence post?
The website Classroom explains the many reasons why a farmer and/or rancher places a boot on a fence post.
- Because of the bond a rancher or cowboy has with a horse, it can represent a horse that has died.
- Some hang boots on fence posts for other rancher friends who have passed away
- For others, it's just tradition. A rancher's boots are worn every single day as they work their land. When they wear out, some are hung to represent the hard work that those boots help make possible
My grandma managed her farm with the help of my mom and brothers for decades after my grandpa died unexpectedly. The pride she took in her work and her traditions will stay with me forever.
I find it hard to believe that a stranger would mess with boots on someone else's property, but that sadly is the world we live in these days. Most of us will just pass on by and hopefully maybe say a little prayer with a tip of our hats (if we're wearing one) to the tradition in Missouri that has helped feed our people for the past couple centuries. It's a code of honor that should always be remembered.