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Cal Classics Ranch Rawhide
"Made in USA"

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The California vaquero’s secrets of making Central Coast Ranch Rawhide were nearly lost in time. Unlike any other, this special rawhide is renowned for its life and flexibility. A long journey with the help of “los viejos” has led to the making of CCRR at California Classics once again amid the ancient oaks and sycamores of the mission lands.

Our Central California climate is perfect with warm to hot, arid summers and cool nights for making the sought after CCRR developed originally by the vaqueros of this area. Our winters are often warm with moisture. This is ideal for braiding hackamore and bridle horse gear as our style is done “mojada” (“wet”).

A sustainable product, carefully chosen mature California hides are worked hot off the cow to prevent the break down of the hide caused by rotting fat and tissue. We don’t apply lime, salt or other chemicals used in commercial rawhide on rotting hides to help slip the hair quickly. Why not? These fast and cheap methods permanently alter the inherent skin structure of the hide which results in a hard and brittle rawhide without remaining “life.”

Hair for our CCRR hides must be removed by hand. Care is taken to not scuff or damage the grain side of the hide. Damaging the hide’s “face” through overly aggressive scraping or use of chemicals reduces the strength as well as the appearance of the string. The majority of tensile strength of the rawhide comes from the top portion (hair/grain) side. Our authentic, traditional California vaquero way is a slow process in the land of mañana, but the lasting results are worth the time and effort.

Do you truly want to support and participate in our unique Pacific Slope vaquero traditions? Do you want the traditions to continue?

Aaron Winchell travels throughout California, hand selecting only the finest fresh hides to make into California Classics' exclusive Central Coast Ranch Rawhide. This supports our state's continuing cattle culture. Once Aaron has found suitable hides for prospective gear, he returns to the mission country ~ the cradle of the vaquero tradition.

Back at the ranch, Aaron begins the preparation process using traditional methods passed down through generations of los viejos. After carefully preparing the rawhide, he cuts his strings by hand to create the unique gear necessary for the advanced education of the legendary horses of the Pacific Slope.

Many foreign-made imitations are braided from chemically treated hides from a variety of species (horse bellies, goat, etc.). Often sufficient time is not given to drying to avoid toxic mold or mildew inside. While some foreign braiders are quite talented, few have ever ridden a horse let alone used a hackamore or romal reins effectively. As a result, their bosals may look and feel more like dog toys than performance-driven gear.

Aaron employs techniques developed over many a lifetime to produce the finest using hackamore on the market. He pays homage to his teachers and those who have gone on before. Since he makes your bosal to order, you are assured of a proper fit. Heritage Hackamores feel good in your hands and on your horse. Other hackamores are very stiff and rigid; only a Heritage Hackamore "flexes to fit". This makes it easier for you to fit the hackamore to your horse and maintains a proper fit for your horse's comfort. Once you hold one, you will know the difference.

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"Made in the USA"–means so much to all of us. Think: if the work of the craftsmen who are dedicated to creating authentic gear is not supported, our valued tradition will be forever lost.


Our CC Heritage Hackamores, bosals and romal reins are tools of our California bridle horse tradition, made in the USA, braided in California by an educated horseman with an eye to increased performance and the horse's comfort.

Is it any wonder the authentic tradition at California Classics is sought and supported worldwide by discriminating horsemen from the ranch, trail and arena?

Please visit our gallery to see some of Aaron's hackamore work.


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