• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

What does it take to be a real cowboy?

Help Support Ranchers.net:

TARSman

Active member
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
27
Reaction score
0
Hi folks!

What does it take to be a real cowboy?

I have my own ideas about this, but I'd like to hear some of yours. I grew up in Texas working cattle a lot as well as other things, and I like to think I am a cowboy. However, I went to college, and I got two degrees. After that I only occasionally worked cattle because I was pursuing my professional career. I still wear my Wrangler jeans and my black hat, and I have never sold my saddle in terms of wanting to be a part of the beef industry and wanting to be a good example to other people.

Am I a cowboy? Please let me hear from you. Thanks!
 

sw

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
1,373
Reaction score
0
To me there is no way to know if you are a cowboy, don't know you. I know alot of people that own cows who are not what I call cowboys. In the same sense, I know people that own no cows that are what I would consider cowboys. To me, being a cowboy is a matter of character, doing what it takes to get the job done, doing it right, just as much as it is owning cows. The fact of the matter is, people in other lines of work may never know. They may never know if they have what it takes as they do not have to make too many life and death decisions, they have never had to shoot their favorite horse after he fell in a badger hole and broke his leg, they have never had to go outside every hour because it is 40 below zero and the heifers have started calving, they have never worked for hours trying to save the life of an animal just to have the animal die, they have never had to deal with the power of Mother Nature or felt the humbleness of being able to save a calf from pure determination. That is what it takes to be a cowboy. why do you think that the saying is "JUST COWBOY UP AND GIT HER DONE!!!!"
 

Big Muddy rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
21,984
Reaction score
83
Location
Big Muddy valley
sw said:
To me there is no way to know if you are a cowboy, don't know you. I know alot of people that own cows who are not what I call cowboys. In the same sense, I know people that own no cows that are what I would consider cowboys. To me, being a cowboy is a matter of character, doing what it takes to get the job done, doing it right, just as much as it is owning cows. The fact of the matter is, people in other lines of work may never know. They may never know if they have what it takes as they do not have to make too many life and death decisions, they have never had to shoot their favorite horse after he fell in a badger hole and broke his leg, they have never had to go outside every hour because it is 40 below zero and the heifers have started calving, they have never worked for hours trying to save the life of an animal just to have the animal die, they have never had to deal with the power of Mother Nature or felt the humbleness of being able to save a calf from pure determination. That is what it takes to be a cowboy. why do you think that the saying is "JUST COWBOY UP AND GIT HER DONE!!!!"

Well said. :cowboy:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Since you asked.

"Having a young dedication of mind and body few professionals have in caring for the bovine so it is able to provide tasty protein for man, is being a cowboy. Doing it at a pace measured by the shod steps of an equine animal and distaining any other conveyance is cowboy. Cowboying in any country hot or cold, with verve; by himself with no audience, no ticket sale, and no background music, not even a just wage is cowboy."

"A cowboy would be a fool to do it for the money. He would be a fool to do it for the right to wear the big hat and pair of boots. He does it to gently care for the lives of the tough, smart bovines in country where the bovine, the mule deer, and the wild horse use the same trails and he does it so people can eat beefsteak which, he believes, is why the bovine is on mother earth."

"Deceiving people who want to be deceived by a big hat and a pair of boots does not make them cowboys."

"It is a irrefuteable fact that cowboys are born and not made"

Taken from the book The Outfit. I don't think it could be said better.
 

Jinglebob

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
5,962
Reaction score
0
Location
Western South Dakota
Well said! I also like Baxter Blacks definition. " If you can fix a prolapse on a cow in a section pasture by yourself, with a horse, rope and a sewing kit, you probably qualify." Or something close to that anyway.

All of JPS Browns books are great. He has been there and done it and he knows what he speaks of. Also Mackey Hedges. Read his book called "The Last Buckaroo", it's a wonderful tale.

And probably the only person it matters too whether you are a cowboy or not, is you. It's more what you do than who you are. There's lots of cowboys, some good, some bad. I'd rather be thought of as a good hand. My 2 cents worth.
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
11,308
Reaction score
0
Location
South East Texas
I grew up on the back of a horse and learned at a very early age that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a person. I knew from experience that a "real" cowboy lives on a ranch and makes his living taking care of cattle and horses. Ranchers are a breed of their own and in most cases they must have been trained as a child in order to endure such a rugged life. Not only must they fight the elements of nature such as late winter blizzards during calving season and drought and hot winds that can turn a lush green pasture into dust within a matter of days, but they constantly face such obscene forces as a market controlled and manipulated by greedy packers and a federal government that is forever pushing them off their own land. With these outside manmade forces in place, the "real" cowboy looks forward to an enemy he can actually conquer: such as an unsocial cow that doesn't want to claim her calf or a bronco colt that would rather pitch than gallop or a quarter mile of fence destroyed during a bull fight. It's much easier to drag a bogged cow out of the quicksand than to convince a banker you need another loan when you haven't shown a profit for the last five years.

The "real" cowboy works the land and understands the value of money. He is self-reliant, independent, compassionate, well disciplined and prefers the company of animals over most humans. In Fact, he will put the comfort of his livestock over his own. In spite of all the hardships he makes peace with himself by having a sense of humor. I've ridden with ranchers all across the United States and in Queensland, Australia and I've yet to find one that didn't tell funny stories. My most pleasurable days are when a rancher from a far-away-place comes to visit our spread or we are in a strange territory visiting theirs. No matter what part of the country or for that matter the universe -- you get in a well-used pickup and spend endless hours bouncing around over the entire property as the driver explains every little detail of his cow operation. It isn't a matter of showing off "what you own," because ownership and pride doesn't enter the picture. It's how a rancher admires the beauty of nature, how he respects the land itself and loves it and wants to keep it for future generations. No -- the cowboy is not vicious. Nature is vicious -- our government is vicious. If a "real" cowboy isn't smiling it's because he's been riding on a cold windy day, and his lips are chapped.

( I ran across this...thought it fit the topic ....if only all of us could put it into werds so well )
 

Big Muddy rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
21,984
Reaction score
83
Location
Big Muddy valley
Bull Burger said:
BMR,


I don't think real cowboys have a Brown Swiss for an avatar. :D :D


Here is a cool one for you: http://www.shutterfreaks.com/albums/album233/cowboy_avatar.jpg


BB

Bull Burger , Haymaker wanted me to use a bull like he uses on his cows down in Texas , this is the one he picked. i will leave it a couple days and find something else. I would like to use a pic of our stud but need a little help from the wife to shrink it. :cowboy:
 

ranchwife

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
3,990
Reaction score
0
Location
ennis, montana
i married a REAL cowboy 10 years ago...let me try and tell you about him...he is honest (always, at all cost), hard-working (20 hour days do not make him flinch), values a man's "word" more than a written contract, loves the land, loves what he does, cannot imagine doing anything else (ever), honors his mama, defends his family and friends, defends his land and his cattle, loves his dog, loves his boys, loves his horse (more valuable than any truck you could own), believes that a job worth doing deserves doing it RIGHT THE FIRST TIME, has never taken a vacation, considers a "day off" calling it a day after feeding the cows and fixing the fence, still tips his hat when being introduced to a lady, still shakes a man's hand, values the opinions of others (even if they do not coincide with his), knows that money does not grow on trees but must be EARNED.

Jersey Lilly...my only problem with your write up is when you stated that a real cowboy "owns land"....beg to differ, ma'am!!! my husband was raised on a ranch (40,000 acres give or take) that his family leased for 25 years when his dad died...they lost the lease then and he has busted his rear to get the lease back for the past 10 years now...thank god his hard work paid off....in today's day of super inflated land prices around our neck of the woods, "owning" the land is something of a dream for any but the very wealthy!!! my husband does not "own" an inch of ground, but believe me....he is a TRUE cowboy!!!!
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
11,308
Reaction score
0
Location
South East Texas
I didn't write that.....and I agree with you about owning land..ya dont hafta own it..to werk it..respect it..and put yer blood sweat and tears into it. I'm not one that's good with werds.....I was searching for something that came close to how I feel about the land, the cattle, the way of life we have, n that's what I found.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
ranchwife- I have to agree with you on the land- I've known many a real cowboy that never owned an inch of ground until they buried them on the hill- some "owned" very little most of their life.....But inside and out they were cowboys and would have it no other way........
 

ranchwife

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
3,990
Reaction score
0
Location
ennis, montana
the_jersey_lilly_2000 said:
I grew up on the back of a horse and learned at a very early age that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a person. I knew from experience that a "real" cowboy lives on a ranch and makes his living taking care of cattle and horses. Ranchers are a breed of their own and in most cases they must have been trained as a child in order to endure such a rugged life. Not only must they fight the elements of nature such as late winter blizzards during calving season and drought and hot winds that can turn a lush green pasture into dust within a matter of days, but they constantly face such obscene forces as a market controlled and manipulated by greedy packers and a federal government that is forever pushing them off their own land. With these outside manmade forces in place, the "real" cowboy looks forward to an enemy he can actually conquer: such as an unsocial cow that doesn't want to claim her calf or a bronco colt that would rather pitch than gallop or a quarter mile of fence destroyed during a bull fight. It's much easier to drag a bogged cow out of the quicksand than to convince a banker you need another loan when you haven't shown a profit for the last five years.

The "real" cowboy owns land and understands the value of money. He is self-reliant, independent, compassionate, well disciplined and prefers the company of animals over most humans. In Fact, he will put the comfort of his livestock over his own. In spite of all the hardships he makes peace with himself by having a sense of humor. I've ridden with ranchers all across the United States and in Queensland, Australia and I've yet to find one that didn't tell funny stories. My most pleasurable days are when a rancher from a far-away-place comes to visit our spread or we are in a strange territory visiting theirs. No matter what part of the country or for that matter the universe -- you get in a well-used pickup and spend endless hours bouncing around over the entire property as the driver explains every little detail of his cow operation. It isn't a matter of showing off "what you own," because ownership and pride doesn't enter the picture. It's how a rancher admires the beauty of nature, how he respects the land itself and loves it and wants to keep it for future generations. No -- the cowboy is not vicious. Nature is vicious -- our government is vicious. If a "real" cowboy isn't smiling it's because he's been riding on a cold windy day, and his lips are chapped.

( I ran across this...thought it fit the topic ....if only all of us could put it into werds so well )
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
11,308
Reaction score
0
Location
South East Texas
HeHe..I went back and edited it...it no longer states you must "own" land to be a real cowboy....I in no way shape or form meant to offend anyone. I simply found that and it hit the mark as to how I feel about this way of life. I copied and pasted, with no idea that one word would offend. But, after re-reading it..I seen how, well , yeah, to all those cowboys out there that work for someone else it would make a difference. And believe me..alot of the time...it couldn't be done if it weren't for our "hired cowboys" We treat each and every one of them as if they are our own family.
 

PPRM

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
1,951
Reaction score
0
Location
NE Oregon
I grew up doing ranchwork and worked in feedlots doctoring, sorting fats, riding pens, ect. I was at one time a heck of a hand with a rope, and probably a lot handier than most guys that either proclaim to be or work as cowboys. A lot of guys that work for a ranch just got the job. A lot of folks really like how easy I work cattle.


That being said, I consider myself more of a cattleman than a cowboy. As I worked and learned I spent a lot of time with some guys that would be considered pretty elite. One was a guy that grew up in Klamath Falls area and worked on a horse all his life. Was at one time the west coast cutting horse champion. He's in his 80"s now. What made him and a few others special in my book was not only the way they made a living, but the skill and class. The things these guys understood about horses amazed me.

Maybe I am too hard on myself and others as far as the Cowboy name. As I think, there's only a handfull I'd put here. Being around these guys taught me a lot as well as how much I didn't know. It also gave me a pretty quick ability to pick out the guys with skill and those that aren't there yet,


PPRM
 

Angus Cattle Shower

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Messages
2,631
Reaction score
2
Location
CANADA!!!
A real cowboy is one that doesn't work with livestock for a job, or hobby. He works them for fun, to test himself, and to be able to say that he fed the city slickers (no offence to anyone). He/she deals with problems as the come, and sometimes works without prophit for years, just making enough to live on. They put their cows before any sporting event (other than their child's most important game of their lives), or movie. as a younger human-being, I call my dad a real cowboy. We can't afford a horse, but he has made it through the BSE, and all other hardships.
I don't ride a real horse, but an atv that my grandfather bought quite a while ago, and a snowmobile that is my source of entertainment.
Time to feed the cows, but i propose that we all select and nominate someone that is a real cowboy!!
Whaddy'all think????
 

Cal

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
3,598
Reaction score
0
Location
Southern SD
I prefer something a little harder to spell, like agri-business entrepreneur. You know how real cowboys dislike tractors and ATV's. LOL
 

ranchwife

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
3,990
Reaction score
0
Location
ennis, montana
Cal said:
I prefer something a little harder to spell, like agri-business entrepreneur. You know how real cowboys dislike tractors and ATV's. LOL

okay...been thinking about this....politically correct, right??!!....how about "Bovine Growth/Treatment/Performance/Birth/Medical Specialist"?? :wink:
 

ropesanddogs

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Messages
123
Reaction score
0
Location
South Texas
Hello all,im sorry to drag this toic up outve the dirt,but i just had to add on to it ;) Now keep in mind that im only 16,and maybe a little more than hot blooded about this topic,but only because ive seen too many guys that drive Camaros call themselves cowboys,but couldnt tell the difference between a bull and a cow,I've even seen some people that honest to god believed that everthing that had horns was a bull :lol: And of course right about now youre asking yourself,what gives this youngin the right to say whos who,well My dad is an order buyer for the largest order buying company in the state of Texas,(thigpen livestock,do a google serch if ya wish) And since i was 5 ive rode with their cowboys,who doctor sick cattle,both turned out,and in the recieving pens,and for the last two years,I've day worked,with an older fella,whos pretty much dominated the surrounding counties as far as day work goes.Dont mistake these for bragging,or sayin that im better than anyone,I just simply want to share with you what my small background is.I have also put in my full share of time as a sale barn hand,but you wont learn much there besides how to drink,cuss,spit,and chase wemon ;) But all joking aside,I have seen more than plenty honest to god cowboys,that havent owned anything but a few horses,ropes and dogs.But,they make every dime they have cowboying.But then theres those that may have 200 head of momma cows,but never use a horse,only four wheelers and such,no offence to anyone,but I personally dont think theyre cowboys,i think the scale leans more twords being a farmer...I guess it all boils down to opinion.I prefer to judge who is and who isnt on their profession,if youre a professional cowboy,then you are,if you arent,then it all depends on why you arent,but then again,theirs some boys,that dont deserve the title for many different reasons...And also the way they carry out their profession, chutes,and atv's are good and fine,and for some people theyre the easiest way to get what they need done,but personally id much rather turn out a few good Leapord dogs and drop a line on an old cow,and doctor her on the ground,than go out and set up pannels just to catch one or two old cows,and that goes for any bovine,be it a baby calf or an old bramer bull,of course you really have to judge the situation,but you know what i mean...Sorry to ramble,but beings as im homeschooled so i can work,i dnt have many outlets for my long windedness...I guess i didnt really answer the question,but i hope my opinion helps even if just a little...Knock on wood,I hope i dont ever have to do anything that dosent involve horses dogs and cattle...
 

Big Muddy rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
21,984
Reaction score
83
Location
Big Muddy valley
Ropesanddogs wrote

"I have also put in my full share of time as a sale barn hand,but you wont learn much there besides how to drink,cuss,spit,and chase wemon ;"





Geez ropesanddogs for a young fellow you sure have old Haymaker figured out. :wink: Enjoyed your post and it sounds like your well on your way to makin' a hand. Remember that their are many ways to get a job done and doing your best is the most important. Welcome to "Ranchers"
 

Latest posts

Top