Reclaiming the Cowboy Way

Time constraints and mechanization can get in the way of horseback cowboying traditions. A veteran cowboy offers his advice on increasing your riding time, and becoming a better 21st-century hand.


Ranch people, those who own cattle and have a horse or two, often say they'd love to spend more time cowboying their own cattle or maybe helping with their neighbors' herds when the opportunity arises. Such people want to use their horses more, work afoot in the corrals less, count on their roping skills, and work cattle in the open.

They want to cowboy. And they want those around them - family, friends and neighbors - to share the satisfaction of working cattle quietly, efficiently and from the back of a horse.

For horsemen, these reasonable requests are fundamental to healthy souls. The ability to use horses in harmony with the land and cattle, and the people we hold dear, is a liberty few are lucky enough to enjoy.

So, if cowboying is so important to them, why can't they make it happen? The answer is simple: They've lost touch with the Cowboy Way.

For the rest of this article, see the July 2006 issue of Western Horseman.