Many of us, as young children have enjoyed playing Cowboys – these seemingly fearless people were the ultimate action hero to many young children. Stars of the Big Screen, ‘High Noon’, ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly’ and ‘The Searchers’ were just a few of the iconic films that have gone down in history and despite the time that has passed since they were made, are still as popular as ever, making a household name of John Wayne.
Cowboys still exist to this day – their lives may not be as dramatic as the lives of the Cowboys of the old Wild West, but there are still plenty of similarities. In Texas, you may be surprised by the similarities between the old cowboys and todays – considering the advances in technology it hasn’t altered much.
A cowboy starts the day early to begin work -this consists of tending to the livestock that they care for – cattle and horses are a cowboy’s main responsibilities. To get closer to these creatures yourself, take a look at a bronze wildlife sculpture from http://www.gillparker.com/ or even take a trip to Texas to see it for yourself! The clothing that they wear isn’t much different than it was in the Wild West – a wide brimmed hat offering protection from the hot sun that they spend the majority of the day exposed to, and chaps to protect their legs whilst they are riding the horses. They also wear the traditional cowboy boots with pointed toes – these help them to slip their feet easily into the stirrups at a moment’s notice.
A lot of a cowboy’s duties are similar to farmers – they move the animals around, help any injured animals, or animals that are giving birth and do jobs that need doing around the ranch such as repair work. Travelling around the ranch on horseback speeds up their journey, as ranches are very big and would take a lot of time to walk from place to place, especially in the heat of the Texas sun.
Because cowboys are very skilled at looking after the animals and spend a lot of time with them, they often help with training horses for rodeos – due to their knowledge of these creatures their experience with them is invaluable. As much as technology moves on, it seems that cowboys and their way of life is here to stay – with a large and invaluable knowledge that has been handed down from generation to generation, it is easy to see why.