I was reading the New York Times this week (yes, cowboys read and some of us even read the New York Times.) There was a great article called, A Harder Outlook for Today’s Cowboy and it hit things spot-on. Don’t get me wrong…times have been tough for everyone in America the past several years, but it’s been particularly difficult for ranchers. Cattle ranching is a swiftly changing business, and difficulties persist.
Western Cowboys are still western cowboys in the 21st Century. Of course, cowboys still works in ranch and take care of livestock and tending animals and branding or earn making the cattle. We maintain ranches by frequently patrolling fences and checking for any damages areas that are in need of repair. We still move cattle from one pasture to another in order to keep them from overgrazing in one area.
There are still similarities between western cowboys then and now.
21st Century cowboys still use horses when moving herds and patrolling fences, as the horses are much less likely to spook the cattle than using motorized equipment. Although we now have lariats that are used to catch and hold cows which aren’t moving along with the other cows.
And until now, we still maintain a form of solidarity created largely by amount of work required. But while people think that classic cowboys are “loner”, modern cowboys aren’t afraid to let their hair down and have a good time when the opportunity presents itself!
And moderns cowboys are complex. Old-time cowboys weren’t really known for great emotional range or for doing much else besides riding out on the range and getting in trouble at saloons. But today’s cowboys are just as likely to be well-read (I’m a fan of Harry Potter myself). Of course, one old concept holds true: we’re all great singers.
When people think about the cowboy life, they think of life out on the range. Sleeping in a tent or just on a sleeping bag under the stars. Relaxing by the campfire. Cooking out. Singing songs. Talking funny cowboy talk. You’ve probably already got a picture in your head of what it looks like. It’s a romantic notion, for sure, but there ain’t a lot of truth in it these days. It’s a romantic thought, but that’s just not how it is.
See, we cowboys live just like the rest of you. Sure, we get outside a lot more. And we’re a bit more dusty and dirty after a day’s work. But we go home just like everyone else, and whether that’s in a nice house with one of them fancy kitchens and a nice two-car garage or just a tiny apartment with a an old TV, we still go home. And we’ve got the same worries as everyone else: paying rent, paying bills, playing video games (I like anything on the XBox 360, the kids prefer Poptropica), figuring out what to re-heat in the microwave. You name it.
I’ve run into a lot of people who’ve watched too many Hollywood movies and they seriously think we live out on the range. Get real!
Howdy and welcome to my blog. I’m a cowboy. A real one. There aren’t many of us left. I know enough about computers to have my own blog and this is where I’ll keep a record of what life is like for a good old cowboy in the age of the Internet. Some of it will be interesting and some of it, quite frankly, a bit boring. So grab a seat by the campfire and I’ll tell you some tales.
It’s true, I spend a lot of time out on the range. It’s not as romantic as you read in books or see in the movies, but it’s good, decent work. When the weather’s not good and I’m forced indoors, I spend a lot of time on the computer, either managing my business or goofing off playing games on Facebook. But I try to remain outdoors as much as I can.