The Romantic Side of a Cowboy
We often picture a “cowboy” as a man who is independent, rugged and knows the lay of the land. All this for the most part is true, but what you may not know is that most cowboys and I mean real cowboys, not John Wayne or Clint Eastwood, have an appreciation for nature and their horses. They may not speak as eloquently as a poet or a gentleman of means, but they have respect for a good and virtuous women when they come across her, whether in a saloon or in the kitchen of her home. They are humble men who know how to ride a horse, handle a gun and keep on going through all the obstacles that life may bring.
“To be a cowboy meant, first of all, to be a horseman. Mr. Dobie was quite right when he pointed out that the seat of the cowboy’s manhood is in the saddle” (McMurty 264). A cowboy doesn’t simply ride a horse; he communicates and builds a relationship with the creature. A horse was a way of getting to places before cars or planes came into the picture. If there is no bond between the man and his horse getting to places wouldn’t be as easy or possible. Animals for the most part are obedient if taught properly, feed regularly and given unconditional love. I think most people understood that, especially a cowboy. Some would say that the relationship between a cowboy and his horse was stronger than between a man and his wife. I think from many stories that I have read over the years and from this semester that this is true. Most cowboys probably find that a horse or animal is easier to communicate with or relate to because that animal is with him and is experiencing the same things and thoughts that he is thinking of out in the open wilderness.
Handling a gun as a cowboy was very important, he had to hunt and shoot his food. He had to protect himself from people who didn’t like him on their property, also from the occasional Indian and wild animals such as buffalo or wolves. Times during the “wild west” were hard and...