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Hunker down while I share some Cowboy Facts & Trail Trivia
  • The word "cowboy" comes from the Spanish term "vaquero" - vaca/cow and ranchero/rancher.
  • The term "cowpoke" was used for the person who prodded cattle with long poles to load them onto railroad cars for shipping
  • Cowboys called their saddle horn an "apple"
  • Most cowboy deaths were caused from horse-related accidents, not gunfights or other violence
  • Cattle were branded on the left hip
  • Most working trail cowboys were between 20 and 25 years old, sometimes learning on the job from age 12.
  • A cattle herd could travel between 10 and 12 miles per day
  • Cowboys used empty flour sacks for towels while on the trail
  • Cowboys stayed downwind of the chuck wagon to prevent dirt and dust getting in their food
  • Standard trail fare was sour dough biscuits, white gravy, beans, sow belly and coffee with an occasional taste of fresh meat when available
  • There were women - cowgirls - in the Old West but they only came to prominence in the male dominated cowboy society thanks to the Wild West Shows
  • The barbed wire fence was introduced in 1874 and it's use effectively ended the open range
  • The real cowboy era lasted from 1866 to 1886, starting with the building of packing plants and ending with the closing of the open range and the massive die off of cattle during the harsh winter of 1886/1887
Happy Trails, Buckaroos!


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these fascinating facts about cowboys, they are such a ubiquitous presence in pop art today that their very interesting, and very real, past can sometimes be looked over.


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