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As much as road and rails have replaced cattle drives while pickup trucks have replaced horse-drawn wagons, the cowboy lifestyle is not going away anytime soon. Cowboys and cowgirls in rural Texas and other areas are still getting up before sunrise to feed their horses and cattle, and repair fences, among other chores. If you are passionate about the cowboy lifestyle but you didn’t grow in a farm, here are some things that you can do to adopt this lifestyle and relive the Wild West days.
Rock Cowboy Attire
The cowboy attire features a blend of different cultures, including Native Americans, Mexicans, and the Mountain Men. Recreating the cowboy look is not as hard as it appears. First, you need a solid pair of cowboy boots. One of the most notable features of the cowboy lifestyle is a pair of good leather boots, with metal embellishments. Cowboy boots feature sharp toes and a heel, designed to fit in a stirrup. There are different styles of cowboy boots. They include classic western boots, roper boots, riding boots, stockman boots, and Western work, among others. Western boots share some distinct features and characteristics. Therefore, if you want to look like a cowboy, then you should make sure that your boots have a Cuban heel and high shaft. Also, Western boots should not have any laces. The heel size will depend on how you intend to use your boots. If you will be riding horses, then a higher heel will be perfect. On the other hand, if your boots are more of a fashion statement, then you should choose a design with a lower heel.
Once you purchase your preferred pair of Western boots, you should then need to slip on a pair of jeans. Cowboys prefer durable and comfortable pants when they are working. And that’s why most of them opt for simple jeans. You also need to don a cowboy hat. Cowboys wear hats to shield the face and the head from the sun while preventing dust from entering the eyes. A straw hut will be perfect for the warm seasons while a beaver, straw hut will keep your head warm during the cold seasons. Your cowboy look is not complete without a button-down, long-sleeved Western shirt. Thicker shirts are perfect for winter while thinner shirts are ideal for summer. Some cowboys even wear t-shirts. Whether you opt for a t-shirt or a Western-style shirt, make sure it’s rugged. You will also need a good leather belt with a large metal buckle. The metal buckle should be made of brass or silver. And if you want to take your cowboy look a notch further, then you should consider growing a beard or a mustache.
Buy Cowboy Equipment
Cowboys used to spend most of their time tending to animals on the farm while battling harsh elements. As a modern cowboy who wants to relive the Wild West days, you will need things like a firearm, knife, horse tack and spurs. Considering that cowboys were tasked with taking care of animals and protecting them from predators, most of them had access to various types of firearms. Cowboys also used to carry versatile knives, with different types of blades. The knives could be used for different activities such as skinning an animal in the forest, chopping wood to start a fire, or even making a temporary shelter to spend the night. If you want to look like a real cowboy, it’s vital to understand the importance and use of every tool as well as how it’s worn. Firearms were mostly slung over the shoulder while knives were attached on the belt using a sheath or a holster. As much as quality cowboy gear can be quite expensive, they are made of high-quality materials, meaning they will serve you for many years.
Learn to Lasso
Every cowboy needs to know how to lass or rope. As much as lassoing is more of a traditional cowboy traditional, it’s now practiced as a modern, competitive sport in many parts of the globe. The good news is that anyone can learn to lasso, regardless of their age, background or skills. And if you want to relive the Wild West days, then you should master this technique. To learn how to lasso, you simply need a dummy, a rope, as well as some gloves. The gloves are not a necessity when you are learning how to lasso. But if your hands are too soft, then you will need a pair of tough gloves. They will minimize blisters, burns, and callouses. You can get all these items for less than $100. And they are readily available in a store near you. Once you’ve acquired these items, you can then teach yourself how to lasso or rope via YouTube videos or enroll in a lassoing class.
Rodeo Like a Cowboy
Some few years back, ranch rodeo was usually associated with people who lead a rural lifestyle or those who live on ranches. However, all that has changed, and it’s now open to anyone. If you grew up in the city and you are passionate about the Western lifestyle, then you should learn how to rodeo. Learning how to rodeo like a cowboy is a thrilling experience. However, it also comes with some dangers and risks. Before venturing into this sport, make sure you assess your mental and physical capabilities. As a rodeo cowboy, you need to be in top health, since rodeo is quite a physically demanding sport. Once you feel that you are ready for this sport, you can then join a rodeo association that aligns with your needs. Also, make sure that you attend a rodeo clinic or school, taught by highly experienced and trained professionals. You can only learn rodeo by learning and practicing. And there is no substitute for physical drills. You might suffer some bruises and bumps along the way, but you will have a thrilling experience once you learn how to rodeo. Besides, it will slot seamlessly into your cowboy lifestyle.
Spend Time Ranching
As much as you might not have grown up in a large farm or around horses, you can still relive the Wild West days and live the cowboy life by becoming a rancher. A career in ranching is great for someone who is passionate about outdoors and animals. As a rancher, you will be spending most of your time looking over animals and crops, on large countryside lands. Unlike working in an office or running a business, the life of a rancher is different. Every day presents unique opportunities and challenges depending on the weather, animal temperament, and season. Also, you will be spending most of your time outdoors, enjoying fresh air, soaking in beautiful views, and eating fresh food – straight from the farm. Spending weeks or even a month in a ranch will equip with some unique skills that you might not find elsewhere.
Adopt the Cowboy Mindset
Having bought some cowboy gear, spent time in a ranch and learned how to rodeo, you might be tempted to think that you are an accomplished cowboy. However, being a cowboy is more than just how look. If you want to truly experience the cowboy lifestyle and relive the Wild West days, then you must be ready to adopt the cowboy mindset. So, what is the cowboy mindset? First, a cowboy is hardened. From the jobs they do to their daily experiences, cowboys needed to have a tough-as-nails attitude. All through the fog, sun, rain, and snow, the cowboy has seen it all, and nothing scares him anymore.
Cowboys are also hard working. If you are one of those people that spent the entire weekend sitting on the couch watching movies, then the cowboy lifestyle is not for you. Therefore, find something to do in your free time. It can be a hobby like hiking, gardening or learning an instrument. Also, cowboys are tough. They can handle sprained ankles, deep cuts, or even broken ribs. They spend most of their lives stacking tones of hay and hauling buckets of water to their animals. They might also be stepped on by the same animals, and you will never hear them complaining. Cowboys live every day with courage, they take pride in their work, they always finish what they start and they always keep every promise that they make. If you are ready to abide by these rules, then you can make an exceptional cowboy.