Old West Wisdom

Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom. 
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Every trail has some puddles.

There’s no place ’round the campfire for a quitter’s blanket.

Tossin’ your rope before buildin’ a loop don’t ketch the calf.

Polishing your pants on saddle leather don’t make you a rider.

A closed mouth gathers no boots.

Don’t name a cow you plan to eat.

Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.

Keep skunks, lawyers, and bankers at a distance.

Life is simpler when you plough around the stump.

Forgive your enemies. It messes with their heads.

Don’t sell your mule to buy a plough.

Don’t corner something meaner than you.

It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

Most of the stuff people worry about never happens.

Don’t squat with your spurs on.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Don’t interfere with something that ain’t botherin’ you none.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

It’s better to be a has-been than a never-was.

A wink’s as good as a nod to a blind mule.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

There never was a horse that couldn’t be rode, there never was a rider that couldn’t be throwed.

When in doubt, let your horse figure it out.

Behind every successful rancher is a wife who works in town.

He’s all hat and no cattle.

Never hire the people you drink with.

A man afoot is no man at all.

When a bad man dies he either goes to hell or the Pecos.

A good fence should be pig tight, horse high, and bull strong.

Don’t worry about bitin’ off more’n you can chew; your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger’n you think.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then, to make sure it’s still there with ya.


Cookie at the Chuckwagon. Click for prints, downloads and products.

Only a fool argues with skunk, a mule, or a cook.

It don’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.

Any hoss’s tail kin ketch cockleburs.

Wide-open spaces don’t breed no chatterboxes.

You can never tell which way the pickle’s goin’ to squirt.

If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

There’s two theories to arguin’ with a woman. Neither one works.

A pair of six-shooters beats a pair of aces.

An angry bull is less dangerous than an angry woman.

Every cowboy thinks he knows more than every other cowboy. But the only thing they all know for sure is when’s payday and where’s grub.”

An old timer is a man who’s had a lot of interesting experiences — some of them true.

Only a buzzard feeds on his friends.

Speak your mind, but ride a fast horse.

Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction.

A cow outfit’s never better than its hosses.

No one but cattle know why they stampede and the ain’t talking.

Bucking Broncho

Bad Hoss – A bucking Bronco. Click for prints, downloads and products.

You’ll never break a horse if you stay sittin’ on the fence.

Never drink unless you’re alone or with somebody.

You can judge a man by the hoss he rides.

A full house divided don’t win no pots.

When a cowboy’s too old to set a bad example, he hands out good advice.

A bronc rider should be light in the head and heavy in the seat.

Letting the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in.

A word to the wise is unnecessary.

The measure of a man is when he does the right thing even when no one is watching.

You can’t keep trouble from visitin, but you don’t have to offer it a chair.

You don’t learn much when everything goes right.

Don’t run down narrow stairs when you’re wearing spurs.

Tumbleweeds are best left to themselves.

Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

Cattle Roundup

Cattle Roundup in Kansas. Click for prints, downloads and products.

Go after life as if it’s something that’s got to be roped in a hurry before it gets away.

Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

When you’re throwing your weight around, be ready to have it thrown around by somebody else.

Don’t worry about biting off more than you can chew. Your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger than you think.

Like a good cowboy, a good hat just gets better as it gets older.

When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person, don’t be surprised if they learn their lesson.

Always take a good look at what you’re about to eat. It’s not so important to know what it is, but it’s good to know what it was.

Never get up before breakfast. If you have to get up before breakfast, eat breakfast first.

Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

There are more horses asses than horses.

Never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

Some people follow wagon tracks while others break new trails.

Never let your yearnin’s’ get ahead of your earnin’s.