Old West Wisdom

Cowboy Thrown, 1906

This cowboy done been “grassed”, 1906. Click for prints, downloads and products.

Makin’ it in life is kinda like bustin’ broncs: you’re gonna get thrown a lot. The simple secret is to keep gettin’ back on.

cowboy hat looks silly on anyone who isn’t a cowboy.

Country fences need to be horse high, pig tight, and bull strong.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Words that soak into your ears are whispered, not yelled.

Meanness don’t happen overnight.

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

You can’t unsay a cruel thing.

Most of the stuff people worry about never happens.

Don’t judge people by their relatives.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

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

The easiest way to eat crow is while it’s still warm. The colder it gets, the harder it is to swaller.

If it don’t seem like it’s worth the effort, it probably ain’t.

There ain’t much paw an’ beller to a cowboy.

You can’t tell how far a bullfrog’ll jump by the size of its feet.

Every man is entitled to scratch his own itch.

Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze.

Life is short and full of blisters.

A good run is better than a bad stand.

Take no more on your heels than you can kick off with your toes.

Sometimes you get and sometimes you get got.

The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with watches you shave his face in the mirror every morning.

If you work for the man, ride for his brand.

When you climb into the saddle, you’d better be prepared to ride.

Being a cowboy means never saying it hurts. Pain is just the other side of feeling good.

My jeans and my man — broke in just right!

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

Solvin’ problems is like throwin’ cattle. Dig your heels on the big ones and grab the little ones ’round the neck.

No matter how much horsepower your truck has it still can’t cut a calf from the herd

Never walk when you can ride, and never stand when you can sit.

Riding hard

Riding Hard. Click for prints, downloads and products.

A man is not born a cowboy – he becomes one.

Success is the size of the hole a man leaves when he dies.

If you follow behind the lead cow, you will step in the mess he leaves behind.

The man that straddles the fence usually has a sore crotch.

Careful is a naked man climbing a barbed wire fence.

Color don’t count if the horse don’t trot.

A loose hoss is always looking for new pastures.

Kickin’ never gets you nowhere, ‘less’n you’re a mule.

It’s the man that’s the cowhand, not the outfit he wears.

Cowboy Drinking

Cowboy Drinking – Tradecard for Wiedemann Beer. Click for prints, downloads and products.

Always drink your whiskey with your gun hand, to show your friendly intentions.

If drinking hurts your business, quit your business.

A smart ass just doesn’t fit in the saddle.

A faint heart never filled a flush.

Never mention “rope” in the home of hanged man.

A cork screw never pulled a man out of a hole.

Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.

Nobody ever drowned himself in his own sweat.

Genius has its limits. Stupidity knows no bounds.

Colonel Colt made all men equal.

Men are like Barbed Wire…. they have their good points.

If the world made sense men would ride……Sidesaddle

Never drop your gun to hug a grizzly.

The length of a conversation don’t tell nothin’ about the size of the intellect.

You can’t tell how good a man or a watermelon is ’till they get thumped.

Its a big mistake to drive black cattle in the dark.

Never take to sawin’ on the branch that’s supportin’ you, unless you’re bein’ hung from it.

Always be able to look back and say, “At least I didn’t lead no humdrum life.”

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.

There’s a whole lot more to ridin’ a horse than sittin’ in the saddle and lettin’ your feet hang down.

Too much debt doubles the weight on your horse and puts another in control of the reins.

Never try to dry a wet pair of jeans in the oven.

Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you’re out of good whiskey.

A smile from a good woman is worth more’n a dozen handed out by a bartender.

The wilder the colt, the better the hoss.

Some men talk ’cause they got somethin’ to say. Others talk ’cause they got to say somethin’.

Bein’ too positive in your opinions kin get you invited to a dance — in the street, to the music of shots, nicely aimed.

Tellin’ a man to git lost and makin’ him do it are two entirely different propositions.

If your horse doesn’t want to go there, neither do you.

If man was Man’s best friend, it wouldn’t be a dog eat dog world.

Work like you don’t need money and dance like no one is watching.

A halo only needs to drop a few inches to become a noose.

A man with an edgy smile is like a dog with a waggin’ tail: he not happy, he’s nervous.

No matter where you ride to, that’s where you are.

If you’re sittin’ at a counter eatin’, leave your hat on. If you’re sittin’ at a table take it off.

If you’re gonna drive cattle through town, do it on Sunday. There’s little traffic and people are more prayerful and less disposed to cuss at you.

I sowed wild oats and reaped prunes and bran.

If you come to a fork in the road, take it.

A lasso is not a dating tool.

Bucking Broncho

A Bronc Buster. Click for prints, downloads and products.

Ridin’ a bronc is like dancin with a girl. The trick is matchin yer partner’s rhythm.

Real cowboys don’t line dance.

Generally speaking, fancy titles and nightshirts are a waste of time.

Some people grin and bear it. Other people smile and change it.

The only way to drive cattle fast is slowly.

After weeks of beans and taters, even a change to taters and beans is good.

Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without.

No tree is too big for a short dog to lift his leg on.

You don’t need decorated words to make your meanin’ clear. Say it plain and save some breath for breathin’.

Honesty is not somethin’ you should flirt with — you should be married to it.

Never take another man’s bet. He wouldn’t offer it if he didn’t know somethin’ you don’t.

Any time a large herd moves through a civilized area there’s a lot of shit to clean up.

The wildest critters live in the city.

If the rodeo doesn’t kill you, the commute probably will.

The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, tension mounted, clicked its spurs and rode off into the sunset.

Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation.

Love your enemies and keep your gun oiled.

The best way to get a cowboy to do something is to suggest he is too old for it.

Virtue is its own punishment.

Don’t wear woolly chaps in sheep country during the breeding season.

If the saddle creaks, it’s not paid for.

When you’re tryin’ somethin’ new, the fewer people who know about it, the better.

Cowboys aren’t easy to love but they have the biggest hearts in the world.

After you groom your horse, don’t forget yerself.

Wearing gloves and button-fly jeans means you better think ahead.

A man doesn’t need to be any higher, than on top of a horse.

Never speak loudly unless your shanty is on fire.

The best way to cook any part of a rangy ol’ longhorn is to toss it in a pot with a horseshoe, and when the horseshoe is soft and tender, you can eat the beef.  

Compiled & edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated April, 2014.

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