Friday, May 10, 2013

Cowboy Advice

by Vickie McDonough

What is it that people find so appealing about cowboys? They worked long, hard hours in the saddle and sun, baking their skin as tough as leather. They rarely wasted water by taking a bath and probably worked up a stink only disguised by the stench of their horses and the cattle they herded. And yet, there is something compelling and intriguing about the American icon.

Maybe the answer lies in the cowboy code and the era that he lived. It was a time when a man’s word carried value, a time when there was pride and honor in having a good name, a time when a man protected what was his, especially his woman. He was a friend to any and all and could be counted on to deliver.

We’ve all heard of the Cowboy Code—a code of honor, of love for God and country, but I stumbled across something I hadn’t seen before while working on this article, The Lone Ranger’s Creed. I found it inspiring and wanted to share it with you.

The Lone Ranger’s Creed
·      I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one.
·      That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself    
      the power to make this a better world.

·      That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and 
      light it himself.
·      In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when 
      necessary for that which is right.
·      That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
·      That "this government, of the people, by the people, and for the people," shall live always.
·      That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
·      That sooner or later...somewhere...somehow...we must settle with the world and make 
      payment for what we have taken.
·      That all things change, but the truth, and the truth alone lives on forever.
·      I believe in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.

Are those great rules to live by?

Cowboys have some sage sayings of their own. They may not be quite as polished as the Lone Ranger's but equally profound, in their own, humble way. Here are a few for you to chew on:

There’s many theories about arguin’ with a woman. None of them Work. (Gotta love that one)

It’s hard to put a foot in a closed mouth.

The challenge is not always saying what you mean, but to say it with as few words as possible.

No matter where you go, there you are. (so true!)

If somebody outdraws you, boy, walk away. There’s plenty o’ time to look tough when your outta’ sight.

Never kick a cow patty on a hot day.

Scars are cowboy tattoos with better stories.

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

Don’t worry ‘bout bitin’ off more than you can chew, your mouth is bigger’n you think.

Letting the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than gettin’ her back in.

If you get thrown from a horse, you have to get up and get back on, unless you landed on a cactus; then you have to roll around and scream in pain. (love it!)

Good judgment comes from experience, & a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

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

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Me again. Some of those are funny, but there’s a lot of sound advice and good logic in them.

So, do you have a favorite cowboy saying? Or who was your favorite TV cowboy?

Happy trails!

I'll be participating in the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt, which runs from May 17th - 19th. 

Fill out the Rafflecopter form at Stop #32, and you'll be in the running for an iPad Mini (loaded with books from the participating authors), or one of two runner-up prizes---all 31 of our new releases in paperback. In addition, some authors are offering additional prizes.

The starting point for the Scavenger Hunt is 

Coming July 1st: Whispers on the Prairie

When Sarah Marshall’s wagon breaks down near a stage stop at the mouth of the Santa Fe Trail, marriage proposals fly in faster than the incessant wind, but only one man interests Sarah—and he’s not proposing.

Ethan Harper’s well-ordered life is thrown into turmoil when an uppity city gal is stranded at his family’s stage stop. Now his two brothers and every unmarried male in the county are wooing Miss Priss. When one brother proposes, Ethan is in turmoil. Is it because she’s the wrong woman for his brother —or the right one for Ethan?

Vickie McDonough is an award-winning author of 27 books and novellas. Her novels include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series and the 3rd & 6th books in the Texas Trails series. Her novel, Long Trail Home, won the Inspirational category of the 2012 Booksellers’ Best Awards. Coming July 1st: Whispers on the Prairie, the first book in an exciting new series set in 1870s Kansas. To learn more about Vickie, visit her website:


  1. I loved this! Favorite on your list: Scars are cowboy tattoos with better stories. Loved em all!

  2. Love the cowboy sayings! For hitting on the head, I liked "Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction." For pure hilarity, I love "If you get thrown from a horse, you have to get up and get back on, unless you landed on a cactus; then you have to roll around and scream in pain." ! I love it! lol Of course, the one time I got thrown from a horse I'm afraid I didn't do the "get up and get back on", but more the "roll around and scream in pain"! I did have a broken arm, though, and I was 5, so I guess it was excusable! :D

    1. Oh, wow! Sorry to hear you broke your arm after a fall from a horse. Did you ever ride again?

    2. No, I never did, sadly. I'm not sure my parents ever let me near a horse again! When I broke my leg riding a bike at age 10, they didn't let me have a bike again until I was given one at age 19! I think they tried to protect me from anything that might harm me. :) But if I had an opportunity, I would definitely ride a horse again now.

  3. Great post, Vickie. I love cowboys, and now I know why.

  4. Thanks for the Friday pick me up! Cowboys are apart of our your books and learning more about them! truckredford(at)gmail(dot) com

  5. Thanks, Eliza. I've always loved cowboys. I guess it's because of all the cowboy shows I watched with my dad when I was a kid.

  6. I think this is my favorite 'society' post yet! I can't remember any cowboy sayings off the top o my head, we have cowboy country in my state but it is further south, up here it would be loggers and miners.
    I am fairly young but I am so glad for DVD's, now I can watch all of the older shows over and over. I love Gunsmoke and Have Gun Will Travel, but Matt Dillon and Paladin are not cowboys. BUT, Rawhide is, so Gil Favor would be my favorite cowboy along with Wishbone the cook.
    Jasmine A.

    1. Jasmine,

      I watched all of those shows as a kid except for Have Gun Will Travel. My favorites were The Big Valley and Bonanza. My grandma never could remember the name of Bonanza and always called it Lorenzo, but she never failed to watch it. :)

  7. Always loved cowboys so I married one. :) Fun post! I have always spouted "never kick a cowpie on a hot day" to my family, not sure why though. lol
    Susan P

  8. What a fun post! Another one of my favorties is "You can't tell how good a man or a watermelon is 'til they get thumped."

  9. Love the post Vickie. My favorite movies on Saturday were the cowboy westerns with Roy Rogers or Gene Autry. Loved those guys and still do. That's why I write about ranchers in my books.

    1. Me too, Martha. I grew up in the city, although I did manage to finagle my parents into buying me a horse--or two. Loved those westerns.

  10. Vickie, I love these and of course many of the others I've seen out there.

    Thank you for sharing.

  11. Thanks for sharing :)


  12. [If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.] Love it!
    My all time favorite cowboy would have to be John Wayne. Yep, no contest.


  13. "No matter where you go, there you are." My favorite out of these by far:) It's so matter-of-fact and commanding realization of the present moment... It can also be quite spiritual and comforting. I wonder who said that?