How To Become a Cowboy

Father and son cowboys

Cowboys have a reputation for being tough and strong men. And if you've watched any cowboy movies, or read fiction about cowboys, you know that they have a certain charm that makes them appealing to the ladies, if you know what I mean.

But being a cowboy is not very easy. A denim shirt and pants, cowboy boots, and big buckled-belt does not make one a cowboy alone. To be a real cowboy, you've got to do what a real cowboy does and live the way a cowboy does. So for all you city slickers wishing to become a cowboy, here are a few tips on how to become one.

1. Visit a dude ranch. This is the best way to experience a cowboy's life first hand. There are hundreds of guest ranches all over the United States that offer city slickers a chance to experience how it is to live and work on a ranch. You get to ride a horse all day if you like, dine with real cowboys in the great outdoors, muck hay, mend and build fences, operate farm equipment, and learn how to herd and pen cattle. You also get to learn how to party like a cowboy, which is basically singing cowboy songs at night around a camp fire-that is if you're not at all sore and tired from all your activities during the day. For more information about dude ranching and ranches, visit: the following sites:


2. Attend a bull-riding or rodeo school. Watching a rodeo is different from riding a bucking bull yourself. Riding bucking mechanical bulls isn't either. It takes a lot of practice, hard work, and dedication for a cowboy to become a bull rider. For a city slicker like you, your best chance of living like a bull rider is to attend a bull riding fantasy camp and learn about every aspect of the rodeo, from identifying gear to correct bull riding techniques. Sankey Rodeo School is one of the most popular roughstock schools in the country. Check it out at

3. Attend cattle auctions. Cowboys are not only laborers, but they also play the role of savvy businessmen called cattle ranchers. By attending a cattle auction, you can see how cowboys market and sell their animals to the highest bidders. If you can't get yourself into a cattle auction, start by attending country fairs and livestock shows. There will be enough cowboys and cattle to satisfy your curiosity at such events.

4. Learn some business skills. As mentioned in the above item, cowboys are also savvy businessmen. Running a profitable ranch takes a lot of business skills, not just backbreaking labor. After all, there are supplies to be bought, animals to sell, employees to pay, and books to balance. The best way to experience this is to observe a cattle rancher at work. But this can be difficult, especially if you do not know any cattle ranchers. So content yourself with reading books on cattle ranching and the lives of cattle ranchers.


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