101 Ways to Celebrate the American Cowboy

Photo Credit: WT Bruce

Photo Credit: WT Bruce

July 26th is National Day of the American Cowboy. A day to reflect on our past, our western heritage and the cowboys and cowgirls that still shape our world today. If you think the cowboy is going the way of the cuckoo, I encourage you to read on. 101 Ways to Celebrate the American Cowboy from 101 different people tell a different story. Now go out and celebrate this day in whatever way makes you feel a little more western and marvel in the great American west.

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway and submitted your ideas!

1.”My favorite way to celebrate the cowboy way is to play some George strait and saddle up!” -Brittany Santiago

2. “How I will be celebrating on July 26th my family & I will be doing annual branding & vaccinations of our cattle plus watching/ cheering on my younger brothers as they compete in our local rodeo. No better way celebrate National American Cowboy day than to actually be an cowboy or cowgirl on the day.” – Leonneda Biakeddy

3. “Visiting the Reno Rodeo.  While I like watching all of the PRCA cowboys in the events, I really enjoyed participating in the Association Sorting event every year.  It made me feal like a real cowboy.” – John Sutton

4. “Ranching & Working cattle everyday. And roping whenever we get a chance.” -Rob Henry

5. “Me my wife and my son all run in the local play days and ropings and barrel races. We celebrate the American cowboy by passing on the traditions down to our children.”  -Alex Groce

6. “As a young girl my favorite ‘Cowboy’ hero was Wyatt Earp.  Because he had become the stuff of dime store novels and magazine legend, imagine my surprise when I discovered as an adult that he fought against the ‘cowboys’.  These ‘cowboys’ were outlaws, and although they wore the handsome dress of cowboys, were out robbing stagecoaches and rustling cattle.  These ‘cowboys’ were nothing but outlaws who had ridden out to the west to hide from the Texas law.  These ‘cowboys’ led by the infamous Johnny Ringo, were all members of the outlaw gang known as The Cowboys of Cochise County, and whose members would later shoot it out with Wyatt, Doc, and Wyatt’s brothers at the OK Corral.  Fast forward to after Doc died in 1887, Wyatt moved on to other adventures in Idaho and Alaska.  In later life, Wyatt helped create the image of the true American Cowboy on the silver screen, which had changed from the outlaws like Johnny Ringo, to ones like Wyatt himself.  Bigger than life, and heroes for young boys and girls.  So that is how I celebrate the American Cowboy.  An image that Wyatt changed from rustler/murderer to American Hero.” -Caroline Earl

7. “My favorite way spending American Cowboy is being with the family and telling the story’s of past celebrations. Getting the younger kids dressed as cowboys and cowgirls and giving them rides on horse and teaching them the way of a cowboy.” -Paige Johnson

8. “Being out on the ranch.” -Grace Ellen Menuey

9. “Out riding and camping.” -Lori Stoen

10. “Riding my horses.” -Quinn Mann

11. “I love to celebrate with my horses….I use my horses for everything….” -Claudia Fernandez

12. “Working cows/calves!” -Cody Harris

13. “Working on our family ranch everyday. Riding horses, training cow dogs, and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Nebraska Sandhills.” -Ty Keller

14. “My favorite way to celebrate the american cowboy is to keep the traditions going and be proud of what it represents. The american cowboy, much like the farmer had little to nothing worked morning to night for not much pay. His/ her most prized possessions were not cars nor houses, but his horse, boots and hat; if not his family. I wear my boots every day from riding horses to eating dinner because no fashion style is greater than that of a cowboy. My friends and I share stories of the tares and creases in our hats and boots like most do over Facebook. My chinks are my prized possession, to me they are greater than a coach bag or new Nike’s to others. Because I wear them riding through town to this day while cars go whizzing by, but little kids get to see cowboys and cowgirls still exist. Everyone who proudly wears a cowboy hat, and their boots everywhere not just at a rodeo or a concert because its their way of life, we all keep the American Cowboy tradition alive. And we celebrate it everyday with good friends and a community of Cowboys and Cowgirls across America that’s greater than any group of people out there.” -Emma Williams

15. “I like to educate those in my community about the cowboy way. I use my horses and cattle as tools to assist in teaching younger folks about hard work, responsibility,  and respect.” -Victoria Stewart

16. “Love taking pictures and collecting old pictures.” -Tammy Howard Ellis

17. “Going trail riding with some good friends and dependable horses. Roughing it for a weekend or week.” -Austin Foust

18. “A cowboy fair where you have to have hat and boots to get in. Ranch rodeo one day and dancing the next.” -Joseph Hembree

19. “To me the best way to celebrate the american cowboy is to live my life every day the way they do. That consist of working hard, being humble, carrying for and taking caring of the ones you love both humans and live stock!!” -Rodney Stewart

20. “I like to go to the barn and ride my horses and tend to as many rodeos as I can.” -Hunter Mericantante

21. “Living the cowboy life.” -Matt Davison

22. “Training horses.” -Bj Creech

23. “Help keep traditions alive as the USA would not be like it is today without the American Cowboy and they continue their traditions to this day.”-Nancy Williams

24. “I’m going to go horseback riding and attend a benefit for one of our local cowboys.” -Dana Esker

25. “Ranching and rodeoing! Makes the smear the best.” -Chris Olson

26. “Riding and training colts. Got to COWBOY UP so the next guy or gal doesn’t have to.” -Nate Jones

27. “By living the cowboy way everyday.” -Marcus Dickson

28. “Going on pack trips in the mountains and watching ranch rodeos.” -Heidi Clark

29. “Front row seats so I can see all the action.” -Adam Tally

30. “With family!” -Shawn Baring-McMane

31. “My favorite way to celebrate the American Cowboy is by being one myself, and living my life in the true values of the American Cowboy.” -Dan Stewart

32. “It is our every day way of life out here.  We celebrate during brandings and small town rodeos with our ranching friends.  I also support local authors that detail the West like John L Moore.”  -Lori Bernardo

33. “A long trail ride followed by a steak cookout while my son plays old country music on his guitar.” -Tonia Montgomery

34. “A weekend out on the pasted camping. Letting him do what he loves.” -Wanda Bass Yates

35. “Spending time with my Dad who is a true American Cowboy!” -Jenny Clark

36. “My favorite way for celebrating is living the cowboy way of life and always remembering those that lived before me that helped start the cowboy world.” -Chancey Lee

37. “I love to dress in western wear , its my fave look!” -Judy Ann Carlow

38. “I celebrate the American Cowbay everyday, we live the lifestyle, my family are cattle ranchers and farmers!” -Diane Dorriety

39. “Rodeo and BBQ.” -Jenny Ham

40. “Going to the Rodeo at the Ionia Free Fair — It’s great!” -Marilyn Nawara

41. “Kids have a cowboy shootout in the backyard every chance they get!” -Kim Naumann

42. “I refurbish old barns.” -Daniel Brackbill

43. “I grew up on a farm so I like to go to county fairs.  We have been to 2 so far this year and the horses are gorgeous.” -Rose Reeder

44. “I live in rural Appalachia and I would say the best way to celebrate is to go to a rodeo and watch the show.  Lexington is the Horse Capital of the world and cowboy boots are as much a tradition here as Texas.  Go UK!” -Aaron Reck

45. “Taking one day a week and watching old westerns.” -Carrie Lamb Kusturin

46. “Horse Shows” -Cassie Taylor Weinick

47. “Watching westerns” -Kim Minton

48. “By having a cowgirls party at my house.” -Shirley P. Smith

49. “Fixing food over open fire.” -Janet Henson

50. “I used to take my daughter for a day of horseback riding, then we would ‘camp out’ in the yard, make a fire and do hotdogs and smores.” -Cassandra Berholtz

51. “line dancing, horses, boots and hats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” -Mamabrat Smith

52. “I love going to the rodeo. Not the huge Houston rodeo. I like the smaller throw down type. It’s great seeing these people do what they do best!” -Linda Darlington Peavy

53. “Continuing to pursue my dreams of roping, working cows and putting my big girl panties on and riding like I stole him!” -Lynne Robertson Richardson

54. “To go riding.  It may not seem like much, but being in SW Florida, it’s the best I can.  No rodeos, ranches or round ups to participate in down here.” -Anne Lewis

55. “Attending the 4th of July Rodeo in Park Rapids, MN has been a family tradition for many, many years. Young and old, we all enjoy the rodeo.” -Alexis Maureen

56. “Watching the good old western movies, or better yet, watching cowboys and aliens!” -Muratny Islander

57. “Our annual rodeo we just had our 100th.” -Staci Wells Mefford

58. “Dress up in my cowgirl boots and plaid shirt and attend a rodeo!!!” -Ashley Rohr

59. “Having a BBQ on the family property with the people I love.” -Tommy Orlando

60. “Wear cowboy boots.” -Marlana Pendley

61. “OOOOH watching rodeos grilling ribs and maybe staring at the back side of some tight jeans ;)” -Amie George

62. “Watching my grandaughter learn to ride and care for a horse.” -Don Melton

63. “My favorite way to celebrate the American cowboy is doing what I do every day. I get up before the sun feed and water the stock, then I work the Colts. I continue working all the horses through out the hot humid days of Mississippi till its time to feed and water again. Then all the horses get turned out as the sun goes down. Go home cook dinner for my family, take a shower if I’m not to worn out, read from our Duck Dynasty devotional, and thank God for another great day doing what I love. Then I crawl into bed, dream about what it is I have to do tomorrow like what colt threw a fit and how to correct it, or what horse needs a little more work on flexing. Then I wake up and do it all over again. Why? Because that’s what us cow and horse folk love to do, and we do it with pride! We are very fortunate to do what we do in our world these days. So yes I celebrate the cowboy way of life in everything I do and every day the good Lord allows me to do what I love.” -Alisha Armstrong

64. “I love horses and western life if I could I would celebrate the american cowboy by taking a trip to our states that are known for their cowboys to enjoy their culture.” -Donna Willis

65. “Playing my country tunes, wearing my boots and hat, and having a good bbq with beer, friends, music and laughter.” -Julie A Mallett

66. “Simply being on horseback.  Doesn’t matter where or what you are doing.” -Susan Childers

67. “A cold coors light after a day of riding colts.” -Scot Lesslie

68. “We love the American Cowboy as we have several in our family. Respect the Cowboy way of life.” -P Annette Skeans


70. “We love our cowboy attire, we wear our boots and  carry our western purses most all winter that’s how we celebrate the american cowboys.” -Missy Sands

71. “Watch a John Wayne cowboy marathon. Hubby & I love his movies!” -Linda Meranda

72. “Eating a meal of beans and franks by the campfire.” -Suzanne Sweeps

73. “The best way I know how to celebrate the American cowboy is to love the one I am married to and help raise our daughter in the the best way we know how. My husband is a 3rd generation cowboy, don’t know how much further back they go. He rodeod as a high schooler, then worked on a ranch. He did so willingly, no other job could he love. We then raised our daughter to love animals, hard work & rodeo. She is now 21 years old and is a rough stock contractor making her way through the bull riding world.  We believe in God, family, & country. We can’t imagine living any other way & it’s by example that we celebrate the cowboy life & keep it alive.” -Jenny Hook

74. “Horseback riding on the beach of north carolina outerbacks.” -Scott Price

75. “Go camping in colorado with only what you can carry.” -Kerry Makalusky

76. “By having a good old-fashioned cookout with friends and family. No better way to enjoy the heritage of hard work, America’s beautiful outdoors, and living free with those you love.” -Jennifer Kelly

77. “By doing my best to honor the spirit of today’s and yesterday’s cowboys.  And to do my best to instill that into the next generation of young cowboys and cowgirls.” -Debbie Orton Ferrell

78. “By watching cowboy films” -Sheldon Sklar

79. “Working at my uncles ranch, with the cattle. Moving them from field to field.” -Laura Willis Schag

80. “Riding my horse, out in the middle of nowhere, no fences, and nobody around for miles around.” -Scott K Taylor

81. “I’m learning and sharing cowboy poetry. Caring on the tradition from my Grand Dad. Great stories of days almost long lost, even for us who love the history but no longer work the range, the lessons still ring true. My Grand Dad has been asked on numerous occasions to share his talent at funerals, outings, and community events. He spreads the love, respect, and hard work of the Cowboys life. I hope to be as good and carry on the tradition well someday.” -Chris Rice

82. “The American Cowboy lives and loves off the land. I celebrate that relationship by staying in touch with nature and its elements. The great outdoors has everything the cowboy needs, aside from his great steed! The bond between animal and man is demonstrated most purely by the cowboy and his horse. I work with wild animals every day, because somebody has got to look after Momma Earth ” -Alicia Sweeps

83. “Just by being a Texan!” -Brian Smith

84. “I would have to say the peace and quiet you find at the end of a long work week sitting tall in your saddle. Your best steed is your choice for a ride and the ol cattle dog your only company is my favorite place to celebrate.” -Ashland Nicole Law

85. “The best way to celebrate the American Cowboy is to be true to the cowboy ways. Honor your word and respect eachother, the land, and our country.” – Ashley Nichole

86. “I celebrate the American Cowboy by keepin it simple.   I don’t have a ranch or a farm.  I don’t have cattle or grow hay. My Cowboy (Cowgirl) comes in the way of my spirit.  Takin each day as it comes and never takin for granted any soul the Good Lord has sent across my path.  I never give up.  But most of all I am grateful for all blessings, great and small.  Cowgirl at heart, by the Grace of God.  Thanks!” -Pam Benson

87. “Teaching my children about the history of the American Cowboy.” -Dallie Davis

88. “I like celebrating the American Cowboy by doing things the way it use to be done. Like gathering and moving cattle on horseback or even taking the time to use the cowboy way in training my horses the way they were done then.” -Amanda Norris-Carson

89. “The way I celebrate the American cowboy is by grabbing my horse and saddling up. By taking the long way around where I have time to think on my actions and bond with my horse. I celebrate by making sure I thank the Lord for getting me home safely, for letting me be brought up to the cowboy way of life, and for those who have kept the way of life I love alive. Every day I celebrate the American cowboy.” -Roberto Rivera

90. “By watching rodeos, reading books of true stories of old cowboys & ranches. Meeting old cowboy friends of my dads and listening to their stories. And by trying to help keep some cowboy traditions alive like roping, branding, etc.” -Mell Nielsen

91. “I celebrate by doing what a cowboy does…. fix fences , doctor cattle, take care of my horses , cause no cowboy is any good without a great mount…. your partners . Then after a good day doing what I love to do, it’s always good to talk and see how my other cowboy friends are doing and talk about ol times of rodeo or cattle we worked…. then ending the night at a rodeo if one is around but usually just checking and spending time with my ol horse and getting ready for the next day.” -Paul Cumberledge

92. “By decorating my house with a horse and cowboy theme.” – Melissa Tippie

93. “I grew up In Tombstone Az everyday was national cowboy day but my favorite way to celebrate is get up before the sun rises go let the cattle out to the pastures, feed the pigs and chickens, collect the eggs, do any fixing that needs to be down around the farm, sale the horses, and go collect the cows. Then inside to your lovely wife eat some dinner. And then on weekends go to the rodeo head down to the local saloon and do some dancing. And first thinG Sunday morning you head to church to praise God.” -Cami Valenzuela

94. “Living the ‘cowboy code’  that encouraged honorable behavior, respect and patriotism. Taking my kids to the cowboy museum so they can learn the truth about Cowboys and Cowgirls.” -Karen Rosaen Cairns

95. “My favorite way to celebrate the American Cowboy is to educate myself about their history.  In Lubbock, Texas where I go to school, the town has a National Ranching Heritage Museum that celebrates the history of the American Rancher.  I feel that there is no better way of celebrating the life of the American Cowboy than to learn about their history and how  their lifestyles have changed as generations have passed.” -Kara Hoffman

96. “Eating a great steak!” -Joy Pritchard Brigham

97. “Going out and gathering cattle on the range. If you can’t do that, then working and riding horses.” -Shannon Westby

98. “By supporting local rodeo’s and raising farm animals.” -Tonya Dreese

99. “An old time ranch rodeo! Where local ranch hands or cowboys enter ever event! They must be in all the events to be the all around winner! Saddle bronc, bare back, bull riding, bull dogging, calf roping, 3 or 5 mile horse race, and an endurance race where horse and rider go or over obstacles with the rider carrying an egg in his mouth! The rider that finishes first and without a broken egg wins! With all the usual concession stands and fireworks at the end!” -Tony Blaha

100. “I love going to rodeos. Boots and hats!!” -Annette Broxton

101. “I celebrate by saddling up and hitting the woods! Nothing more peaceful than a horse ride!” -Nikki Caldwell Parham

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