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The Dixie Cowboys/Cowgirls And Their Horses

Updated on May 24, 2019
Gerry Glenn Jones profile image

I grew up on a farm near the small town of New Houlka, Mississippi, where I had many animals as pets, so I am somewhat an animal whisperer.

Are You a Dixie Cowboy or Cowgirl

Were you born in or near a small town in the south during the 40s, 50s, and 60s? Did you learn to ride a horse, mule, cow, goat or donkey before you rode your first bicycle, minus the training wheels? Do you still remember the pain you experienced after a ride if you hadn't taken one in a while? Well, if these things are part of your reflective conscious, you might be a Dixie Cowboy or Cowgirl.

Cowgirl and horse barrel-racing
Cowgirl and horse barrel-racing | Source

Horses Instead of Video Games

The pace of the world was much slower in those days; with the absence of personal computers, smartphones, and video games, so kids had another avenue to discover; the outdoors and their animals. Even if you didn't live on a farm, but lived in the south, you probably had friends and family who had farms, and when you visited, you could become a Dixie Cowboy or Cowgirl, although some of you probably opted out.

Cowboy and his horse
Cowboy and his horse | Source

Rough Riders

Even though this article may speak mostly about the Dixie Cowboy, the word "boy" and "girl" were once gender neutral in language, referring to humans, so we will simplify this writing with the word "cowboy" for both sexes. Also, even though this article is about the ones that took on the challenge, and in some cases, literally grabbed the bull by the horns, anyone else that reads it is welcome to wonder at the sanity of these rough riders, of which this writer was one.

Wild horses
Wild horses | Source

Things That a Dixie Cowboy Remembers

If you were fortunate to be raised in the south, and even more fortunate to own a horse(s), or just had the opportunity to ride others horses, you should remember these things.

  • The smell of the animals when they were in a coral or barn, along with the hay and sweet feed. Many might have found this smell repulsive, but not the Dixie Cowboy; it was part of the ritual of life,
  • Riding your first horse or in some cases goats, calves, mules, and donkeys. The fear, but exhilaration when your parent or sibling put you on the animals back, and the subsequent reaction of the animal,
  • Riding a horse without a saddle, and sometimes with a gentle on, without a bridle,
  • Waking up in the morning with riding on your mind, as well as going to sleep with riding on your mind, and of course the dreams,
  • Watching Roy Rogers, John Wayne, The Lone Ranger, Laramie, Bonanza, My Friend Flicka and all the other shows that showcased the cowboy and his horse,
  • Teaching your horse tricks, or in some cases your horse teaching you tricks,
  • How the simple words rodeo or horse show meant as much to you as football, basketball, and baseball to sports fans,
  • How hard it was to catch some of your spirited horses, and how some came to you as if saying, "I want to be ridden." It was a companionship for them also,
  • The birth of a colt - It was almost like your own birthday, after all, your mare had just given you a new present,
  • Having an old sway-back mare that could outrun any horse around. The laughter always stopped at the finish line,
  • The uses of these wonderful animals on a ranch or farm,
  • The death of your pal! It was as if a family member had died,
  • And, the greatest gift of all to a Dixie Cowboy was the fact that the person, whether male or female had the chance to meet and spend precious quality time with a noble - proud creature called a horse.

Become a Dixie Cowboy/Cowgirl

Even if you don't own a horse, there are many ways you can ride one. There many stables and farms around the country, who provide trained horses for rent, and also provide training for people who have never ridden a horse. They also have arenas and trails to ride the wonderful animals.

There is also the option for some people, who have friends and/or family members who live on a ranch or farm, to ride their horses for free.

© 2019 Gerry Glenn Jones


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