“I should have been a cowboy
I should’ve learned to rope and ride
wearing my six shooter, riding my pony on a cattle drive,
stealing the young girl’s hearts
just like Gene and Roy
singing those campfire songs,
I should’ve been a cowboy”
I love westerns, I love the image of the cowboy, life on the trail, no worries at all but getting the cattle to their final destination. The image of the cowboy who drifts from town to town, stops in at the saloons to play cards or see Ms Kitty. Granted, I know the image is purely 90% Hollywood and is not even close to what the “real” cowboys dealt with and how their lives really were.
Two of my favorite movies are City Slickers and Lonesome Dove, like Billy Crystal and his buddies, I would like to spend some time on a dude ranch. I want to learn how to rope cattle, saddle a horse, learn how to properly ride a horse, heck even “slap the bull”. All just to get a taste of what it was like. Like Billy Crystal’s character, I pretty much have been a city boy most of my life. Sure I have ridden a horse a few times, at summer camps and on vacations as a kid, but those were tame trail rides where the horse seemed like it would rather be back at the barn and left alone instead of having some kid that had no clue what he was doing on its back.
I get that owning a horse is a lot of work, a lot more than owning a dog, and more than what is shown in the movies. I also understand life on a cattle drive was not as glamourous Cpt Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call portrayed it in Lonesome Dove. The “real” cowboys had to deal with harsh weather conditions, lack of food and water, poor sanitation, other animals and bandits on the trail ride. I understand that they earned very little money and the risk of personal injury was probably very high, but it is still nice to dream the Hollywood dream of life on the open range when I watch City Slickers or Lonesome Dove. Spending some time at a dude ranch is most definitely on my bucket list.