120+ Cowboy Quotes and Sayings


Being called a cowboy is a rite of passage in the deep South or where lines of ranches are located. To be one means that you are assertive, composed, valiant and does not fear anything. Cowboys are bred and trained like horses. As such, cowboy quotes do not only revolve around tending to horses but to life in general too. 

Cowboys are said to be a contrast of firm yet delicate and a whole lot of personality paradoxes like this quote from the book Rancher’s Dream, “a cowboy’s hands are strong as steel, as tough as leather, but soft enough to touch a butterfly’s wings and the skin of a woman without disturbing the beauty of either.”

As a lifestyle, cowboys are known in American pop culture as the dashing heartbreakers who cannot settle or free-spirits like their stallions like this quote from Ken Alstad, author of Savvy Sayings, stating that, “cowboys have too much tumbleweed in their blood to settle down.”

But they are good lovers too; tender and respectful like this one from Olive Flannery, an esteemed Broadway artist, saying that, “cowboys are gentlemen who treat women with respect and hard work. They use their manners more than any other man would and ride horse and bulls like there is no tomorrow.”

On the other hand, Morrie Shwartz, inspiration of Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie, relish on cowboys’ love for independence alluding to the mythical cowboy of old Native Indian lore and tales saying that, “we have a sense that we should be like the mythical cowboy, able to take on and conquer anything and live in the world without the need for other people.”Lastly, as a rite of passage, to embrace being a cowboy means to live by this nugget of wisdom from Jimmy Tart, “where the leather is scarred, there is a great story to tell.”

A cowboy doesn’t ride a bull for fame he rides because he loves riding.

A cowboy has never had a 8 to 5 job…you get the job done when it needs to be done.

A cowboy is a man with guts and a horse. ~William James

A cowboy is defined by the work that he does. Any man lays claim to that name if he lives on a ranch and works–drives, brands, castrates, or nutures – a cattleman’s herd. ~Blake Allmendinger

A cowboy is not a cowboy without rodeo. Rodeo is not a rodeo with out a cowboy.

A cowboy never tries on another man’s hat, its like gettin’ on his horse.

A cowboy stays on the job until it gets done, no matter how dark it is outside.

A cowboy would rather throw a bull than eat beans with his knife. ~Charles Dorian

A decent cowboy does not take what belongs to someone else and if he does he deserves to be strung up and left for the flies and coyotes. ~Judge Roy Bean

A good cowman knows how to lie to the tax collector and the cattle buyer.

A good old rodeo never hurt anyone. ~Taylor Kitsch

A real cowboy doesn’t have to say they are a cowboy you know, the smell, the expression and the heart tells itself.

A true cowboy is a guy who stands up for any country/cowgirl in the bar or anywhere.

A true cowboy knows love, pain, and shame but never cares about fame.

A true cowboy knows not to panic take it all in stride.

Ain’t nuthin’ like ridin’ a fine horse in new country. ~Agustus MacCrae

All a real cowboy needs is a bull, his boots and beer.

Any cowboy can carry a tune. The trouble comes when he tries to unload it.

Any ride you come back top side, is a great ride!

Arrogance is the cowboy that talks, confidence is the cowboy that shows.

Boots, chaps and cowboy hats. Nothing else matters.

Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway! ~John Wayne

Cowboy films often show cowboys who are handsome, clean shaven, young and fair skinned. In real life cowboys were often quite old. They were covered in dust and had little time to wash or shave. Usually their horses were more handsome than they were. ~Meg Clibbon

Cowboy lived on a cattle ranches. A ranch had a house for the rancher and his family, barns for animals, and a bunkhouse where the cowboys slept. ~Lucille Recht Penner

Cowboy work is more than a job; it is a life-style and a medium of expression. ~John R. Erickson

Cowboys and men are two totally different breeds.

Cowboys are born, they ain’t made!

Cowboys are gentlemen who treat women with respect and work hard. They use their manners more than any other man would and ride horse and bulls like their is no tomorrow.

Cowboys are neat, every country girl should have one.

Cowboys come in many different shapes and sizes but all cowboys must be able to ride horses. ~Meg Clibbon

Cowboys don’t sleep they just wait.

Cowboys don’t walk round callin themselves cowboys.

Cowboys don’t get married, unless they stop being cowboys. ~David Goodman

Cowboys don’t go around breaking hearts. ~Missy Lyons

Cowboys may come and go but a horse is forever.

Cowboys need nothin’ more than a hat, horse, and the will to ride.

Cowboys they are all so tough on the outside, but so sweet and soft on the inside. ~Amber

Cowboys work hard, play well, love soft, and are a hell of alot better than any other boy I’ve ever seen. ~Olivia Flannery

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Don’t call him cowboy till ya see him ride.

Every coach has his own style of play, but when you spend your whole life as a Cowboy, you have to be influenced by what we did. ~Ton Landry

Everyone has a first love, and mine was the western. When I was a child and dreamed of the movies, it was always as a cowboy on a white horse. ~Franco Nero

Few scars on a fella can mean a lot of things. But fair chance he’s a quitter. A lot a scars can mean a few things too. But there’s a fair chance he’s never been one.

First buy a cowboy hat and boots. Then you’re on your way to being a Texan. ~James A. Michener

He always makes time for his lady.

He’s all hat but no saddle.

Horses and life, it’s all the same to me. ~Buck Brannaman

I get to actually experience what it would be like to be a psycho, which is not a fun one, or to be a cowboy, or to be a weird character of some sort. For me, it suits me. It suits my personality. I’m an emotional kind of person anyway. ~Josh Holloway

I thought being a cowboy would be a terribly romantic thing to do. But it wasn’t. I shoveled a lot of stalls. ~Bob Weir

I took to the life of a cowboy like a horse takes to oats. ~Clinton McCoy

I was feeling real good and real manly. Until a real cowboy walked by and told me I had my hat on backwards. So much for my career as a cowboy. ~Michael Biehn

I’d like to live on horseback and just be a cowboy. ~Paul Walker

If cowboys picked wives like they pick horses they would have lifelong mates.

If I can’t do the running, my horse will. If I can’t do the fighting, my horse will. My gun and horse I live for ’em.

If you climb in the saddle, be ready for the ride.

If you think bull riding’ isn’t intense, come sit on his back and try on my saddle. This aint for tenderfoots. ~Clancy Jean Driscoll

If your were out west about a hundred years ago, you might heard a cowboy yelling–ti yi yippy yay!- as he rode across the plains. ~Lucille Recht Penner

If you’re going to wear a cowboy hat, you’re going to have to go all the way. You should have livestock around you, settle all of your disputes with a pistol, and ride a horse absolutely everywhere. ~Tom Segura

I’m a cowboy who never saw a cow. ~Johnny Mercer

I’m either in one of two things: high heels or cowboy boots. ~Lydia Hearst

In a lot of places in the United States and certainly even more places around the world, the image of the cowboy has become, for some people, a negative one. The word ‘cowboy’ implies a strong, stubborn individual whose individualism depends on pulling down other people’s individualism. ~Viggo Mortensen

In every cowboys life he gets himself a god horse a good woman and a good loop!

Inside every cowboy there’s a lady who’d love to slip out. ~Willie Nelson

It ain’t the clothes that make the cowgirl, it’s the attitude and heart.

It doesn’t matter if a Cowboy lives in the mountains or in the flats, as long as it’s warm and there is a place to lay his hat.

It is easier to get an actor to be a cowboy than to get a cowboy to be an actor. ~John Ford

It’s a lot like nuts and bolts-if the rider’s nuts, the horse bolts! ~Nicholas Evans

John Wayne never ever disappointed his fans, because he was a cowboy. ~Vinnie Jones

Learn this well, the last ride is never the last ride. And the end is not the end. ~Richard Rowland

Let him ride a horse. He’s a cowboy ain’t he. ~Nathanael West

Life’s hard. It’s even harder when you’re stupid. ~John Wayne

My grandpa was a big cowboy in his values and the way he lived his life. For our family, the ranch represented our family time when we got to drive down through all that desert farmland and Grandpa would wake us up at 5 A.M. to feed the horses if we wanted to earn the right to ride them later. I always had so much fun. ~Cam

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill

No man should have cowboys boots in his wardrobe. That’s fair enough, isn’t it? Unless you’re a cowboy, of course. ~Paul Weller

No matter where life takes you never forget your fencin pliers.

Now you are thinking like a thief. Fewer guns and more exits. We’ll cure your cowboy ways yet. ~Richard Kadrey

People in Texas wear cowboy hats; they’re good at keeping the sun off your neck and face. ~Taylor Sheridan

Real cowboys never run, they just ride away.

Remove the cowboy from his working environment and you have someone else, someone who resembles a cowboy in outward appearance but who, to one degree or another, is an imposter. ~John R. Erickson

Ride E’m Cowboy, don’t let them throw ya down.. You can’t make no money if ya hit the ground, Ride E’m Cowboy, don’t let them throw ya down, You’re the toughest Cowboy in town. ~Juice Newton

Since he lives where he work, andsince he deals with animals instead of machines, the cowboy is never really off work. ~John R. Erickson

Some cowboys are born, some are self- made. It’s not about riding in a rodeo, it’s about putting heart into everything you do.You don’t have to have a southern accent, there are plenty of cowboys that come from out west and up north. Remember cowboys started in the west not the south. It’s a way of life, some people have what it takes others don’t.

Some cowboys have to much tumbleweed in their blood to settle down. ~Ken Alstad

Sometimes the best cowboys, ain’t cowboys at all.

Spending that many hours in the saddle gave a man plenty of time to think. That’s why so many cowboys fancied themselves Philosophers. ~Charles Marion Russell

Spit in one hand and wish in the other, then see which one gets fuller!

That was the trouble with explaining with words. If you explained with gunpowder, people listened. ~Dean F. Wilson

The cowboy doesn’t have to punch a time clock, drive through snarls of traffic every morning, shave, wear a tie, or participate in office rituals to gain advancement.When he gets tired of the scenery, or if the boss crowds him too close, he packs his few possessions in a pick up and horse trailer, and moves on to another ranch. ~John R. Erickson

The cowboy I know is a working man. He is defined by his work, which should not be confused with the term ‘job’. ~John R. Erickson

The cowboy is a common laborer with heroic tendencies and a sense of humor. ~John R. Erickson

The cowboy is a patriot.

The cowboy life attracts special type of individual who can shift for himself and endure isolation, and one who thrives on physical hardship, a certain amount of danger, and low wages. ~John R. Erickson

The cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man or take unfair advantage.

The cowboy no doubt can be regarded as a proud rider, skilled, observant, alert, resourceful, unyielding, daring, punctilious in a code peculiar to his occupation, and faithful to his trust. ~Charles W. Harris, Buck Rainey

The cowboy remains an excellent model of popular history– authoritative yet acccessible. ~Philip Ashton Rollins

The cowboy was far more than a theatric character. He was an affirmative, constructive factor in the social and political development of the United States. ~Philip Ashton Rollins

The cowboys can rest and look at the distant mountains, the fish in the creek and the setting sun. ~Meg Clibbon

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit and fire. ~Shannon Ralls Lemon

The horse is a mirror to your soul. And sometimes you might not like what you see in the mirror. ~Buck Brannaman

The only good reason to ride a bull is to meet a nurse.

There ain’t a man that can’t be thrown, or a horse that can’t be rode.

There are only two things you’ll see on the back of a bull. A fly and a fool.

There is no better place to heal a broken heart than on the back of a horse. ~Missy Lyons

There is something about riding on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you aint worth a thing. ~Will Rogers

There’s a big difference between me and a real, legitimate working hand, or a world-champion rodeo cowboy. I play ’em, and I aspire to be like that, but those guys are tough. ~Luke Perry

These cowboys follow the rodeos from town to town in an effort to win some prize money and, incidentally, to break a few bones. Some of them win prize money. ~Charles Dorian

Through rain or snow or even drought he goes and finds his cattle.

True cowboys are the ones who aren’t afraid to get dirty. ~Lane Frost

We have a sense that we should be like the mythical cowboy… able to take on and conquer anything and live in the world without the need for other people. ~Morrie Schwartz

What was it like to be a cowboy – to ride thousands of miles across the prairie.. to sleep under the stars at night.. to face storms and cattle rustlers and spampedes? Come take a ride with some cowboys and learn all about their exicting lives in the old west! ~Lucille Recht Penner

When I grew up, I only had two dreams. One was to be a cowboy and another was to be in the military. I grew up extremely patriotic and riding horses. ~Chris Kyle

When my time comes, just skin me and put me up there on Trigger, just as though nothing had ever changed. ~Roy Rogers

When they lay me down to rest, put my spurs and rope upon’ my chest. Get my friends to carry me.

When you’re a cowboy, life isn’t all about horses and rodeo’s. It’s about mud and dirt, and cowboy boots.

When you’re young and you fall off a horse, you may break something. When you’re my age, you splatter. ~Roy Rogers

Where the leather is scarred, there is a great story to tell. ~Jimmy Tart

You aren’t country without a pair of worn out leather cowboy boots. 🙂

You can tell a true cowboy by the type of horse that he rides.

You can tell how a man treats his woman by the way he treats his horse.

You wouldn’t understand it; it’s a cowboy thing!!

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Having retired after teaching Field Biology for many years, I have a wide range of topics to write on. My interests are photographing animals and plants, vacationing with my family, enjoying my grandchildren, dancing, hiking, canoeing and kayaking, gardening, winter activities, leading nature walks, writing notes on nature, and home improvements (we are renovating our retirement home). With all that I am doing now, you may wonder how I ever found the time to work - of course, most of the other things were put on hold all those years.


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