The Cowboy Code

Great American History

The Cowboy Code is one of those elusive concepts to define yet immediately understood without definition.  Over the years a number of people have tried to define the cowboy code.  Here are some particularly good examples of the Cowboy Code.

According to author James P. Owen, the cowboy code can be boiled down to the following principles:

Live each day with courage.

Take pride in your work.

Always finish what you start.

Do what has to be done.

Be tough, but be fair.

When you must make a promise, keep it.

Ride for the brand.

Talk less, say more.

Remember that some things aren’t for sale.

Know where to draw the line.

According to Gene Autry, this is the cowboy code:

The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
He must always tell the truth.
He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
He must help people in distress.
He must be a good worker.
He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
He must respect women, parents, and his nation’s laws.
The Cowboy is a patriot.

If you want to experience the West and discover your own Cowboy Code, contact the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, NM to begin your adventure today.

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