Ranch Life in Cowboy Country, USA
Like I mentioned before: Times have changed and so have the cowboys. So the huge ranches still exist today! What has changed since
"wild west times" though is the work of the cowboys: More and more horses are replaced by ATVs . Horses are still needed if the terrain
does not allow ATVs though. The typical vehicle of a cowboy is the pick up truck. It is not only a "status symbol" it is also functional as food
and tools can easily be put on the truck bed. Countless country songs sing about trucks... And when Americans talk about a truck it usually
is a pick up truck! People in Germany have their own ideas about ranch-work in the USA... Some think it very romantic to push doggies at
dawn and sit on the porch and enjoy a nice sunset while the cattle grazes on the pastures nearby! Others say that ranchwork is no fun at all
- just hard work and low pay... I speak from experience when I say that the truth probably lies in the middle... and of course there are
differences from ranch to ranch...but ain`t that the case in every line of work? The ranch I worked on in Oklahoma paid alright and the
work-hours were ok as well...from 7 or 8 am to 5 pm and no work on Sundays. The ranch I worked on in Colorado however was a lot
different and work till 9 pm was sometimes required...the reason for that was because the ranch offered roping practice on weeknights...
It is widely known that cowboys love country music! However the term "country music" also has a different meaning to the average European
than it has to the average American! In Germany "country music" is mostly associated with antiquated, old fashioned music. But that is not
true! Today`s country music is "young and cool" just like pop, rock or rap music is! A lot of young people in the USA love country music!
Country music "began" in the 1920`s when guitars, fiddles and banjos weremixed together for the first time. This "string band sound" was first
called "hillbilly music" or "mountain music". Later the name was changed to "country music". Todays country has evolved to a modern sound -
just like "rock music" or other forms of music have. Because of modern instrumentation like base and drums or electric guitars "country
music" today sounds as cool as rock, pop or rap while keeping the sound of it`s string band roots
Rodeo - The Sport of the Cowgirls and Cowboys
Rodeo is not just a show, it is a sport - the tough sport of the cowgirls and cowboys. The sport is devided into two events, timed ecvents and
rough stock events. Usually every rodeo consists of the following timed events: Tie-down or break away calf roping, steer wrestlind and
woman`s barrel racing. Roughstock events are bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding. You can read a lot more about
rodeo in the USA and in Germany in the section "bull riding".
In America, cowboys have a modern image: They drive pick-up trucks, work on ranches with ATVs, ride in the rodeo, wear cool shirts and they
listen to country music that rocks! In short: Cowboys are cool! In Germany however it all looks very different!
Here cowboys are connected only to the "wild west" - and that of course makes them old fashioned and out-dated! Cowboys in Germany (or
Europe for that matter) hold a completely wrong image because of that!Sure, cowboys existed in the "wild west" - but so did police officers and
soldiers (just to name two professions). But why are those not connected to the "wild west"? Especially when many western movies do not
even portrait cowboys but law enforcement officers (Marshall, Sheriff) and soldiers (cavalry). Yet nobody today connects a police officer and a
soldier to the "wild west"! It is no wonder that the cowboy lifestyle is not very popular over here! Who wants to be considered an extinct and
out-datedperson?!? I certainly don`t! Nobody in the USA would dress up like in the "wild west" to go to a country music con- cert? And why
should they? We live in the 21st century, not the "wild west". Yes, there are clubs in the USA that emrace the "wild west" culture. But those are
historicclubs and they have them in Germany too, don`t they!?! Cause what about people at Medieval Festivals (Ritterspiele or Mittel-
altermarkt) or similar events? There is nothing wrong with that at all! But people don`t confuse "Medieval Festivals" with todays life in
Germany! So why do they confuse todays cowboy with the "wild west"?!
There are lots and lots of Cowboys in todays world! Beef is the most popular meat in the USA - no other meat comes even close! The market
share of beef is around 50 percent! There are about 15.000.000 head of cattle in the typical cowboy States alone. And that figure does not
include dairy cattle. So there are many cowboys out there tendingto the herds of the big ranches. So how is it even possible that some
people think there are no more cowboys?!?
Cowboy Lifestyle in Germany
I am thankful that there are cowgirls and cowboys in Germany who live out the American cowboy lifestyle over here. Below are a few photos
from my parties and also from our country tailgate parties with our trucks:
Cowboy party in Germany
Cowboy party in Germany