Mamas don`t let your Babies grow up to be Cowboys...or should they?!? What exactly is a Cowboy?
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!
And since you have come this far you might be interested in how todays Country Music sounds like. The video below has
a couple of examples:
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
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 were
mixed 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 is not only a show - it is a Sport: The sport of the Cowboy culture. You can find more info in the section "Bull Riding".
And that figure does not include milk cattle... So there are many cowboys out there today tending to the herds of the big
ranches. Everybody who ever drove through Nebraska, Wyoming, Oklahoma or Texas can certainly attest that there are lots of
cattle and ranches in those states. The fences of the cattle pastures can be seen for miles and miles on almost every country
road or interstate. So how is it even possible that some think there are no more cowboys?!?
Here cowboys are connected only to the "wild west" - and that of cour
se 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-dated person?!? 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"
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
culture. But those are historic clubs and they have them in Germany too, don`t they!?! Cause what about people at Medieval
Festivals (Ritterspiele or Mittelaltermarkt) 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"?!?
Cowboy Lifestyle in Germany
Thankfully there are cowboys in Germany who celebrate the lifestyle in American fashion! And that not only atthe Rodeo in
Germany... The section "videos" offers a few examples of how my friends and I live the cowboy life in Germany...
Party in the woods
Pasture in Oklahoma
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