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Cinematic Cowboys of the Old West

Why has this genre stood the test of time (to an extent)?


Cowboys were mostly young men who needed cash. The average cowboy in the West made about $25 to $40 a month. In addition to herding cattle, they also helped care for horses, repaired fences and buildings, worked cattle drives and in some cases helped establish frontier towns.

Cowboys played an important role in the settling of the West. Ranching was a big industry and cowboys helped to run the ranches. Cowboys often worked on cattle drives. This was when a large herd of cattle was moved from the ranch to a market place where they could be sold. A lot of the original cattle drives went from Texas to the railroads in Kansas.

Cattle drives were tough work. Cowboys would get up early in the morning and “guide” the herd to the next stopping point for the night. The senior riders got to be at the front of the herd. The junior cowboys had to stay at the back where it was dusty from the large herd.

There were usually around a dozen cowboys for a good size herd of 3000 cattle. There was also a trail boss, camp cook, and wrangler. The wrangler was usually a…



Jo Ann Harris, Writer of Daily Musings

Writing on Medium since 2018. Writer for Illumination, About Me, and others, I write on a myriad of subjects with you in mind