Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Cowboy Code of the West

I would welcome your thoughts and comments on the post I did for The Pony Expression Blog.

I want to Thank The Pony Expression for the opportunity to guest blog on one of my passions THE COWBOY CODE OF THE WEST.

This is the copy of the post from last week...


Over time, the cowboys of the American West developed a personal culture of their own, a blend of frontier and Victorian values that even retained vestiges of chivalry. Such hazardous work in isolated conditions also bred a tradition of self-dependence and individualism, with great value put on personal honesty, exemplified in songs and poetry. Over the years many of us have developed a romance with old west songs, poetry, stories and movies…

I have many fond memories of my grandfather Del, (pictured here) and father telling me family history and stories while taking me fishing and hunting. And not realizing until later in life when it was time to teach my children the values of the code of the west and the cowboy way, how much I had learned from my fore fathers. Important things like how to treat animals, respect guns and their use, and other people. Guns have become a big social issue because it is easy to blame the gun and not the core reason of the person using it and their upbringing…

My grandfathers family the Bradford’s homesteaded (pictured here) in Hemet, California in 1903 in a tent raising cattle and dry farming crops relying on mother nature.

After time and hard work they were able to afford to build a shack and my grandfather was born in 1912.

(Del and Barb on Chip 1919, pictured here)

He had 2 sisters and 2 brothers who all learned family values while doing their many daily chores.

(Plowing in Hemet, pictured here)

As now in tough economic and social times it becomes more apparent how society would benefit from parents and kids of our future taking to heart the values of the code of the west and the cowboy way to the core of their everyday lives. Here is one of my favorite hero’s-


1. The highest badge of honor a person can wear is honesty. Be truthful at all times.
2. Your parents are the best friends you have. Listen to them and obey their instructions.
3. If you want to be respected, you must respect others. Show good manners in every way.
4. Only through hard work and study can you succeed. Don’t be lazy.
5. Your good deeds always come to light. So don’t boast or be a show-off.
6. If you waste time or money today, you will regret it tomorrow. Practice thrift in all ways.
7. Many animals are good and loyal companions. Be friendly and kind to them.
8. A strong, healthy body is a precious gift. Be neat and clean.
9. Our country’s laws are made for your protection. Observe them carefully.
10. Children in many foreign lands are less fortunate than you. Be glad and proud you are an American.


Self reliance continues to be a Western trait. For the first time since the Civil War, the federal bureaucracy is being seriously challenged. Washington is being asked to prove why it is a more effective trustee of Western lands and their resources than the locals who live, work, and play on those lands. I think welfare especially rankles Westerners because of its implied insult — that men and women are incapable of earning a living on their own, or are unwilling to help those temporarily down on their luck to get back on their feet. In the West I believe there remains a willingness to trust a person rather than trust fine print. Unquestionably, the Westerner’s symbiotic relationship with the land has never been lost. The value placed on the region’s traditional industries, like ranching, has never diminished, even among many urban Westerners. The West was as much a state of mind as it was a historical phenomenon. And the Code? Like I said, it’s unwritten, how are you to prove it still exists?

Quote by: William H. Forbis. The Old West: The Cowboys Time-Life Books. 1973.

I heard about a lot of this after the 911 attacks…


The story is told of an elderly couple approaching the night clerk in one of Philadelphia ’s older hotels. The man indicated that he and his wife had been looking all over town for a room, but because of a convention, none was to be had.

The night clerk had pity on the couple and, although there was no vacancy in his hotel, offered them his room for the night.

The next morning while the elderly couple was eating breakfast, they asked to see the night clerk. When the clerk arrived, the gentleman astonished him by asking, “How would you like for me to build a big, beautiful, luxurious hotel in the city of New York and make you the general manager?” Astounded, the clerk simply responded, “Wonderful!”

The elderly man introduced himself as John Jacob Astor. The Waldorf-Astoria was built, and the night clerk became its first manager.

Be a good friend and neighbor. It can be a reward to

At Buckaroo Leather American Made is not just a sales slogan, standing tall behind our Buckaroo logo is honesty, hard work, dedication, sacrifice and integrity. In our journey of the last 30 years we have met many amazing artists, business horseman and women , craftsmen and customers who still live, as us by American Made. Our family has been dedicated for 30 years in serving the Western Horseman the safest most durable Quality American made leather horse tack.

Buckaroo John Brand

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1 comment:

Susan Catt said...

Well you know John that I like this post - great creed for all of us to live by.