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Dear Next Generation: A Cowboy’s Code

Yep, I am a cowboy by choice and I am branded for life—I have worked as a cowboy all over the country—I worked for the rancher or cattleman and still do. I am 72 years old and still a cowboy because I have never owned a cow—when you own cattle you are a rancher or cattleman and you should no longer go by the handle (cowboy). The cowboy’s code applies to all true cowboys and if you break one of these, you are no longer a cowboy.

1. When you meet or are introduced to a lady: You remove your hat and say, “Pleased to meet you, ma’am.” A lady is 3 years old to 150 years old—and regardless of the look of your hat hair—this law tells the ladies that you are a true cowboy that respects all ladies. If you meet one you don’t respect, then just walk away after putting your hat back on.

2. Live each day with courage. If need be, then die for the Creator, family, friends, and country—sometimes for someone you don’t know.

3. Take pride in your work. Do the best you can because you ride for the brand. That means your boss is your master. If you don’t respect your master, then saddle up and ride away.

4. Do what needs to be done. And beyond what folks expect. This will put you above what’s below.

5. Always finish what you start. Think before starting anything in life. It will save you a lot of time and pain.

6. Be tough but fair. Don’t back off from what you know to be right—but sometimes right is wrong and wrong is right.

7. Make your word your bond. Say what you do and do what you say. Your word is what makes you a cowboy. Don’t add or take away from your spoken word. Yes means yes and no means no.

8. Talk less and say more. 50-cent words are better understood than $100-words—and you won’t bore the receiver with 2 pounds of earwax that will stop up his or her ears.

9. Some things aren’t for sale: Your word (bond), truth, love, kindness, all the good things in your heart that makes up a cowboy must never be sold for profit.

10. Know where to draw the line. It takes a lifetime of drawing lines to know where to draw a line, so sit at the feet of old men and women and keep your trap shut and just open your ears.

11. Obey all the commandments of the Creator. (Start with the 10)

12. Take care of your horse. If not, then don’t own or ride one. This applies to dogs, cats, and rattlesnakes.

13. Know what evil is. It’s not outside, it is inside each and every one of us—get rid of it.

Jerry Sinor, Colorado

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