The Real West

At the premier of The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford, Sept 20 2007

The Real West

The Cowboy Code or Code of the Old West

Here in The Last Best West we believe in the Cowboy Code. . .and not the one Tom Mix and his movie studio used to win over young fans to his early western movies. . .the sentiment was right but the code was hokey.

In the Real West The Code of the West was an intangible thing born out of  a necessity for survival, and is more of an observation on how people acted, then anything else. . .in essence this was The Code of the West:

A true Cowboy always helps his neighbor, feeds a stranger and his horse, and maintains his free and in dependant spirit. In the real west you never asked a stranger his name or where he came from. It was considered a slight to call another man by his last name – and often last names weren’t even known. A cowboy’s loyalty to his ranch, his friends, and his abilities as a rider and a cow hand were all that mattered.

Real Cowboys

Say Little and Complain Even Less!

  • To a Real Cowboy all women are ladies and all ladies are respected
  • Never touch a Cowboy’s hat or try to pat his dog.
  • A Cowboy never puts his hat on a bed – it’s bad luck. (Why?)
  • When a Cowboy has his hat on straight or tilted down it means he’s expectin’ bad weather or trouble, and when it is tipped back, he’s friendly and affable.
  • When his hat is off a Cowboy is eatin’.
  • In the Real West if you wanted to pick a fight – just tip yer hat to a man.


· Death smiles at everyone – Cowboys smile back. . .
– Thanks Brad from Pecos, Texas
Cowboys always tip their hats to the ladies.
– Thanks Nigel from Manchester
· Cowboy’s always feed their horses ‘fore themselves.
– Thanks Michael from Calgary
· Cowboy’s talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.
– Thanks Charlene from El Paso
· Cowboys take off their spurs before sitting on fine furniture.
– Thanks Tom from Galveston
· Real Cowboys never squat with their spurs on.
– Thanks Lawrence in Calgary.
· A cowboy is known for his hat. Real Cowboys wear a Last Best Cowboy Hat – Thanks Kevin in Dallas.
· Real Cowboys eat Alberta Beef – Thanks Aileen from Longview
With a real cowboy the bull dung’s on the outside. – Thanks Wray from Seebe
· A cowboy knows a good horse never comes in a bad color.
– Thanks Wasey from Peace River
· A real west cowboy would never let a 5 buck meal ruin a 100 dollar drunk!
– Thanks Little Duke


Here’s perhaps the best example of Cowboy Poetry!

Reincarnation – by Wallace McRae

“What does Reincarnation mean?”
A cowpoke asked his friend.
His pal replied, “It happens when
Yer life has reached its end.
They comb yer hair, and warsh yer neck,
And clean yer fingernails,
And lay you in a padded box
Away from life’s travails.”

“The box and you goes in a hole,
That’s been dug into the ground.
Reincarnation starts in when
Yore planted ‘neath a mound.
Them clods melt down, just like yer box,
And you who is inside.
And then yore just beginnin’ on
Yer transformation ride.”

“In a while, the grass’ll grow
Upon yer rendered mound.
Till some day on yer moldered grave
A lonely flower is found.
And say a hoss should wander by
And graze upon this flower
That once wuz you, but now’s become
Yer vegetative bower.”

“The posy that the hoss done ate
Up, with his other feed,
Makes bone, and fat, and muscle
Essential to the steed,
But some is left that he can’t use
And so it passes through,
And finally lays upon the ground
This thing, that once wuz you.”

“Then say, by chance, I wanders by
And sees this upon the ground,
And I ponders, and I wonders at,
This object that I found.
I thinks of reincarnation,
Of life and death, and such,
And come away concludin’: ‘Slim,
You ain’t changed, all that much.'”


Cowboy Wisdom

A friendly game of cowboy poker turns on a card in the real west

Legends of the West Posters