Ode to Cowboys by Melinda Curtis

A long, long time ago, I was a cowgirl. And I've written my share of cowboys, including this month's release in the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series - The Rancher's Redemption. But it wasn't until a recent post about horses on my Facebook page that I remembered how tough cowboys are.

Cowboys take a licking and keep on ticking. Let's take a look at just some of the things that can happen to a cowboy.

Cowboys get squished against fences and walls.
Cowboys get stepped on by a ton of horseflesh wearing steel shoes.
Cowboys get bit (often on the fingers), whipped by heavy tails, receive head butts, etc.
Cowboys get thrown to the dirt, the brush, the water, the snow, the road.
Cowboys get tangled up, cut or scarred by barbed wire.
Cowboys get trampled by two ton livestock (with horns).
Cowboys get kicked as they help deliver foals, calves and kids.

Now, a regular Joe, someone with common sense. If two of those things happened to them (maybe even just one thing), they'd retire from the cowboy biz.

But real cowboys are tough. They come back after getting thrown, bit or trampled. They share their "war stories" and scars with pride - but only when cornered into doing it. Most cowboys - the ones I know, anyway - aren't showboaters. They take pride in doing a good job and hanging in there, knowing they'll never become millionaires.

I didn't remember how tough my cowboy friends were - how tough I used to be when I was one of them - until a seemingly innocent Facebook discussion about riding horses. Many people, arguably the ones with more common sense than me or my cowboy friends, had been thrown, bit, and stomped on, and had decided horses and the horsey life weren't for them. Life today means we don't need to be cowboys or horsemen. We can face challenges that don't involve physical danger on a daily basis. And that's okay.

So here's to cowboys. We love them because they're tough as nails with hearts of gold. I hope they never become extinct.

Melinda Curtis is an award-winning, USA Today bestseller of over 50 romances (26 with Harlequin). Her latest release is The Rancher's Redemption, about a lawyer who remembers he's a cowboy. Not to give anything away, but he just might get thrown in this book.


  1. We need more cowboys--and cowgirls, come to that. Good post, Melinda.

    1. It was not until a current submit approximately horses on my Facebook page that I remembered how tough cowboys are. They take pleasure in doing an amazing activity and Whiteboard Animation putting in there understanding they will never turn out to be millionaires. I was one among them until a seemingly innocent Facebook dialogue about using horses.


  2. I once met a man at a horse show who'd lost his thumb while roping a calf -- the calf ran off and took the rope with it (along with the man's thumb). The man was still riding and a working cowboy, didn't stop him.

  3. I think it's about making a life while you're making a living. People who hate what they do, but do it because they make more money at it...well, that's a difficult way to live.

  4. It's a dangerous job. One of the things I particularly enjoy about Arizona is seeing all the old cowboys out with their wives. Most have a little limp or catch in their step, probably from one of those things happening at some point in their lives, but they just keep on going and seldom complain. It's hard not to love a cowboy.

  5. Yay, I can comment!! I haven’t been commenting here because for some reason the new platform gives me issues with Wordpress.
    Thanks for telling us about how tough a cowboy’s life is. And thank you for sending me a copy of The Rancher’s Redemption! Looking forward to getting to that one later on. I’m finishing up Carol’s fantastic book, The Rancher’s Twins, right now. I’m so happy to see that fellow bloggers are enjoying the series too. ( :

  6. I love cowboys and rodeos and the Western way of life. Great cover and story, Mel.

  7. Cowboys. Love 'em! Love horses, too. Been bucked off, one reared up and fell back on me, been kicked and my foot stepped on.

  8. A great tribute! I love writing cowboys, partly for these reasons. I grew up riding horses and I have many scars and aches and pains to prove it. My husband always marvels at how many old injuries I have. But every one was worth it, and I still ride every chance I get.

  9. This sounds great! I'm totally intrigued. I grew up partly in Texas, but I wouldn't call myself a cowgirl. I have, however, ridden horses and I've been thrown off of one. I fell hard and my back was not in good shape for awhile. Cowboys/cowgirls are tough!


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