How To Pick A Cowboy

Maybe his hat first caught your eye,
all cleaned and shaped up nice.
He wore a pearl-snap shirt and buckle,
and Levi’s that made you look twice.

But lots of guys look good in jeans,
and have their lid shaped in a shop.
So, how can you tell a dink in spurs,
from a hand who’s ranked at the top?

It’s imperative to see him ride,
and work some around a cow.
Real cowboy skills can’t be faked,
he either does or doesn’t know how.

Does he sit a horse real natural,
like his home is a saddle seat?
Are the reins in his hands connected
to each of his horse’s feet?


One of the first things I noticed about my husband was how well he sat a horse. He just looked so natural up there, like he would go with that horse wherever it went through the sagebrush. Of course he was a cowboy; what else would Jim Young be?

Does he reach down and build a loop
when the last cow goes through the gate?
Then kick up his horse in hot pursuit,
like he has the mail and is runnin’ late?

If he’d rather sit and check his phone,
than rope a cow for fun,
you better just keep on lookin’
’cause girl, he ain’t the one.

If you aim to be called Mrs. Cowboy,
you need to pick one who’s handy as hell.
Because your housing and source of income
depend on if he can ride and rope well.

But don’t be turned off if he moves a lot,
in this biz, that’s just part of the deal.
It’s okay if he cusses and chews all day,
but keep lookin’ if he’ll lie, cheat or steal.

Take time to observe how he treats his horses,
are they your cowboy’s friend?
Does he scratch them between the eyes,
before turn-out at work day’s end?

A man that treats his stock right
will likely be good to his wife.
So judge a man’s character, not his hat shape,
and you’ll be happy the rest of your life.


Jim and I have been happily married for five years this August. His abilities with a horse and a rope have always kept us in a job and a house, and his abilities with a joke have always kept me laughing.


About Jolyn Young

I grew up in California, way up north near the Oregon border. My family raised commercial Herefords long enough to get me hooked on cowboying, for better or for worse, but not for prosperity. I met my husband, Jim, when we were working for neighboring ranches in North Fork, Nevada. We fell in love, got married and had a baby - kind of in that order. We now live on the O RO Ranch in northern Arizona, where Jim works as a cowboy and I take care of our two kids and write a blog and various freelance assignments. I love the Lord and credit Him with all my victories and accomplishments. More important than anything I accomplish or don't accomplish, though, is the eternal salvation of my soul that believing in Jesus promises me. Thanks for your time. Have a great day!
This entry was posted in Cowboy's Sweetheart and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to How To Pick A Cowboy

  1. Mary kleaver says:

    Greeting from Northern California, all is well here! Enjoyed your poem and hearing about you and your family

    • Jolyn Young says:

      Hi Mary! Thanks for the nice comment, I hope all is well with you and Bill and the mules. My husband is packing salt to cows right now on a couple of mules!

  2. Reposted on Facebook, ma’am. Thank you. Keep up the good work!
    Chance Rodeo Battlehawk
    (On Facebook)

  3. Thank you, Jolyn!
    Chance Rodeo Battlehawk on Facebook

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