top of page

The Cowboy Code

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

Generations of Hortons
Generations of Hortons on the Bar A Ranch, Texas and the Bell Ranch, New Mexico

In a time when hate, division, and self-promotion run rampant, there is a code of ethics at risk of extinction. This code, the Cowboy Code, represents a time when things were done differently. My daddy grew up in the last days of that era, the era of the great American Cowboy. Sure, there are still cowboys, but they're not the same. What's truly sad is that this great decline of character and work ethic has taken place within my lifetime. Just 20-short-years ago, the world was very different; the cowboy code still stood firm. Now all you boys in your Hooey hats settle down. Y'all may think you know the code, but your attitude proves otherwise. The code goes far deeper than removing your hat to wink at a girl. It's about family, work ethic, respect, integrity, character, selflessness and a long list of other qualities this generation knows very little about.

Daddy grew up in a time when family was important. Family was everything. Family represented your heritage, and you'd protect that with everything within you. You were proud of who you came from and wanted to uphold their reputation. Family was the ones you knew you could always count on, and because of that, family came first. No questions asked.

Neighbors were next to kin. If a neighbor needed help, you helped them. More than that, you didn't wait to be asked for help. If you saw a need, you filled it. It didn't matter if you had cattle to work too because they'd gladly return the favor. In fact, working cattle was much different. Cattle workings were a family and community event. Neighbors came together to help each other's operations.

Work started before daylight. The code was upheld. The owner of the operation gave the orders and you did things their way to the best of your ability. You wouldn't dare argue with someone on their own operation. You could do things your way on your own place. When you were given your orders, you didn