Back in the day, ranchers would hire cowboys to look over their herds. Today, cowboys show their skills by bull riding, using a lasso, and roping and tying steers. The Mexican-American War in the 1850’s is when the traditional cowboy look was actually developed. American soldiers improved this look during the war and brought it to the South. By improving the look, they made the hats cooler and the outfits more durable opposed to just be colorful.
There are numerous types of cowboys, one being a wrangler, who would specifically tend the horses used to work cattle. Names for cowboy also include buckaroo, cowpoke, cowpuncher, and cowhand. The origins of cowboy tradition came from Spain and the style of cattle ranching spread, making its way to America. Sometime in the 1880’s, the increase in cattle and expansion of cattle industry resulted in needing additional open range. Because of this expansion, cowboys decided to move northwest with their cattle to find grassland. Because of time and climate change, a cowboy would make sure to pack cautiously and be ready for the worst weather conditions.
Once railroads were created, the demand for beef increased greatly. The need to drive cattle, sometimes hundreds of miles away, was a job a cowboy could always take as his own. Over the years, the rodeo was invented so that talented individuals could display their skills. Cattle handling and bull riding are two of the skills these individuals bring out in the rodeo. As for today, the word “cowboy” can be used as a noun sometimes to describe a fast or careless driver on the highway.