Whether you wanted to be a cowboy as a child or you love the idea of saddling up on a ranch of your own, you’ll like these cowboy quotes.
While a cowboy is simply defined as an animal herder who works with cattle on a ranch, we tend to think of “cowboys” as a lot more than that. Cowboys are the tough men from the wild west. They fight the bad guys. They ride horses and bulls. They’re strong.
Cowboys have been depicted in movies by iconic actors like Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. And there are many popular cowboy movies from Tombstone to the Lone Ranger. If you enjoy cowboy movies, western books, or just like working out on the ranch, you’ll enjoy these cowboy quotes.
Don’t forget to also check out these horse quotes that will inspire you to take a ride.
Cowboy quotes and sayings about bull riding
1. “If you think bull riding isn’t intense, come sit on his back and try on my saddle. This ain’t for tenderfoots.” – Clancy Jean Driscoll
2. “If I’m going to become the first cowboy in history to win seven all-around world titles, I have to bear down. I have to ride this bull.” – Ty Murray
3. “Rodeo cowboys usually keep going until they’ve crippled—injured by animals—run out of money for entry fees and travel expenses, quit or get killed in the arena. The camaraderie among them is unlike any other sport.” – Chris LeDoux
4. “Rodeo, like poetry, can get into your hemoglobin, into the deep helices of DNA, and once there it becomes your metaphorical makeup for life.” – Paul Zarzyski
5. “Anyone who has ever experienced the thrill of rodeo life wishes it could go on forever.” – Ralph Clark
6. “The best bulls in rodeo are unpredictable. Trying to outsmart them can lead cowboys to outsmart themselves.” – Ty Murray
Famous western and cowboy quotes
7. “When my time comes, just skin me and put me up there on Trigger, just as though nothing had ever changed.” – Roy Rogers
8. “The great cowboys are the ones with the biggest hearts.” – Ty Murray
9. “Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne
10. “When you’re young and you fall off a horse, you may break something. When you’re my age, you splatter.” – Roy Rogers
11. “I don’t care about going down in history as a great bull rider or bronc rider. I hope people will remember me as a great cowboy.” – Ty Murray
12. “If I thought you weren’t my friend, I just don’t think I could bear it.” – Doc Holliday
13. “I’m the stuff men are made of.” – John Wayne
14. “America is a land of opportunity and don’t ever forget it.” – Will Rogers
15. “I’m your huckleberry.” – Doc Holliday (Tombstone)
16. “I’m not the sort to back away from a fight. I don’t believe in shrinking from anything. It’s not my speed; I’m a guy who meets adversities head-on.” – John Wayne
Wise cowboy quotes
17. “If you’re going to wear a cowboy hat, you’re going to have to go all the way. You should have livestock around you, settle all of your disputes with a pistol, and ride a horse absolutely everywhere.” – Tom Segura
18. “I spent two months in Fredericksburg, Texas, when I was 8, while my father shot a movie, and I loved it. I just embraced the whole cowboy culture. I got myself a pair of awesome boots and a cowboy hat.” – Alexander Skarsgard
19. “A man isn’t born a cowboy… he becomes one.” – Unknown
20. “When I grew up, I only had two dreams. One was to be a cowboy and another was to be in the military. I grew up extremely patriotic and riding horses.” – Chris Kyle
21. “My dad grew up in western Nebraska. I’d visit all the time as a kid, and it’s very much like the Wild West. It felt to me like a cowboy movie. Stuff like that made me become this dreamer at a young age.” – Kevin Morby
22. “I think I was probably a cowboy in a past life.” – Gin Wigmore
23. “I loved cowboy movies when I was a kid. When I was five years old, I was already wearing a cowboy hat and suit. When I grew up, I knew John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Kirk Douglas and so on.” – Jackie Chan
Cowboy quotes about horses
24. “The horse is a mirror to your soul. And sometimes you might not like what you see in the mirror.” – Buck Brannaman
25. “Cowboys come in many different shapes and sizes but all cowboys must be able to ride horses.” – Meg Clibbon
26. “Let him ride a horse. He’s a cowboy ain’t he.” – Nathanael West
27. “A cowboy is a man with guts and a horse.” – William James
28. “Ain’t nuthin’ like ridin’ a fine horse in new country.” – Augustus MacCrae
29. ‘You can tell a true cowboy by the type of horse that he rides.” – Anonymous
Funny cowboy quotes and sayings
30. “Nature gave us all something to fall back on, and sooner or later we all land flat on it.” – Unknown
31. “Sometimes you get and sometimes you get got.” – Unknown
32. “Always drink upstream from the herd.” – Unknown
33. “Don’t squat with your spurs on.” – Unknown
34. “Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction.” – Unknown
35. “If you climb in the saddle, be ready for the ride.” – Unknown
More cowboy quotes
36. “It doesn’t matter if a cowboy lives in the mountainsides or in the flats, as long as it’s warm and there is a place to lay his hat.” – Anonymous
37. “I’ve got two guns. One for each of ya…” – Doc Holiday
38. “You see, in this world, there’s two kinds of people, my friend – those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig.” – Clint Eastwood
39. “The first picture of me that I know of was me in the crib wearing a pair of cowboy boots.” – Marty Stuart
40. “I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” – J.B. Books
41. “My grandpa was a big cowboy in his values and the way he lived his life. For our family, the ranch represented our family time when we got to drive down through all that desert farmland and Grandpa would wake us up at 5 A.M. to feed the horses if we wanted to earn the right to ride them later. I always had so much fun.” – Cam
42. “The cowboy look – the hat and bandana – that’s not a fashion statement. That clothing is purely practical.” – Ethan Coen
43. “True cowboys are the ones who aren’t afraid to get dirty.” – Lane Frost
44. “Life’s a rodeo and all you have to do is stay in the saddle.” – George Jung
45. “The cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.” – Anonymous
46. “To live is to experience things, not sit around pondering the meaning of life.” – Paulo Coelho
47. “When I was a kid, if a guy got killed in a western movie I always wondered who got his horse.” – George Carlin
48. “When people think of the West, it’s easy to envision wagon trains, Buffalo Bill, the glory days of the Gold Rush. Cowboy hats come to mind.” – John Hickenlooper
49. “What do you call a happy cowboy? A jolly rancher!” – Unknown
50. “Well, there are some things a man just can’t run away from.” – John Wayne
What did you learn from these cowboy quotes?
Some like to focus on the cowboy of the past while others are living the cowboy life today. If you can’t get enough of these cowboy quotes, look for other ways to add a little cowboy experience to your day. Go horseback riding, attend a rodeo or plan a trip out west to stay on a working ranch.
Or you can watch the old westerns that give you a taste of the cowboys of the past that helped to settle the west. Whether it’s the good guys or the bad guys, there are some great memorable lines that actors playing cowboys have delivered throughout the past. You’ve just read several in the quotes above.
What’s your biggest takeaway from these cowboy quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.
May 14, 2021 7:00 AM EST