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10 Items You Need to be a Real Cowboy

10 Items You Need to be a Real Cowboy

Cowboys are the epitome of the pioneering, frontiersmen spirit of America. While popular media has helped us preserve the memory of cowboys, we often forget about the real cowboy in modern times. Although many people dress up as cowboys for many occasions, they usually do so in a way that almost parodies the proud tradition.

If you’re searching for true authenticity, its best to know why cowboys wear what they wear. Though it may seem like a silly get-up to us, it comes from a long tradition of very specific tasks they needed to complete. Below is a basic guide to what a modern-day working cowboy needs to get his job done.

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Real Cowboy Attire

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real cowboy

    Much of cowboy attire is a hodgepodge of different cultures contributing to practical needs. Mexican vaqueros, Native Americans, Mountain Men, and the western rancher all contributed to the cowboy aesthetic. Here are some of the things a modern cowboy would wear to battle the elements and rough the tough work required of them in the old west:

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    1. Bandanna: These are usually large and made of cotton. Used to absorb sweat and shield from dust storms and sun.
    2. Chaps: To protect the rider’s legs from any debris generated from riding a horse.
    3. Cowboy Hat:  A cowboy hat is best when it’s high-crowned and has a wide brim to also help protect from the sun.
    4. Cowboy Boots: The ideal pair of boots has high tops to protect the shins. Pointed toes will help guide the wearer’s feet into stirrups, and a high heel to prevent from slipping through the stirrup.
    5. Gloves: A cowboy’s gloves are usually made of deerskin or other soft leathers, and they provide the hands with protection from barbed wire, equipment, or vegetation, as well as helping to grip the reins of the horse.
    6. Pants: The perfect pair of cowboy pants are usually jeans or other sturdy trousers made from canvas or denim. These protect the wearer’s legs and usually include a smooth seam on the inside to prevent the cowboy from getting blisters.

    Authentic Cowboy Equipment

    Authentic Cowboy Equipment

      Cowboys have a lot of equipment to master if they’re going to be out in the hot sun working up a sweat. While a modern cowboy would most likely own a pickup truck, as well as a horse, it’s surprising to see how much of the gear has largely remained the same. Below are a few of the things you can find cowboys owning.

      1. Firearms: Considering that one of their primary responsibilities is to ensure their livestock is safe from predators, most cowboys have access to at least a rifle.
      2. Knife: Cowboys love their knives. Usually they own something with multiple blades that can be as versatile as the tasks they need to master.
      3. Spurs: These metal devices are attached to the heel of the boot to give stronger cues to the horses they ride.
      4. Horse Tack: Most horseback-riding equipment always looks worn—just think about all the used saddles you’ve seen—but this gear is extremely durable. This includes bridles, saddle blankets, and the saddle itself.

      Once again, in order to look like a real cowboy, it’s best to know the rationale of their attire. While we think of cowboys as wearing denim, a hat, and some boots, there are actually a lot of layers to work with when trying to dress like an authentic one. If you buy real cowboy quality gear, as well, it will can be quite expensive and may seem to include a lot of different elements, however their denim and leather is made to withstand the rough and tough lifestyle that these men endure.

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      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

        Why You Need a Vision

        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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        How to Create Your Life Vision

        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

        What Do You Want?

        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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        Some tips to guide you:

        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
        • Give yourself permission to dream.
        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

        Some questions to start your exploration:

        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
        • What qualities would you like to develop?
        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
        • What would you most like to accomplish?
        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

        A few prompts to get you started:

        • What will you have accomplished already?
        • How will you feel about yourself?
        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
        • What does your ideal day look like?
        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
        • What would you be doing?
        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
        • How are you dressed?
        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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        Plan Backwards

        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
        • What important actions would you have had to take?
        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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