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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 March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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