The Cowboy Journey

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life


The creek of saddles accompanies,

the frosty face beside my knee.

The smiling boy on aging horse,

brings back the memories.


Like pages leafed through backwards,

the images go by.

Of miles of horseback living,

by a little boy and I.


Days on end spent trotting,

over ridges, draws and plains.

Checking cattle, doctoring sick ones,

Ingraining “cowboy” in his brain.


Three year old, unhorsed to stand,

to watch from distance safe.

Mad because he couldn’t help,

Oh how restrictions chafed.


Old horse would have gladly joined the fray,

When ropes jerked down, he knew the drill.

As he was top horse in his day,

He loved to rope and would love to still.


But his job was just to be the mount,

Of little cowboy on circles long.

To teach him how to get about,

and teach the boy where he belonged.


Years passed by and horse power spanned,

from babysitter to young and quick.

As boy grew up, rope in his hand,

He got to where he could rope ’em slick.


More seasons passed, then son would saddle,

His Mom’s horse for her so they could ride.

And they would go and check on cattle,

The young man filled her heart with pride.


As horseman, cowman, he had become,

Grown up at last and on his own.

But when he could, back home he’d come,

To help with cow work…how time has flown.


For now the circle has come clear ’round,

Grandson rides next to my knee.

And a little boy and old horse repeat.

The cowboy journey again, with me.

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life

About Jan Swan Wood

Jan was raised on a ranch in far western South Dakota. She grew up horseback working all descriptions of cattle, plus sheep and horses. After leaving home she pursued a post-graduate study of cowboying and dayworking in Nebraska, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota....

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