photo © 2015, Sandy Seaton Sallee


by Jay Snider

I’ve learned lots of lessons
’bout cowboyin’ up
’cause I’ve been a cowboy
since I was a pup

And my dad taught me
just like his dad taught him
rewards without effort
come seldom and slim

And if workin’ for wages
or bossin’ a crew
a job left half finished
reflects upon you

And good leaders of men
who while bossin’ the crew
won’t ask of their men
what they wouldn’t do

‘Cause men are just men
and it’s by God’s design
we all pull on our britches
one leg at a time

But some men are leaders
while others hold back
they stray off the trail
and are hard to untrack

But with proper persuasion
will likely fall in
’cause that’s just the nature
Of hosses and men

Which put me to thinkin’
’bout Tyrone and Tyree
the best team of Belgians
you ever did see

Why they’d lay in those collars
and pull stride for stride
work sunup to sundown
till the day that they died

But Tyree would get balky
not pull like he should
so Tyrone would reach over
and scold him right good

Then the load they were pullin’
would even right out
that’s the lesson in life
that I’m talkin’ about

‘Cause some hosses are leaders
while some will pull back
they’ll stray off the trail
and are hard to untrack

But with proper persuasion
will likely fall in
see, that’s just the nature
of hosses and men

Which put me to thinkin’
’bout what Dad had said
and a couple of visions
then danced in my head

In my mirror, while shavin’
which one will I see
could I be Tyrone
or would I be Tyree

And to leaders of men
let’s all raise a cup
here’s to pullin’ your weight
and to cowboyin’ up

© 2005, Jay Snider
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Popular Oklahoma rancher, poet, and songwriter Jay Snider is known for his own writing and as well for his fine reciting.

He has a recent CD, “Classic Cowboy Poetry: The Old Tried and True,” which showcases his fine reciting. He delivers poems by Bruce Kiskaddon, Henry Herbert Knibbs, Will Ogilvie, Sunny Hancock, and others, to carry listeners back to time when, to quote Kiskaddon, “cattle were plenty and people were few.”

Enjoy his rendition of Sunny Hancock’s (1931-2003) “The Bear Tale” in a video from the Western Folklife Center’s 2011 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Find Jay at the 32nd annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, March 2-3, 2018 in Alpine, Texas among this year’s outstanding lineup.

Jay is one of the Friday night headliners, along with Doug Figgs, Ryan Fritz, Deanna McCall, and Michael Stevens. Saturday night headliners are Gary Allegretto, Ross Knox, Gary Robertson, Trinity Seely, and Caitlyn Taussig. Other poets and musicians include Apache Adams, Amy Hale Auker, Floyd Beard, “Straw” Berry, Mike Blakely, Teressa Burleson, Dale Burson, Don Cadden, Bob Campbell, Craig Carter, Cowboy Celtic, Allan Chapman & Rodeo Kate, Doris Daley, Mikki Daniel, John Davis, Kevin Davis, Ray Fitzgerald, Rolf Flake, Pipp Gillette, Jeff Gore, Kristyn Harris, Andy Hedges, Don Hedgpeth, Carol Heuchan, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Randy Huston, Chris Isaacs, Jill Jones & Three Hands High, Jim Jones, Linda Kirkpatrick, Daron Little, Pat Meade, Glenn Moreland, Terry Nash, Joel Nelson, Sam Noble, Kay Nowell, Jean Prescott, Gary Prescott, Mike Querner, Luke Reed, Randy Rieman, Heather Watson & Nathan Schmidt, R.P. Smith, Gail Steiger, Rod Taylor, Doug Tolleson, Keith Ward, Washtub Jerry, and Jim Wilson.

Find more at texascowboypoetry.com and on Facebook.

Find more about Jay Snider at CowboyPoetry.com and visit http://www.JaySnider.net.

This photo is by popular poet and wilderness guide Sandy Seaton Sallee, from December, 2015. She describes it, “Fred and Frank, our big blue Brabant/Percheron team, near our home above the Yellowstone River. Airedale pup Kate enjoyed the ride!” Sandy and her husband Scott run Black Mountain Outfitters, Inc., located in the heart of Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park in Montana and also Slough Creek Outfitters, offering world-famous Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout fishing. Find more about Sandy Seaton Sallee at blackmountainoutfitters.com and at CowboyPoetry.com.