The horse is an iconic symbol of the American West. Cowboys have been riding horses since the 1800s and they have developed a unique language to refer to their mounts. Here, we’ll explore the various terms that cowboys have used to refer to their horses.
Horse, Pony, and Steed
The words “horse,” “pony,” and “steed” are all common terms that cowboys use to refer to their horses. The term “horse” is the most general term, and can be used to refer to any large equine. The term “pony” is typically used to refer to a small horse, and “steed” is a more poetic term that typically refers to a larger horse.
Nag and Plug
“Nag” and “plug” are two terms that cowboys use to refer to an old, tired, or lazy horse. A nag is an old horse that is not suitable for riding, while a plug is a horse that is slow and doesn’t have much energy. These terms are usually used in a joking manner and are not meant to be insulting.
Cayuse, Poncho, and Waddy
“Cayuse” is a term that was popular among Native American tribes, and it is still used by some cowboys today. The term “poncho” is believed to have originated in Mexico and is used to refer to a young horse. The term “waddy” is used to refer to any horse, but it is typically used to refer to a horse that is strong and reliable.
Mustang, Paint, and Palomino
The term “mustang” is used to refer to a wild horse that is descended from horses that were brought to North America by the Spanish. The term “paint” is used to refer to any horse with white and brown patches on its coat. The term “palomino” is used to refer to any horse with a golden coat.
Cayuse Pony, Bronc, and Buckaroo
The term “cayuse pony” is used to refer to a small, tough horse that was bred by Native American tribes. The term “bronc” is used to refer to an untamed horse that is difficult to break and train. Finally, the term “buckaroo” is used to refer to a skilled horseman or cowboy.
The language used by cowboys to refer to their horses is unique and fascinating. From “horse” and “pony” to “cayuse” and “bronc,” cowboys have developed a language all their own to refer to their mounts. While some terms are still used today, many of these terms have been replaced by more modern ones. However, the language of cowboys is still alive and well, and it is a reminder of the rich history of the American West.