When I was a little girl I always wanted to marry a cowboy when I grew up. Not because I was entranced by the cowboy himself. It was the horse, always the horse, that stirred my heart and soul. Well, except for Little Joe Cartwright. My friends and I fought over who get to pretend to be married to Little Joe. But, he did have that gorgeous black and white paint.
Before we discovered boys my best friend and I dreamed of starting a horse ranch in Louisiana of all places. Neither of us had been out of New Mexico or west Texas. I did date some cowboys and found them to be kind, fun, and sexy as I knew it. Then again there were the horses. I even dated a rodeo clown for a while. Interesting.
Kip Mahan, is the hero in my soon to be published story “Dianne’s Destiny”. It is a contemporary story starring a contemporary cowboy. Kip owns the 3G Ranch which straddles the Red River between Jefferson County, Oklahoma and Wichita County, Texas. He has lived and worked on local ranches all of his life and loves that life and the opportunities it affords. He receives great peace and pleasure from volunteering his time, experience, and horses at the Horses of Hope Equestrian Therapy Center.
What do you visualize when you think of cowboys? Tall, strong, dressed in Stetsons, bandanas, Wranglers that cup taut buttocks enhanced with chaps, boots with spurs? Maybe you see a man with sun leathered skin riding a large, well-muscled steed. That being said, the best part of a cowboy, depending on personal preference, is his code of life as a cowboy. That code is visible in his actions.
In 1949 cowboy and movie star, Gene Autry, developed a ten point Code of Ethics for Cowboys.
- 1. A cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man or take unfair advantage.
- 2. He must never go back on his word or a trust confided in him.
- 3. He must always tell the truth.
- 4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
- 5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
- 6. He must help people in distress.
- 7. He must be a good worker.
- 8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habit.
- 9. He must respect women, parents, and his national laws.
- He must be a patriot.
Nowadays, businessmen and entrepeneurs utilize a contemporary code similar to the one used by cowboys in the past, Any code rising from a traditional Cowboy Code of Ethics can’t be anything but good. The contemporary code lists ten points. It is from the Center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership and the book COWBOY ETHICS by James R. Owen. It can be found at www.cowboyethics.org
- 1. Live each day with courage.
- 2. Take pride in your work.
- 3. Always finish what you start.
- 4. Do what has to be done.
- 5. Be tough, but fair.
- 6. When you make a promise keep it.
- 7. Ride for the brand.
- 8. Talk less, say more.
- 9. Remember some things are not for sale.
- 10. Know where to draw the line.
When you have the opportunity to read “Dianne’s Destiny” and meet Kip Mahan you’ll find he lives by such a code but he doesn’t take any “stuff” off of anyone either. Kip is a man of courage, hope, optimism, and hard work.
Kip is drawn to his high school sweetheart and wants to seek a new relationship if he can learn to trust Dianne again. He believes in the true love curse of a doll made of bone that Dianne was impelled to purchase from an estate sale.
I am looking forward to hearing from you and learning how you feel about cowboys, horses, and codes of ethics. Those who know me realize that I am passionate about horses and still dream of owning one at the ripe old age of 62.