Sunday, August 16, 2015

Cowboys of the Old West

Picture: Grabill-The Cow Boy by John C. H. Grabill

You will find cowboys in many countries besides the U.S. They are often known by other names. A cowboy is someone that takes care of cattle and horses.

The American cowboy came from many areas. After the American Civil War the cattle industry became larger. They needed more cowboys. Soldiers from the Confederacy and Union army headed west. They were looking for work and they became cowboys. Many of the African-American freedmen became cowboys. Many of the Mexicans and American Indians became cowboys.

Some of the Indian boarding schools taught ranching after 1890. Many of the American Indians now own small cattle ranches. Many of them work as cowboys on larger ranches. The Indian cowboy was often seen riding in rodeos. Many of the American cowboys were of Mexican descent and African-Americans.

When you hear the word cowboy you might think of rugged men on horseback lassoing cattle and riding bulls. In the movies they are usually white men but over 25 percent of the cowboys and rodeo riders in the western days were African-Americans. They wanted to make a life for themselves in the west.

Some of the African American cowboys had experience from when they were slaves. If they were lucky they moved west on horse back but many of them went west on foot. Te Old West was a place where the African-American cowboy could make a place for himself.

Sources and credits: Picture courtesy of: wikimedia commons

Tarpan Horse

Picture: Kherson tarpan by Scherer Public Domain

The Tarpan horse is not large. They are around 13 hands tall. They are usually dun to brown in color. They will have a black mane and tail. They also have a black striae down their back. Their body and legs will sometimes have zebra stripes on them. Sometimes in very cold climates in the winter their coat will turn white.

The ?Tarpan horses a primitive horse from the ice age. The modern horses are descended from the Tarpan horse. The Tarpan horse is lighter built than the ancient Przewalski's Horse and the Forest horse. The Tarpan horse is faster and lighter built.

Some people think the Tarpan horse is extinct and others think that some line on a preserve in Poland. There are many people that think the last Tarpan horse died some where between 1887 and 1919. Many people think the horses that live on the preserves in Poland are a cross between the Polish peasant ponies and the Tarpan horse.

The Tarpan horse is one of the 4 ancient breeds used to develop the horse of today. It is believed the Tarpan horse comes from the ancient European horses that came to Europe from America during the ice age. At one time they were hunted for their meat which was a delicacy in the 18th century. The Tarpan horse was used for light farm work by the Polish peasants. It is believed the last wild Tarpan horse was killed in 1879 in Russia just before the last Tarpan horse in captivity died. The Polish government has rounded up a herd of horses that may or may not be purebred Tarpans.

It is said the Tarpan horse is very brave. They do not seem to get sick and when injured they will heal very quickly and without problems. Tarpan horses will fight domestic horses.

The Tarpan horse breed was influenced by the Asiatic Wild Horse and the Mongolian Wild Horse.

Sources and credits: Picture courtesy of: wikimedia commons

Extinct Stellers Sea Cow

The North Pacific was home to the Steller's Sea Cow. They were huge animals and it is thought they were related to the dugong and manatee that we have today in the oceans. The Steller's Sea Cow was 8 to 9 meters long.

Explorers fund the Steller's Sea Cow living in the Arctic Circle. It is said there were many of them living in the North Pacific. Less than 70 years after the explorers discovered the Steller's Sea Cow they were completely gone.

The Steller's Sea Cow was similar in appearance to the seal. Their tail was like that of a whale. The Steller's Sea Cow never got out of the water. They have skin that is black. Their skin is very thick. They have a small head and large body. The Steller's Sea Cow has no teeth. In the place e of teeth they have 2 white bones that are flat and one is on the bottom and the other one is on the top of their mouth.

It is said the Steller's Sea Cow was very tame. It is believed they could not go completely under water. Being that they were tame and could not submerge they were easy targets for human hunters.

The ate sea weed, kelp and sea grass that grew in the oceans shallow water. Before the humans came they had very few predators. When the humans came and started hunting the Steller's Sea Cow it took them 17 years to become extinct. Their relatives that live in the ocean today are threatened.

Sources and credits: Picture courtesy of: wikimedia commons.

Cowboys of Australia

The cowboy in Australia is called a Jackaroo. In Australia the cattle ranches are called cattle stations. The outback of Australia has a lot of cattle stations. The Jackaroos of Australia have a very dangerous and rough life.

The Jackaroos work on cattle and sheep stations. In the 19th century the word Jackaroo originated in Queensland, Australia. Jackaroo is also used in Australia and New Zealand. Jackaroo is part of Autralia's culture and the Australian stockmen traditions.

America had cowboys when the Old West was developed. Australia also had cowboys and they were called stockman. In Australia a stockman looks after livestock on a station. The stations are owned by a grazier or a grazing company. Feedlots, abattoirs, livestock and export ships also used stockmen.

When stockmen work with livestock in the Top End they are called ringers. Stations of have problems getting stockmen. Many young women go to work on the outback stations.

When the cattle ranching started the outlaws came. They were called Bush Rangers. Originally the Bush Rangers were runaway convicts. They used the Australian bush as a hide out. The Bush Rangers were robbers. They would rob banks in small towns and coaches. They also rustled cattle.

Sources and credits: Picture courtesy of wikimedia commons