Code of the West

The Code of the West

  • A cowboy’s word is his sacred bond.
  • Bargains sealed with a handshake are more binding than legal documents.
  • Be loyal to the boss and the brand.
  • Be thankful for your job.
  • Lay down your life, if necessary, for the privilege of defending your outfit.
  • Be proud of your occupation.
  • Be cheerful.
  • Grant quick assistance to friends and strangers in need.
  • Endure hardships without complaining.
  • Don’t make excuses.
  • Try to be better than the other fella.
  • Share anything you own with your fellow worker.
  • Demand square dealing.
  • Never tolerate cowards.
  • Be generous with your life and money.
  • Treat women like ladies.
  • Stealing and rustling are evil wrong-doings.
  • Do your best.
  • Never quit
  • If it’s not yours, don’t take it. If it’s not true, don’t say it. If it’s not right, don’t do it.
“The Code of the West” hangs in the SDP office.

Sometimes I think the whole world has gone crazy. I’ve written before on my points of view and striving to stay positive, the sun will come up tomorrow.

Even with an optimistic view, sometimes reality just stinks. I share the Code of the West above because I think it is TRUTH ETERNAL. It hangs in my office. I reckon it’d be nice to stay true to those correct principles. Sure, some might seem outdated, but heck, it’s a great code to live by.

Life is so complex today. Taking a step back in time is healthy. Let’s have history be our guide. What a great teacher history is. History is a predictor of the future, too.

My whole life, I’ve been singing the church hymn “Do What is Right” by George Kaillmark (1781-1835):

Do what is right; let the consequence follow.

Battle for freedom in spirit and might;

And with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.

God will protect you; then do what is right!

Current events have our society quite anxious. Strife is nothing new. Society will always be in conflict about something as society is made up of imperfect people with different points of view.

I’m a believer that the world’s greatest teacher taught us that if we all treat others how we want to be treated, we’d certainly have more peace in the world – if not ultimate peace. The Golden Rule is a great one to follow.

I am resigned to do what is right and let the consequence follow.

Horses are my passion and my profession. Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”

Our collective passion for horses depends on stability. Stable markets and stable environments with liberty so we are free to do what we want; stable competition structure so we can have a place to compete; a stable body of rules and laws to govern equality, etc.

We need this stability because frankly, horses aren’t necessary…anymore.

Don’t take that the wrong way. Golf, basketball, recreational vehicles, water skiing and the like aren’t necessary either, but they in themselves are multi-billion-dollar industries, just like horses.

The Code of the West, the Golden Rule, do what is right and let the consequence follow – this is how I was raised. This is how I am trying to raise my kids. This is how I conduct my stallion business.

For example, have you ever felt like you were treated differently than the other guy when doing breeding business? I hear that a lot. That’s not going to be your experience with SDP, I’ll tell you that much. We’re not perfect, but we sure try to be. It helps us sleep better at night.

I know most of you, if not all of you that read my blogs feel the same way I do on these principles. When we are faced with folks that differ from us, though, how do we react? That is the real meat on the bone. How do you treat someone that thinks, feels, looks or believes totally different than you?

I’ve been involved with National Cutting Horse Association politics for years. I’ve been in it long enough to have a fairly good grasp on the past, current and future happenings of the association.

What I see with my eyes and hear with my ears is an apple. I get on Facebook and read people’s comments, and they believe that same stuff is an orange! How is it that we can all see the same thing and come to different conclusions?

Trainers versus owners, non-pros versus amateurs, staff versus members – the list can go on and on. The funny thing is WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, like a big dysfunctional family, but family nonetheless.

With all the differing opinions, it is healthy for us to take a step back and see how far we’ve come together. Look how much we’ve accomplished, how much we’ve overcome, tweaked and worked on a brighter tomorrow. It sure gives one hope.

America is no different; the scale is just bigger and grander. Democrats versus Republicans. Conservatives versus Liberals. Progressives versus constitutionalists. America wasn’t perfect from the start, and it’s still not perfect today. But wow! What a great country. We’ve changed the world for the better; we’re a true shining city on a hill. Disagree with me on that and frankly, you are dead wrong.

The Code of the West. The Golden Rule. Do what is right and let the consequence follow. Let’s all endeavor to be kinder, more understanding. To stand taller. To do our best and forget the rest. We can’t change yesterday, but we sure can change tomorrow…

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