Think Like a Horse: 10 Favorite Cowboy Sayings


Kathryn Albright Kathryn Albright &Margaret Brownley

Margaret Brownley

wish Petticoats and Pistols

a Rip-Roarin’,

Yippee Ki-Yay

Son-of-a-Gun Birthday


To help celebrate, we decided to share some of our favorite words

to live by–cowboy style!

So pull up a log to sit on, prop yer feet by the fire,

and consider the wisdom of the West ~

Kathryn’s Favorites:
(It’s so hard to choose only five! There are so many good ones.)


1.  Before you go into a canyon, know how you’ll get out.     
2.  Never straddle a fence. Build one, or tear it down.
3.  You can’t tell how good a man or a watermelon is till you thump’em.
4.  If you want to stay single, look for the perfect woman.
5.  A mail-order marriage is trickier’n braidin’ a mule’s tail.

Margaret’s Favorites:

1.  You don’t have to attend every argument to which you are invited.
2.  Too little temptation can lead to virtue.
3.  If you come home with a hair on your vest, you better have a horse to match.
4.  Love your enemies, but keep your gun oiled.
5.  Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction.

Now it’s your turn.  What are your favorite words to live by?

Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card

(in celebration of our 10 years here!)


P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giant birthday bash giveaway. You can find all the details along with the entry form HERE.


Running from trouble, Maggie McCary signs up to be a mail-order bride.

She doesn’t intend to actually marry…but one sensational kiss changes her mind!

Mail-Order Brides of Oak GroveAmazon



There’s a new sheriff in town and she almost always catches her man!

A Match Made in Texas






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58 thoughts on “Think Like a Horse: 10 Favorite Cowboy Sayings”

  1. Hello Ladies- what an awesome question. I knew my answer right when I read the question. My dad instilled it in my as a young girl.
    “Leave a gate as you see it, If it’s opened or if it’s closed, it’s that way for a reason.”

    • Hi Tonya! So good to see you here. Hope you have enjoyed this week of “tens” for our ten year anniversary celebration! I remember hearing that saying years ago! It’s a good one to live by. I also think about that whenever I go somewhere–“about leave it as you found it” — leave no evidence that you were there (regarding leaving trash, etc.)

  2. Wonderful post. My mom always said to start each day with a grateful heart. And it’s the first thought I have in the morning. And then there’s Never let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life. Thanks ladies for your lists. Loved them .
    Carol Luciano

    • Hi Carol! Thanks for stopping by and celebrating with us! What a great way to start the day. I need to practice being grateful more. Too often I start off right away making a to-do list in my head and wondering if I will get it all done! Your mother’s way is better!

      And the second saying is so smart. A bad day can sure color things the wrong way.

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. This one made me laugh. “You can’t tell how good a man or a watermelon is till you thump’em.” Now I know what my problem has been all my life. I forgot to thump the men to find out whether they were good or not.

  4. Love, love, love the post! I always heard that you should give a pocket knife back to the person you borrowed it from, just the way it was given. If it is closed when you get it, give it back that way. If it is presented to you open, you better give it back open with the blade pointed toward yourself.

    • Wow, Melanie. This is a new one for me. I wonder what the message is here? I always hate opening pocket knives. Seems they are often so tightly wound that I am afraid I’ll cut myself when it springs open or suddenly shuts. Is that it? Better not to mess with the mechanics and let the owner (who knows the knife) close it or open it? I’m curious about this saying…

    • LOL! Your’s had me laughing. How true. On an aside, did you ever see that commercial about this? I think it was about life insurance — not sure. A young man says he’s never going to fall in love, then he’s never going to get married, then he’s never going to have kids, etc… and each time the next scene is him doing just that. It is so sweet.

  5. Thanks for this very enjoyable post. I loved the wisdom found in these fun cowboy sayinys. The one that I use isn’t a cowboy saying but maybe I can say it like a cowboy. “Shucks, Ma’am, if you caint say somethin’ good about a body then you shouldn’t say nothin’ atall!

    • Hi Connie! You did a super job of “cowboying-up” the saying! Perfect! I enjoy the wisdom in the sayings too. I guess, without television and other things to distract them, cowboys had a lot of time to think on such things!

  6. When it comes to cooking for others-
    “Too much is better than not enough.”

    My all-time favorite, though, is “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

    • Hi Cheryl c. Ha Ha–the “Mama” one is stated around this house a few times a year. I hadn’t heard the one about cooking but it is a good one. This is fun! I like learning new wisdom sayings!

    • HI Hannah~

      I’m so glad that you stopped by and commented! “Never give up” is a good one. Kind of like my borrowing the Nike “Just do it!” saying when I was trying to get my first book finished in order to see it published.

  7. Love these great sayings, ladies! Some words to live by that I enjoy are, “Better safe than sorry” and “Trust, but verify”.

  8. Good morning, Ladies….Great bits of wisdom! I’ve got to print these out. One saying that I’ve used was, “Do you have a burr under your saddle?” Another was, “Pull in your horns.” There are so many good ones but every time I need one, I can’t think of any.

    I’m tickled to death to have you both for Filly sisters! Happy P&P birthday!

    • Hi Linda,
      Thanks for stopping by. I never heard your “Pull in your horns.” I need to remember that one! Happy P&P Birthday right back at you! It’s been a fun week of “tens!”

    • HI Colleen,
      Good to see you here. Have you been enjoying the week of “Ten” for our tenth anniversary? I love witty sayings and ones that make you think, or say a truth in a new and interesting way. They always catch my attention!

    • Oh Heidi,
      What a time it is we live in that we need those words! Wish everyone stopped to think and would “choose kindness” first and foremost. Thank you for sharing your words to live by!

    • Hi Tanya! I know the one you are thinking of — “Don’t squat with your spurs on!” That is a great one! Always makes me laugh. Thanks for popping in today! I am going to miss you something fierce around the corral!

  9. Fun sayings, ladies. I hadn’t heard several of these. I think the “You don’t have to attend every argument to which you are invited” is a good motto to live by.

    • Hi Trish,

      Yep! That is a good one that Margaret put down as a favorite of hers. It’s so easy to get pulled into an argument and then that argument “morphs” into something bigger or slanted from the original one. Best not to get dragged in in the first place! Thanks for stopping by Trish and THANKS for putting this big filly hullabaloo together!

  10. I have two: “Normal around here is just a setting on a dryer,” and one from a Toby Keith song, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop diggin’.” On the chance that some don’t know the Toby song called “Get Got,” here are lyrics that fit right in with this blog IMHO:

    When you find yourself in a hole, stop diggin’
    Cotton row gets long, keep pickin’
    Fish ain’t bitin’, then son keep fishin’
    Always drink upstream from your cattle
    Be aware of cards and women
    They run cold and hot
    Sometimes you’ll get it, Sometimes you get got

    You always catch more bees with honey
    Less is more ‘cept love and money
    Ride in the truck between your buddies
    You won’t have to get out and open the gate
    Tell the truth it’s twice as easy
    If you’re right or not
    Sometimes you’ll get it, Sometimes you get got

    Don’t mix your whiskey with decision
    Ask forgiveness, not permission
    Do a rain-dance when it’s mistin’
    They say timin’s everything
    Talk less, Just listen
    You can learn a lot
    Sometimes you’ll get it, Sometimes you get got

    And as if I didn’t go on long enough, I’d like to add that the lines about drinking upstream from your cattle and to stop diggin when you’re in a hole came from another wonderful Oklahoma native son Will Rogers. Here are a couple more from him I like:

    –There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.
    –There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.
    –Never miss a good chance to shut up.
    –The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.
    –If you’re riding’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.

  11. Hi Eliza! I love Toby Keith! What a lot of wisdom is packed into that song. And Will Rogers had so many amazing witty sayings. There are certainly more than ten that I could call favorites. Thank you for making me smile with these and for joining in the conversation!

  12. I sure did enjoy today’s blog. I guess mine would be , Whatever you go through is for a reason. It makes you stronger and wiser.

  13. Treat a woman like a racehorse, and she’ll never be a nag! 🙂
    And there’s what Will Rogers said: “if you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging,” ; “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back into your pocket” ; “There’ are two theories to arguin’ with a woman. Neither one works”

  14. I am just going to say what my mother use to say to me. If a job is worth doing make sure you do it right the first time. Love your sayings.

    • Hello Quilt Lady,
      Your mother was a wise woman! I got that from my mother too. I’m so glad that you enjoyed mine and Margaret’s sayings. It was fun trying to pin down the ones I liked best.

  15. Boy yesterday got away from me, and I didn’t read this until just now. I agree that some of those sayings need to be posted on signs, I would hang them up in my space. Thanks for the wonderful blog.

    • Hi Veda! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I agree. I love inspirational quotes and wisdom quotes on around the house. I was just in Hobby Lobby this week (they have LOTS of signs) and went a little crazy checking out all the signs they have there. My house couldn’t hold them all!

  16. These are all delightful. Not many words of wisdom on this end today.
    The one phrase I always used with our children and now our grandchildren when they gave us a hard time leaving a place we were visiting: “You can’t come back if you don’t leave.”

    • Hi Patricia B, Those are good words to use on children! I don’t think I ever had trouble getting my boys ready to leave a place we were visiting. (I wonder if that was odd?) However, I won’t comment on my husband. LOL. So nice to have you join in the conversation!

  17. What a fun post! I personally don’t have a favorite saying, but enjoyed the ten listed, especially the one about not approaching a fool from any direction. Sounds like something King Solomon would say, if he had bulls and horses in mind…..

  18. Thank you all for joining in yesterday and sharing your favorite Wisdom Sayings! Connie Saunders won the $10 Amazon Gift Card giveaway! Connie ~ Contact me at Kathryn at kathrynalbright dot com to collect your gift!

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