How To Tell A Real Cowboy From A Stampede Cowboy

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With everyone running around the Calgary Stampede with a cowboy hat, it can be difficult to tell the career cowboys from the fellas who pull out their boots just for the 10-day event.

Here's a few tips we've learned along the way that will help you determine if you're talking to a real cowboy or some guy who just moseyed over from a corporate event.

  • A real cowboy...
    Mario Tama via Getty Images
    ... works with horses and cow and knows his way around the farm or ranch.
  • A Stampede cowboy...
    Gettystock
    ... works in an office tower. And probably takes his boots off under his desk because they pinch his toes.
  • A real cowboy...
    Steve Bly via Getty Images
    ... does not wear shirts emblazoned with big, gaudy logos, unless he's riding or competing with help from a sponsor.
  • A Stampede cowboy...
    ... thinks ads all over a shirt give him barn cred, or something. But really, he just looks like a walking billboard.
  • A real cowboy...
    Mario Tama via Getty Images
    ... is humble and polite. He uses words like "miss," "sir" and "ma'am."
  • A Stampede cowboy...
    Gettystock
    ... is known to cat-call the ladies and crush empty beer cans on his head. He forgot his manners at the parade and won't likely find them again until Stampede is over.
  • A real cowboy...
    Bread and Butter via Getty Images
    ... has horse and cow crap on his boots.
  • A Stampede cowboy...
    Ron Chapple Stock via Getty Images
    ... has a bit of crap from a porta-potty on his boots — and maybe a bit of his own urine.
  • A real cowboy...
    Ablestock.com via Getty Images
    ... drives a truck.
  • A Stampede cowboy...
    Gettystock
    ... drives a truck with testicles attached to the hitch.
  • A real cowboy...
    Mario Tama via Getty Images
    ... can be found behind the scenes at Stampede – either in the barns or the infield.
  • A Stampede cowboy...
    HuffPost Alberta
    ... can be found on the tarmac or at Nashville North.
  • A real cowboy...
    "The Wanderer's Eye Photography"/Flickr
    ... wears jeans that are worn from riding and working. They probably don't get washed very often.
  • A Stampede cowboy...
    ebay.ca
    ... probably paid more than $150 for his designer jeans, which may or may not have bedazzled tigers or rhinestone crosses on the back pockets.
  • A real cowboy...
    Walter Bibikow via Getty Images
    ... wears a hat made of felt, leather or straw. It's a bit dirty and sweaty and fits him like a glove.
  • A Stampede cowboy...
    Nika/Flickr
    ... just bought his hat 10 minutes ago in the BMO Centre; it can be crushed and folded, and he'll have no idea where it disappeared to tomorrow morning.
  • A real cowboy...
    Mario Tama via Getty Images
    ... will get shy if you ask him if he's a real cowboy. He doesn't brag about his rodeo wins, how many head of cattle he owns, or the size of his truck.
  • A Stampede cowboy...
    tercerojophoto/Flickr
    ... will talk to you for hours about that one time he went branding on his friend's cousin's farm and how he learned so much and now he's basically ready to brand cattle by himself, with one hand tied behind his back. Because he's such a cowboy, didn't you know?
  • A real cowboy...
    Mario Tama via Getty Images
    ... knows that long-sleeve shirts and jeans are the only acceptable form of dress when you go behind the chutes.
  • A Stampede cowboy...
    David Yarnell/Flickr
    ... is more inspired by American country music stars – think unbuttoned shirts, missing sleeves, sparkly detailing, and tight tees.

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