There’s a few tell-tale signs that you’re approaching the older side or your cowboy (or cowgirl) life.

I’ve reached the point in my life when I can look back at a sizable chunk of my life. I can also look ahead to a similarly good-sized chunk of life before me, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. These two chunks of life are roughly equal, which means that I’m in the prime of my life. My husband is six years older than me, so he is even more prime.

At 35 and 41, the senior citizens would scoff if I said we were middle-aged. But the twenty-year-olds would raise their eyebrows if I said we were still in our youth. Basically, we’re old enough to know we’re getting older. Here are a few signs that tipped us off.

You know you’re getting older when…

…you get bucked off and instead of pointing and laughing, the other cowboys look concerned and ask, “Are you okay?”

…you look around the wagon camp and realize that not only are you old enough to be the father of nearly every cowboy on the crew, you actually ARE the father of one of them.

…you can drive a manual transmission pickup while towing a loaded horse trailer through downtown Reno, but you can’t figure out how to start a 2022 Ford using an app on your phone.

…you don’t have an app on your phone, because it has hinges and T9 texting capabilities.

…everything that used to be fun (braiding rawhide, roping, standing quickly) now makes your arthritis flare up.

…you give away your teepee and snaffle bit, because you never want to use either one ever again.

…you can run down the rope or tie down a calf, but not both.

…you know how to grab the cheekpiece on a horse’s bridle and swing on before he takes the first jump, but you just don’t want to anymore.

…you’ve gone on enough branding wagons where fruit cocktail was considered fresh produce to know you should bring your own bag of apples if you want any fiber in your diet.

…you’ve reached the point in life where you want fiber in your diet.

…when you get a new paycheck, you still have some of your last paycheck left.

…you remember life before cell phones, and sometimes you doctor a yearling without taking a picture to Snapchat your friends.

…you’ve read all of Zane Grey’s books, but it’s been so long that you can start over and it’s like the first time again.

…you turn on the heated seats in the pickup in the middle of July because they feel great on your aching back.

…if you drive off to work and forget your cell phone, you’ll keep going, but you’ll make an 8-point turn while towing a horse trailer and go back 20 miles if you realize you forgot the bottle of Ibuprofen.

…you buy an economy sized bottle of Ibuprofen and refer to it as “Vitamin I.”

…you remember when guys in the Great Basin shaped their hats with actual creases. Hint: it wasn’t that long ago.

…you’re too young to skip the Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo, but too old to drink something mixed in an ice chest and participate in the unauthorized horse races held in the parking lot at midnight.

Author

Jolyn Young lives with her cowboy husband, Jim, and their three kids near Fallon, Nevada. She chooses to focus on the comical side of life, because her family is going to laugh at her anyway.

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