HomeEntertainmentLet's Explore the Differences Between 'Yellowstone' Cowboys and Real Cowboys

Let’s Explore the Differences Between ‘Yellowstone’ Cowboys and Real Cowboys

Cowboys’ logic is to be sure to taste your words before you spit them out, but is Yellowstone’s logic true in representing the life of a cowboy?

Kevin Costner has done an incredible job putting together the cast of Yellowstone with a fantastic storyline. And we can confidently declare that this is his magnum opus.

This is one of the few series whose ratings rise with each season. And several spin-off shows are proof of its success. The moral and ethical uncertainty of each character, on both sides of the fence, is one of the aspects that makes this series so captivating.

This series is jam-packed with pearls of wisdom and noteworthy quotes, and one is very apt – “The angels have all gone, there are only devils left.”

As popular as the series is, and as real-life cowboys have been compared to it. Several people are unable to distinguish the differences and think they’re similar to real cowboys as shown in the series.

While others aren’t successful in doing so and think the complete opposite. So, in this piece, we’ll clear up the confusion that has been swirling all along.

So let’s first get to know a little about the series and then keep moving on to know the differences between Yellowstone cowboys and real cowboys.

Let’s Explore Yellowstone’s Plot 

We undoubtedly see the pioneer wild west’s rugged individuality and stoicism, and perhaps the desire to return to such masculine bravado is driving the series’ popularity.

We appear to be living at a time where there are no established rules, creeds, or codes. People long for a simpler time.

Life in this valley is brutal, but it is also braided with mutual justice and support, where everyone actually knows everyone and is quick to reward or punish.

The irony of this story is that it exposes hypocrisy. It preaches about the horrors of smartphones and wearing a suit to go to work in an office in extended monologues – easy strikes on the low-hanging fruit of rural hatred.

The cowboys, on the other hand, are the ones who break each of the ten commandments. And find dozens of more morally reprehensible ways to objectify the other people in their midst.

It’s a lot of fun to watch this family tear itself apart limb by limb. While desperately explaining their demise as victims of a world that cares about everyone’s anguish except the pains of white rural straight men.

Every scene’s stunning vistas are breathtaking. It is perfect for all you cowboy heads out there with a story that rivals those great HBO shows.

The Difference Between Yellowstone Cowboys And Real Cowboys

Now it’s time to compare and contrast real cowboys with Yellowstone cowboys.

Unlike Real Cowboys, Yellowstone Cowboys Did Not Repair Or Build Stuff

The thing we haven’t seen the Yellowstone cowboys do on a regular basis is repair things and build structures of all kinds.

It’s always taken up a lot of a cowboy’s time and they do it all (concrete, foundations, framing, wiring, plumbing, roofing, windows, doors, counters, stalls, pens, chutes, garages, barns, machine sheds/shops, cattle shelters, complex gates, bridges, etc.

As a result, the far greater income and possibilities in construction sometimes tempt them away from cowboying.

Unlike The Yellowstone Series, Most Cowboys Did Not Carry Guns In Real Life

Sure, you’d need firearms if you were on a cattle drive or something, but what about when you got to town? Look for the baby at the front door.

Most cities in the untamed west imposed strict gun laws to ensure that shootouts like those seen in Yellowstone didn’t happen every day. And we know that most cowboys don’t carry guns in real life. That’s the difference we assumed already, right?


Unlike Yellowstone Cowboys, Few Real-life Cowboys Didn’t Do Any Riding

Close your eyes. Picture a cowboy. Got him? Right: what animal did he appear with? Despite the name, almost none of you said ‘cow’. For a good reason.

Cowboys in modern mythos are almost completely inseparable from their horses. The image of them driving across the high plains on a long cattle drive is one charged with romance and the spirit of adventure.

For many cowboys, that’s exactly what life is like, but not for all of them. For a significant minority, their job description involved absolutely no riding whatsoever.

Yellowstone’s Health Injuries Were Similar To Real-life Cowboy Injuries

Before ending the piece there’s one similarity that we should talk about. Cowboying is a low-paying occupation with frequent layoffs and, despite frequent injuries, generally no health insurance. Bone breaks, sprains, and severe use make real cowboys stiffer, and limps are too prevalent to mention.

The grey-haired ranch foreman is a real cowboy/rodeo contender, and many of the Yellowstone performers do a fantastic job of walking injured.

We’re sure that every single shot in the Yellowstone series will make you want to learn to ride a horse and head out at sunrise.

So, do you have any more differences or similarities in mind between Yellowstone Cowboys and Real Life Cowboys?

Are there any more cowboy movies/series you can suggest to other cowboy enthusiasts? Don’t forget to let us know in the comments section below.

Ayman Bhorania
A Writer By Heart. Ayman Is Captivated By Movies & Shows, And She's Writing It Here. If She's Not Writing, You Will Find Her Watching Shows, Or Probably Playing Games!


  1. YELLOWSTONE drops little real cowboy truths like talking care of how you put ur hat down or taking your hat off inside. Cutting and penning scenes are great….rodeo saddle bronc not real…roping scenes great. By far my favorite show

  2. I agree cowboys do need to carry guns because if they didn’t they wouldn’t have any livestock because if you allow all the wild animals that prey on cattle to eat all your livestock then you lose profit and foremost cowboys that’s how they make their living I love Yellowstone I’m a huge fan of Luke Grimes who plays Kacey Dutton


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