Cowboy Bob's Dictionary

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Gadfly - 1. A fly that bites livestock, especially a horsefly, warble fly, or bot fly.
2. An irritating person.

Gait - A horse's manner and rate of moving, as characterized by a specific pattern and speed of hoofbeats.

Gaited horse - horse that naturally moves with one or more of the so-called "ambling" gaits. Some of those gaits are the pace and the rack (both characteristic of the American Saddlebred), the fox trot, the various "Paso" gaits, the running walk, and the singlefoot. A few of the breeds classed as gaited horses are the American Saddlebred, Canadian Pacers, Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse, Missouri Fox Trotter, Paso Fino, Tennessee Walking Horse, and Walkaloosa.

Gall - A sore caused by a saddle or other piece of tack rubbing on a horse's body.

Gallivant - To wander around aimlessly in search of pleasure.

Gallop - 1. A fast gait of a horse; a three-beat stride followed by a moment when all four legs are off the ground at the same time. 2. To move at a high rate of speed.

Galluses - Suspenders; elastic straps that hold trousers up.

Galoot - 1. A clumsy, awkward, or disreputable person. 2. Any fellow or guy, usually a friend. In the United States during the Civil War galoot was applied to young, awkward soldiers.

Galvanized Yankees - Captured Confederate soldiers who were paroled to the U.S. Army in the West rather than being imprisoned during the Civil War.

Garrocha - A long pole with a loop -- or garrote -- on the end; used by Hispanic ranch hands to move cattle in the days before roping skills and saddles were introduced by Anglo cowboys.

Garrote - (Pronounced "gar-ROE-tay") A rope loop on the end of a long pole, used by Hispanic herdsmen to catch and move livestock in the days before Anglo-style saddles and ropes came into common use in the Southwest.

Gayetty's Medicated Paper - Toilet paper. Developed in 1857, Gayetty's Medicated Paper (also known as "therapeutic paper") was the first commercial toilet paper in the U.S. Advertising sheet for Gayetty's Medicated Paper

Gee Up - A vocal command for a horse to move. An abreviation of the old English command, "Get ye up." Another popular version is "Giddy-up."

Geegaw - A showy or gaudy ornament, especially on clothing.

Gelding - A male horse that has been neutered.

Gentleman Cow - A euphemism for a bull; used in the presence of women or other polite company. See "Surly."

Get - The offspring of a stallion. A mares' offspring is called a "Foal."

Get-Down Rope - A reata. A long rope attached to the horse's head in order to keep it from wandering off while the rider is dismounted.

Ghost Town - An abandoned community, often containing substantial structural remains or a small residual population. Bodie

Giddy-up - A vocal command telling a horse to start moving or to move faster. Derived from the old English command, "Get ye up." Often written in a variety of mis-spellings, such as, "Gitty-up", "Gette-up," etc.

Girth - 1. A strap or cinch that goes under or around a horse's belly to hold a saddle in place. 2. The circumference of a horse measured behind the withers. Girth strap

Glanders - Also known as "Equinia," "Farcy," and "Malleus," Glanders is an infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract, lungs, lymph vessels, and skin that occurs primarily in horses, mules, and donkeys. It can also be contracted by other animals such as dogs, cats and goats. Glanders is one of the oldest diseases known and once was prevalent worldwide, but it not been reported in the United States since 1945.

Goad - 1. (noun) A pointed instrument used to prod into motion. 2. (verb) To prod or provoke into some action.

Good Ride - 1. Any ride you can walk away from. 2. A rodeo ride to the buzzer and/or one without a penalty. Rodeo contestant being helped away from a good ride

Gracias - A Spanish word meaning "Thanks;" commonly used in the Southwestern United States.

Grass Widow - A divorcee, abandoned wife, or woman whose husband was temporarily absent from her home. Also called a "California Widow"

Gray - A horse with white hair on darker skin. Grays are born dark and gradually lighten as they age. (In nations of the British Commonwealth, the word is spelled "Grey.")

Graybacks - Lice.

Graybar Hotel - A slang term for jail. So named because of the steel bars that characterize such a housing establishment.

Grazing Muzzle - A device designed to prevent equine obesity or colic by limiting the amount of feed a horse or pony can consume. The muzzle has a small opening through which the animal is able to nibble small amounts of grass, and may reduce the amount of feed consumed by as much as 75%. The grazing muzzle is available as a halter attachment, or as a separate piece of equipment. A pony with a Grazing Muzzle

Grease Pot Outfit - A very small ranching operation.

Greasy Heel - See Scratches.

Great American Desert - The largely treeless plains region lying between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River. In the 19th century, the word "desert" referred to any uninhabited region or an area still in its natural condition. Great American Desert

Great Plains - The prairie region extending from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in Canada south through the west central United States into Texas; especially the region from Nebraska southward. See Great American Desert.

Great Plains Saddle - A common alternative name for a Cheyenne Saddle.

Green broke - A horse that is not fully trained.

Greenhorn - a novice cowboy.

Grit - (Also called "Sand.") Unyielding courage, stamina, fortitude, devotion to what is right, gumption. Derived from the sand or "grit" in a chicken's craw which grinds down things that would otherwise be impossible to digest. Related expressions are "He's got true grit in his craw," or in the case of not being able to deal with some irritating thing: "I've got something stuck in my craw." Actual grit -- or sand -- is often added to chicken feed to aid in the fowl's digestion. A rooster and a female chicken

Grits - Also called hominy grits, coarsely ground hominy (hulled corn from which the bran and germ have been removed). Often eaten as a breakfast dish or as a side dish with meat.

Groom -
1. To brush and/or clean an animal's coat.
2. To train for a specific activity.
A person employed to tend to horses.

Ground Hitched - A horse that stands still with the reins or lead rope simply dropped to the ground. Ground hitched horse

Grub - Food. (Derived from the fact that many critters dig -- or "grub" for their food.)

Grulla, or Grullo - (Pronounced "GROO - ya") A mouse or smoke-colored, slate gray horse. Grulla

Guapo, Guapa - (Pronunciation: WAH-poe, WAH-pah) A Spanish word meaning "Handsome" or "Good Looking," depending on the gender. "¡Aye! ¡Que guapa!" = "Wow! What a good-looking gal!"

Gulch - A deep, narrow gorge or ravine.

Gullet - The space under the pommel of the saddle, located over the horse's withers.

Gully Washer - A torrential rainstorm.

Gumption - Fortitude and determination; sound practical understanding. Derived from a Saxon word meaning to observe or to be careful.

Gun wadding - 1. Material used to hold shot and powder in a muzzle-loaded firearm.
2. Sourdough bread.

Guthooks - Cowboy spurs. So named because the rider "hooks" the spurs into the horse's "gut."

Gutta-percha - A whitish rubber derived from the milky latex of the gutta-percha tree. Sometimes used as a waterproofing material in frontier times.

Gypsum Weed - See Jimsonweed.

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