Cowboy Bob's Dictionary

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K

Kack, or Kak - Saddle and/or other tack.

Keep your powder dry - The frontiersman's equivalent of "Be prepared," "Stay on your toes," or "Expect the unexpected," this saying has its origin in the days of muzzleloading firearms. Having your supply of gunpowder get wet was one of the worst things that could befall you. It meant that you no longer had a means of defending yourself, putting meat on the table, or earning your livelihood.

Keeper - See Stirrup Strap and Latigo Keeper.

Ketch Lot - See "Catch Lot"

Keyboard - A board with pegs for hangin' the keys to the ranch vehicles.

Kick over the Traces - To throw off normal restraints or routine, as a rowdy horse might kick or jump over the traces hitching it to a wagon, sleigh, etc.

Kidney Pad - An English Saddle (supposedly positioned over the horse's kidneys). Also called a "pancake."

Kinero - An early North American Latino herdsman. When they began acquiring saddles in the 1800s and took to working their herds from horseback, they were more commonly known as "vaqueros." Eventually, the term "kinero" fell into disuse.

Knacker - A merchant who purchases old or dead livestock and sells meat or hides.

Knee - The joint between the femur and tibia in the horse and similar animals; the foreleg counterpart to the hock of the hind leg. Hock and knee

Knight of the Ribbons - A stagecoach driver.

Kowtow, or kotow - [cow' tahw] To try to gain favor by cringing or with flattering or insincere behavior. Derived from the name of a former Chinese custom of touching the ground with the forehead as a sign of respect or submission. Often misspelled cowtow.

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