BEEF HUNT: The act of gathering cattle in the fall. Also called a round-up.
BREAK: Break the wild spirit of the horse for ranch work.
DALLY: Dally roping is a style of roping in which the roper throws a half hitch of rope around the saddle horn after a catch is made. The loose end of the rope is held in the roper’s hands so he/she can shorten it or let it slip in case of an emergency. Dally roping is used by most Utah ranchers and steer and team ropers. Sometimes when dallying a cowboy/girl will lose a finger because it gets caught between the rope and saddle horn.
HARD AND FAST: In hard and fast roping the rope is tied to the saddle. This style is used by ranchers from the southwest and rodeo calf ropers. Hard and fast ropers sometimes say, “If it’s worth catching it’s worth keeping,” referring to the fact that the roper can’t turn the rope loose when there is some type of trouble. However, with this type of roping a cowboy/girl might get a wild ride because the rope the animal is caught with is “tied on” to the roper’s saddle horn. Every now and then a roper is thrown from his/her horse, breaking a leg.
HOSS: A cowboy’s horse, in this poem “Old Sally.”
LEARNED HIM: taught him
OLD LOOP: rope
RIMMY: A cowboy/cowgirl who rides the thick brush for cattle (as in West Texas). Also known as a “brush popper” or “rim-rock rider,” meaning a “tough one.”
ROPE: Also called a lasso, riata, and lariat. A rope is a tool used to “catch” livestock. A rope can be made of different materials: nylon, grass, leather, rawhide. The rawhide riata is popular in Utah. The word lasso is also a verb, meaning to rope something: “I’m going to lasso a calf.”
STEER: Castrated (male) cow.
SLACK: Slack is the word for rope that is not tight. It is also used as part of a verb, as in “give me some slack,” meaning to give some rope. (This phrase, however, is also used in reference to non-rope activities. For instance, when you are tired and not doing well at baseball and your coach gets upset, you might say, “Cut me some slack,” meaning don’t be so tight on me.)
R. Williams, Utah State University, 1993
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Fife Folklore Archives, Utah State University Libraries, Logan Utah 84322-3000