Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

Roosevelt, Utah
About About Donny Lewis Hopper




True Cowboy

He'll never make "8" like ol' Ty Murray
Or like Joe Beaver tie a calf in a hurry.
You'll never see him at NFR's
Or hear his tales from bullriding scars.
You won't see him at the rodeo's
Or entertaining in wild west shows.
The buckle bunnies won't mention his name
Cuz' he'll never acquire fortune or fame.
Yet a picture you've drawn up in your head
Cuz' to many it seems this cowboy is dead.
But this cowboy still lives in much of the west
and can fence, rope and ride with the very best.
He is a hand out on the range
and to many a folk this may seem quite strange.
An honest days work is his pride
and to those who know better he never died.

© 2010, Donny Lewis Hopper
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Donny Lewis Hopper comments: When I worked on a ranch in Northern Nevada I quickly learned that most of the ranch cowboys had never set foot in a rodeo arena. Now this isn’t to say that a rodeo cowboy isn’t a true cowboy but most I had met never did rodeo. One hand in particular truly amazed me. His sport of choice wasn’t rodeo but football. The amazing thing was he was a true cowboy. He could fix any equipment out there, ride any horse, rope anything that moved and doctor anything that breathed. He even got hantavirus once and although he had to spend some time in the hospital he was back at it again as soon as he was released. Now most people that had caught this horrible sickness died but he was just one tough hard working fella, but the thing that impressed me the most was even though I was green as long as you never acted like you knew everything and would ask questions he would teach you anything he knew. Now that was the kind of cowboy I wanted to be!


About Donny Lewis Hopper

I was born in Gallup, New Mexico in 1974. Raising livestock and thinking I was a “cowboy” was the start of wanting to try my hand at rodeo. I started riding bulls my Junior year of High School and then moved to Southern Idaho my senior year. I really thought I was something as a bullrider then when I qualified for the Idaho State Finals but broke my leg about 2 weeks before so I had to sit in sadness and watch the news coverage about it from my home.This wound up being a fortunate thing because the fact was I really wasn’t all that good! I just got lucky. 

I would try my rodeoing for a while longer riding bulls in open amateur rodeos without much success but loving every minute of it. Trying to play rodeo cowboy and keep a job as an electrical apprentice wasn’t serving me well and I wound up getting laid off from the electrical company I worked for. I tried to join the military which I had always wanted to do but my eyesight was too poor they said! This would be the change in my life I needed. I was down and out with no work when I responded to an ad for a ranch hand position in Northern Nevada. I spent the next year or so really learning from some of the best cowboys around. I just couldn’t help but pen down in a creative fashion some of the daily happenings at the ranch which would turn into a love of writing stories and cowboy poetry.

My time on the ranch was short lived as I felt I needed to serve a mission for my church so I spent the next two years in Eastern North Carolina. Upon coming home after those 2 great years I met the love of my life and we have been married now for 12 years and have 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. I tried doing some bullfighting and was really getting the hang of that and enjoying it as always when a little bull got hold of me and gave me a good spin with my pregnant wife sitting there watching me. I just couldn’t bear the thought of her pushing me in a wheel chair with a baby by her side and pregnant so I left the rodeo life alone altogether. We currently live in Roosevelt, Utah where I work for an oil and gas drilling service provider. I spend my time now punching holes in the ground  instead of cows but my heart is always in the ranching industry, and my dream is to someday be punching my own livestock.

When I am not at work I enjoy spending my time with my family, hunting, fishing, camping, growing a garden, reading and going to my boys' hockey games all over ranch country in Colorado and Utah.



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