There are so many country singers out there with songs about cowboys, life on the range, riding horses, and more pertaining to the western lifestyle. And not all of them are actually able to relate to their lyrics. These country artists not only love the cowboy lifestyle but fully embrace it in their personal lives. From former rodeo stars to some who embraced horseback riding later in life, these singers are the real deal.
Oklahoma native Reba McEntire grew up in a rodeo family. It's where she first got to sing for big crowds but she also grew up riding horses and was a talented barrel racer. She even owned a massive horse farm in Tennessee that she sold back in 2017. The cowgirl lifestyle and the rodeo is still really dear to McEntire's heart and a huge part of her identity, evident in her collaboration with another singer on this list with a rodeo song, Cody Johnson.
The one and only George Strait grew up in the small town of Poteet, Texas. Growing up in a ranching environment inspired his love of horses and even got him into the rodeo in team roping in his 20s. When he's not making country music, Strait raises ropin' cattle and ropin' horses on his massive Texas ranch...a true cowboy through and through.
Wilson grew up on her family farm in Baskin, Louisiana where her father started putting her on horses at the young age of 9. And this wasn't a gentle horseback ride through the backyard...these were untrained horses and she had to hang on for dear life.
"My daddy put me on the back of a horse when I was 9 years old. ... I was on the back of a horse before I could even walk. ... He would bring these horses home from horse sales that were not broke. He'd say, 'Ride it. Get on it and ride it,' " Wilson told Mainstreet Nashville.
The country star is the latest new addition to the hit TV series Yellowstone where she'll be playing a singer, but we really hope she gets to show off her cowgirl skills. Sounds like she'd definitely know her way around a ranch.
Country star Miranda Lambert is the real deal when it comes to the cowgirl lifestyle. She owns a massive 400-acre farm in Tennessee where she raises horses, rescue dogs and cats, and even rabbits. The horse barn particularly has 75 acres of pasture where she loves getting to ride out through the fields and trails in her spare time.
Another Texas native, Cody Johnson rode bulls in the rodeo and was a horseback riding prison guard before he hit it big in the country music world. While he's not hanging onto the backs of bucking bulls anymore, he does continue to ride cutting horses and occasionally competes in horse cutting events.
Jon Pardi may have grown up in California, but that doesn't mean that after years of recording country music in Nashville, he hasn't embraced life as a cowboy. He's been riding horses for years and even loves to compete in team roping events down in Texas. Now we know that cowboy hat isn't just for show!
Shania Twain has always been open about her love of horses. She's been known to incorporate them into her shows, literally bringing them on stage at times. She's had numerous large ranch properties over the years including a horse ranch in New Zealand as well as Switzerland, but she's currently settled down on a Nevada farm for her Las Vegas residency where she spends her free time riding and enjoying her farm animals.
Country music's beloved outlaw really lives the cowboy lifestyle on his massive Texas ranch. His property, affectionately named Luck, is 700 acres and home to 70 rescue horses that were headed for the slaughterhouse. Now they are living the life, and so is Nelson, who loves spending time riding.
"My favorite place is my ranch in Luck," Nelson shared in a Facebook caption. "There's a pasture at the top of a hill where the horses graze and hang out at the water trough. The view is fantastic, and the horses are beautiful, healthy, and happy. The quiet is astounding. And when I get on my horse, the whole world changes. I'm one step closer to heaven."
Oklahoma native Toby Keith is more than an award-winning singer and songwriter. Though he's owned horses for 20 years, he decided to embark on a new side business of raising race horses. His breeding and racing operation is under the name Dream Walkin Farms where he buys, sells, and raises thoroughbreds.
READ MORE: 7 Country Stars With a Rodeo Past
Enjoy all things country?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.