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|A cowboy tends cattle and horses on cattle ranches in North and South America. The cowboy is normally an animal herder most commonly in charge of the horses and/or cattle, whereas the wrangler's work is more specific to horses. In addition to ranch work, some cowboys work in and participate in rodeos, and many cowboys work only in the rodeo.|
During the 16th century, the Conquistadors and other Spanish settlers brought their cattle-raising traditions and their horses, the ancestors of the "wild" mustangs, with them to the New World through New Spain (later Mexico) and Florida. The mustangs are called "wild" but in reality these are feral horses - descendants of domesticated animals.
Though popularly considered as an American icon, the traditional cowboy comes from a Hispanic tradition, which originated in the Central States of Mexico, Jalisco and Michoacán, where the Mexican cowboy would eventually be known as a "charro". Historically, the northern parts of Mexico (New Mexico) originally included most of the territory of the American southwest, including Texas and California.
The idea of horseback riders who guard herds of cattle, sheep or horses is common wherever wide, open land for grazing exists. In the French Camargue, riders called "gardians" herd cattle. In Hungary, the csikós guard horses. The herders in the region of Maremma, in Tuscany (Italy) are called butteros.
|Copied from wikipedia|
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