Save a Horse, Ride A Cowboy: What Does That Even Mean?


Save a horse, ride a cowboy. It was a fun song at the time if you like poorly written songs about getting donged by cowboys. If you haven’t heard the song, I’m not going to link you to it, move on and live happily ever after you lucky bastard.

The take home message of the chorus is that instead of riding a horse, ride a cowboy. But what does that mean? Unfortunately, there are a few ways to interpret the chorus from Big and Rich’s 2004 smash hit. Saddle up, here they come.

1. Rather than ride a horse, have sex with a cowboy: By ride a cowboy, Big and Rich meant get boned by a cowboy. By save a horse, Big and Rich were referring to actually riding a horse. The chorus was a play on the word “ride”. This is the number 1 accepted interpretation of this song. It’s country genius, dude!

Note: Country genius is roughly a score of 75 on an IQ test.

2. Don’t have sex with a horse, have sex with a cowboy instead: Similar to the first interpretation, by riding a cowboy, Big and Rich meant riding a cowboy naked, mashing fun zones in a way that could potentially produce a tiny gunslinger 9-months after the act. Yeehaw, right? However, if one is having sex with a cowboy with the goal in mind to save a horse, it could be implied one was previously having sex with a horse. In this case, Big and Rich were trying to save the horse from PTSD by encouraging the horse rapist to have sex within species, preferably with a human who chews tobacco, drinks whiskey, and wears pointy boots and a big hat. In that case, I’d agree. Leave the horse alone you sick bastard.

3. Give the horse’s back some relief by riding on the back of a cowboy instead: Similar to the first interpretation, Big and Rich were referring to riding a horse in the common way in which humans ride horses: on the horse’s back, seated in a saddle, while wearing tattered, earth-toned clothing. In order to save a horse from having to support the weight of humans who are abnormally talented at throwing a rope, a cowboy would in turn, bear the burden of another human being on their back. It’s a piggyback ride, but at an adult level. Brokeback mountain here we come.


Both the first and second interpretations of the song’s chorus have fairly positive outcomes: One encourages the coupling of people who enjoy the term “y’all”, while the other discourages people from touching a horse’s bits and pieces for funsies. I’m okay with both of these outcomes, how ’bout y’all?

It’s the third interpretation which has serious implications for both horses and cowboys: Horses without jobs are expensive to support. They’re like a larger, hungrier version of your Mountain Dew guzzling, mom’s basement dwelling, 37 year-old unemployed cousin. However, while putting your cousin to pasture isn’t an option (is it?), a lot of horses will be retired or worse, there will be a drastic increase in Bobby Flay Throwdown! episodes featuring horsemeat chili.

It’s not much better for the cowboys in this scenario either. Humans are not physically equipped to support other humans on their backs for prolonged periods of time. Imagine traffic jams consisting largely of moaning cowboys being herded to chiropractors in wheelbarrows.

So what’s the point of all of this? The point is that writing a satirical article based on a song’s chorus is not the best idea, but is still a better idea than having sex with a horse.

Share this article with your friends so you can do your effort to save a horse, a cowboy, and resurrect a classic song we only wish would stay dead.

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