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Cowboy Dictionary - Letter D

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Dally - A "dally" is a wrap, or a series of wraps, around a saddle horn with a rope. After cowboys and cowgirls rope something (such as a cow, calf, etc.) they often dally the other end of their rope to their saddle (specifically, the saddle horn) as a means of holding whatever it is they have roped.

Dallying can be contrasted with "tying hard," where the rope is fastened (not dallied) to the saddle horn, often with the use of a "horn knot." You can see the definition of a horn knot lower on this page.

Below: Two wraps, or dallies, around a saddle horn.

Dally - wraps around a saddle horn

Dam - The term give to a mare (female horse) when she becomes a mother.

Day Work - Working for a ranch on an as-needed or day-by-day basis.

Dorsal - In animals that have a backbone the "dorsal" side of the animal is the side that lies closest to the backbone. In a horse, cow, dog, or cat, for example, this is the side that is the top of the neck, the back, and the top of the rump. Another way of putting it is that the dorsal side is the side we normally think of as the "top" or "up" side.

Some animal colors are described as having a "dorsal stripe." A dorsal stripe is a stripe of color darker than the other surrounding body hairs that runs along the animal's dorsal side.

Below: The red arrow is pointing to a dorsal stripe on a horse.

Dorsal stripe

Dove Wing - A style of spur strap. A dove wing spur strap is a wide, one-piece spur strap in the shape of a dove's wing. Because they are a single, one-piece strap they don't need buckles to join them together like other types of spur straps that are made of two pieces. Dove wing spur straps are also sometimes called "bird wing" or "pigeon wing" spur straps.

Below: Dove wing spur straps before being put on a pair of spurs.

A pair of dove wing spur straps

Dry Cow - A cow that is not currently producing milk.


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