There were many cowboys and people of different stripe that have owned or ridden horses at one time or another. Many of them have been atop horses they never paid much attention to, like hopping on a horse for a short excursion to check out a neighbor's cattle or a pleasure ride down to the river for a picnic. And then there are those who have known a horse since birth, fed him, and cared for him during his lifetime.
My father used to own a horse or two, mainly as a team pulling a plow or a wagon with a load of hay as he worked on the the farms he owned or leased back when he was a farmer. But when I came along he had moved past that life and became a leather worker, working in his small shop making shoes and repairing harness and any leather jobs that came along. He and my mother also owned and operated a small hamburger stand that they would open up on holidays and other times when they felt like they could make a dollar or two. The Fourth of July was always great for selling hot dogs and burgers. But, I'm getting away from horses.
What got me started was a short story by J. Frank Dobie, I Remember Buck. Buck was his horse from the time it was brought into the world until it passed away. He knew Buck like he was his brother or closer. Buck was cunning, aware of his surroundings, and was a great cow horse. And Buck was always alert when it came to the rider as he showed one day when the rider had a mishap and was thrown off. Well, Buck could turn on a dime which he did, stopping in mid-turn and letting the rider disentangle himself. I would say Buck was a fine horse and would always be remembered even though some humans would be forgotten.
Another great story from Mr. Dobie.