In antiquity, herding of sheep, cattle and goats was often the job of minors, and still is a task for young people in various third world cultures.
While most hacendados (ranch owners) were ethnically Spanish criollos, Vaqueros went north with livestock.
In 1598, Don Juan de Oñate sent an expedition across the Rio Grande into New Mexico, bringing along 7000 head of cattle.
The cowboy has deep historic roots tracing back to Spain and the earliest European settlers of the Americas.
Over the centuries, differences in terrain, climate and the influence of cattle-handling traditions from multiple cultures created several distinct styles of equipment, clothing and animal handling.
These groups were made up of local farmhands who would ambush convoys and carry out raids on both sides.
There were two separate groups: the "skinners" fought for the pro-independence side; the "cowboys" supported the British.A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks.The historic American cowboy of the late 19th century arose from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico and became a figure of special significance and legend.Responsibility for herding cattle or other livestock is no longer considered a job suitable for children or early adolescents.However, both boys and girls growing up in a ranch environment often learn to ride horses and perform basic ranch skills as soon as they are physically able, usually under adult supervision.The origins of the cowboy tradition come from Spain, beginning with the hacienda system of medieval Spain.