It's a logo that is instantly recognizable.

A drawing of a cowboy waving his hat while holding on to a wildly bucking horse.

It stands for Wyoming, and even if it's not in brown and gold, it's still widely known as the official symbol of the Cowboy State.

Most of us know that the name of the horse is "Steamboat", but did you know that "Steamboat" was a real horse?

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Can you imagine what it was like to be a rodeo cowboy and listen to that rapid whistling noise get louder and louder while you hung on for dear life?

It was sad to me that such an amazing animal was lost because of an accident at a rodeo arena.

If you're wondering how Steamboat went on to become a logo and symbol, it's all thanks to a WWI National Guard Solider from Wyoming.

George Ostrom was stationed in France and began to draw a symbol of a bucking horse on some of the Wyomingite's equipment. This symbol then became synonymous with Wyoming.

Then in 1921 that the University of Wyoming developed a logo from the famous picture of Guy Holt riding Steamboat that was taken in 1903 by BC Buffman.

University of Wyoming American Heritage Center
University of Wyoming American Heritage Center

in 1936 Lester C hunt (our Secretary of State at the time) wanted this logo on a license plate and hired Allen True to create the symbol we know and love today.

While the horse is definitely Steamboat, it has been said that The Cowboy is not anyone in particular.

Want to know more about the real history of Wyoming's famous Steamboat?

Below is a video created by Wyoming PBS that gives the entire history of this legendary horse.

If that's still not enough information, you can find Candy Moulton's Book "Steamboat, Legendary Bucking Horse: His Live and Times, and the Cowboys Who Tried to Tame Him" at

The Real History of Wyoming's Famous Bucking Horse "Steamboat"

The image of a Cowboy atop a bucking horse named "Steamboat" has become a symbol for Wyoming that is recognized throughout the entire world. Here is the real history of this famous bucking horse.

Diary of a Wyoming Homesteader From Over 100 Years Ago

Taylor Barnette has a TikTok account where he shares 100-year-old diary entries from his Great Grandmother while showing what life looks like now on the very same ranch.

Wyoming At The Turn Of The Century Through The Eyes Of Lora Webb Nichols

Nichols received her first camera in 1899 at the age of 16. Her earlier photographs are of her family and friends as well as self-portraits, and landscape pictures of the land surrounding the town of Encampment.

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