It's hard to imagine a cowboy without his horse.
And while the animals are crucial to the work, one group of friends is making them crucial to play as well.
Specifically, they play polo. Sort of.
"None of us know what we're doing," said Kellen Vanderpool, organizer of the Cowboy Polo Tournament north of Rapid City.
But they do it anyway. And Saturday marked the second time they've done it.
"We played last year and it was a good time, so we decided to do it again," said Tyler Barry, Vanderpool's teammate and cousin.
Just three teams showed up this year, but that didn't really matter to anyone.
"Kind of gets out of the old all-time summer working cows and whatever, and just come to town and have a good time," Justin Robertson, another player, said.
It's kind of an unorthodox way for cowboys to relax, so it makes sense that it got started in a pretty unorthodox way.
"My cousin and I were fishing over here, and he lost our anchor," Barry said, "so I made him go back to the shop and get another anchor, and he found the polo clubs. So we decided we should play polo."
Also a little strange -- the rules.
"It's just kind of some rules we kind of just threw together from the normal ones," said Vanderpool. "It's a little hodgepodge together, but it is what it is."
"The rules kind of get thrown out the door and everyone just does what they want to do," added Robertson.
"Nobody out here is professional," Barry said.
And we noticed some other differences between cowboy and professional polo matches, too:
Typically, polo isn't played with a big, inflated, rubber ball; dogs typically aren't allowed on the field; and we'd wager there aren't as many beer breaks in the pros.
"You just come out here and swing sticks" said Barry. "There's no practice involved whatsoever."
But everyone says they're just trying to have a little fun, so practice doesn't matter too much.
And if you happened to miss the fun, don't worry. They plan on keeping up the tradition in the coming years.