The Okanagan people were hunters, gatherers and traders, and their territory, with its abundance of grasslands, was optimal for grazing livestock. The introduction of the horse created a new alliance that would forever change the traditional Okanagan lifestyle and would usher in a new era of trade. Horses enhanced the already strong trading skills of the Okanagan, and allowed trade with other nations that were previously inaccessible due to distance. Ranching and raising horses and cattle became a way of life for many of Okanagan people. Many of these "Indian Cowboys" gained a certain measure of wealth and fame according to Western standards, through either their rodeo exploits or ranching expertise.