10-Day Working Ranch Experience

10-Day working Ranch Experience at McGinnis Meadows Ranch!

From April through December, we will be offering ONE 10-day working ranch experience/program per month. Working ranch program, you say? What would that entail?

Basically, it’s this: Guests come out to the ranch with the priority of advancing their horsemanship in a working ranch setting, the Buck Brannaman way. Shayne has always been loyal to Buck’s methods and that remains a constant here. This is an opportunity to further advance this horsemanship style in a multi-faceted, working ranch environment. This program will get you handy in AND out of the arena! Shayne (owner) and Des (ranch Manager/wrangler) will be heading up the program, so you can count on them being here and working with you during any of the dates available.

The program will be adjusted to the current seasons and jobs at hand. In the wintertime, we’ll be indoors. But come spring/summer/fall, there’s country to cover, cattle to drive, cattle to sort and cut on and of course, lots of refining of horsemanship movements in our state-of-the-art indoor facility. We believe in the complete horse—as proven by the fact that every one of our guest horses can work a cow, ride out solo or in groups covering any and all types of country with confidence, rope cattle, jingle in the horse herd, be well mannered on the ground and have the ability to perform the most refined horsemanship movements in the arena. With this 10-day program, we hope to help you become a more complete rider as well!

*MMR hosts our two weeks of Buck clinics at the ranch each July. These dates are July 11-17 and July 18-24. We will book guests for both of these individual weeks like normal, with a 6 night/5 day stay. That will be the only deviation from our updated programming for 2021.


We have four cabins that have a queen bed, pullout convertible futon and a sitting area. The rate for these cabins drops significantly for double occupancy, so bring your spouse, partner or friend! An added bonus is that each of these cabins now has internet, making it easy to work remotely if you need to during your stay.

Bunkhouse & Cristel cabins

These two cabins are the largest of our lodging options. These each have a queen bed downstairs, and two twin beds upstairs in an open style loft, as well as a sitting area. These cabins can accommodate 3-4 people very comfortably. Designed for families, or a group of friends, and for each person over the initial two, there is a discounted rate.

Rates- Coming soon.

So, without further ado, here are the 10-day dates for 2021!

*Please note, the 10-day dates do not include arrival and departure days. Feel free to arrive the day prior and leave the day after.

April 11-20 & May 9-18

The days are still cooler, but green grass and blue skies are abundant with signs of spring all around.

Be prepared for beginner to advanced arena horsemanship, and rides outside covering country. This is a great time to bring your OWN horse if wanted, to get it tuned up for a full and safe summer season. We will also be riding out some of our younger horses at this time. We will be working on cutting flag. Cattle work may include gathering, sorting, weighing and cutting.

June 13-22

The countryside is a bright green and the temps are mild this time of year.

Arena HMS, checking on and moving cattle across our grazing allotments. We will be working on the cutting flag. Cattle work may include gathering, sorting, weighing and cutting.

July 11-17 (BUCK WEEK #1) Arrive on Sunday/depart on the following Saturday.

July 18-24 (BUCK WEEK #2) Arrive on Sunday/depart on the following Saturday.

For the Buck clinic weeks, you’ll ride with us for 2 days in HMS, or riding out on our grazing allotments checking cattle, then ride with Buck Brannaman for 3 full days—Horsemanship in the AM, Cattle Work in the PM.

August 15-24

If you like visiting Montana when it’s warm, this is your ticket!  Arena HMS, checking on and moving cattle across our grazing allotments. We will be working on cutting flag. Cattle work may include gathering, sorting, weighing and cutting.

September 12-21 and 26-Oct 5

We will be offering some arena horsemanship, but most of our horsemanship will be outside while gathering cattle off of our 40-square mile grazing allotment! Be prepared to ride for miles each day on good horses in beautiful country.   Learn how to track cattle, the intricacies of moving cattle with finesse, all while maintaining balance and softness in your horse.

October 10-19

Fall colors and crisp days. Can you almost smell the pumpkin spice?  There will be plenty of arena horsemanship going on. In addition, we may need to check cattle on the ranch and may do some weighing periodically. Weather permitting, we will also be working on outside trail/horsemanship rides.

November 21-30

We are entering into the beginning of our Montana winter and the 10 days will be indoors exclusively. But you certainly won’t be bored! Aside from our basic to advanced horsemanship skills, you’ll also be working on the cutting flag, and even going over some small jumps!

In addition, these dates cover THANKSGIVING, which has come to be a grand affair at McGinnis Meadows!

December 12-21

Same program as November, and we’ll even get you back home in time for Christmas! Come enjoy the beauty of a Montana Winter Wonderland while advancing your horsemanship.

Contact us for more info or to reserve your stay!


Why did you choose the days of the week the way you did?

Great question! We know that flights can be expensive, especially when coming out to Northwest Montana! Flights have been shown to be the cheapest coming in on a Saturday and leaving on a Wednesday.

Is this 10 FULL days of riding? It depends on YOU. Our schedule will be as such that after the first 5 days, on the 6th day we will offer non-riding options for anyone that needs a little rest—these can include shoeing demos, guided (or unguided) hikes or snowshoe/cross country ski (in the winter), lake trips, massage or watching any horse demos going on. We will all be riding days 7-10 together.

What if I don’t want to ride every day, or I want to take a ½ day off during any of the OTHER 10 days of riding?

No problemo! You can do as much or as little as you’d like. The cattle working portion (specifically cutting) is progressive, so you would need to be involved from start to finish in that part to participate.

We have trails around the ranch for hiking and biking, fishing, massage, stretch class, cooking, or just good ol’ fashioned RELAXATION

Will I get a discount if I cannot stay the full 10 days of riding?

Unfortunately, this is not an option. We’ll try to make sure you get everything you need with the time you have with us though!

What will meals be like?

Family style. Hearty, healthy ranch cooking, and we accommodate special diets too!

What if I’m a beginner?

Not an issue. We have several student teachers who are LOVED amongst our guests who will spend more one-on-one time with you in the classes to make sure you feel comfortable and right in time with the rest of the class.

Do you have a weight limit?

Yes we do. We will only take riders under 220 lbs. Riding horses is an athletic sport. Our horses cover some very tough miles and perform some extremely refined horsemanship maneuvers that require lightness and balance. This requires that they have riders who can operate within this weight limit.

Do we offer transportation to and from the ranch, or will I have to rent a car?

For $100.00, per person round trip, we can provide hotel or airport pickup and return to Kalispell. Pickup at your hotel is usually between 12:00 pm and 12:30pm. Airport pickups are usually between 12:30pm and 1:00 pm. WE DO NOT DO ANY PICKUPS BEFORE 12 or AFTER 2:00. If your flight arrives before 12 noon or after 2:00, you will need to arrange your own transportation to the ranch.If you choose to rent a car, you can rent a car directly from the airport or there is also a taxi service in Kalispell.

What is your refund policy?

No refunds. ******

Please, save yourself the frustration of unexpected circumstances and purchase trip insurance within 48 hours of booking, to secure the funds for your trip. We are happy to provide references and assist in any way we can.