7-Day Working Ranch Experience

7-DAY WORKING RANCH EXPERIENCE 2023

From April through November, we will have several 7-day working ranch experience/programs available throughout our season.  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 (ranch owner) 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!

The program will be adjusted to the current seasons and jobs at hand. In the early spring and late fall, we’ll be indoors primarily and outside as weather permits—these weeks are more for someone looking for an intensive horsemanship experience.  Come peak season, 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 7-day program, we hope to help you become a more complete rider as well!

Note about booking your reservation: Because our ranch is set apart from many in our strong emphasis to Buck Brannaman horsemanship in every aspect of riding—be in in the arena, on the trail, with cattle, etc, We are looking for riders who are dedicated to a learning mindset, who have the tenacity to work their minds as much as their bodies.  For more information on the booking process please see below under FAQ’s.

BUCK BRANNAMAN CLINICS:

*MMR hosts our two weeks of Buck clinics at the ranch each July. These dates are July 2-6 and July 10-14. 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 2023. See below for details.

Cabins

We have four cabins that have a queen bed, pullout convertible futon and a sitting area. During Peak Season there is double occupancy only, in these cabins.  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.

So, without further ado, here are the 7-day dates for 2023!

JAN/FEB–CLOSED

*FOR ALL GUEST DATES BELOW…GUESTS ARRIVE THE DAY PRIOR, AND LEAVE THE DAY AFTER THE DATES LISTED. THE DATES LISTED ARE RIDING DAYS ONLY–  GUESTS RIDE FOR A FULL 7 DAYS!

APRIL 16-22—SPRING TUNE UP/HORSEMANSHIP

April is a great time to come to the ranch for horsemanship!  Think of this as your spring tune up for the upcoming summer season.  Ride your horse, or let us help you with yours!  There will be a lot of intensive arena horsemanship work, as well as cutting flag, etc.  We will be putting the first rides out on our ranch horses for the year, weather permitting.  We will likely be receiving cattle during this time.

RATES for April 16-22 

Double Occupancy Cabin- $2,600.00 per person, plus tax

Single Occupancy Lodge Room- $2440.00, plus tax

MAY 14-20—HORSEMANSHIP- INDOOR/OUTDOOR/SOME CATTLE

The days can still be 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 as the countryside opens up. This is another great time to bring out your own horse in preparation for summer riding.  Of course, riding one of ours is always an option!  Cattle work may include gathering, sorting, weighing and cutting.

RATES for May 14-20

Double Occupancy Cabin- $3095.00 per person, plus tax

Single Occupancy Lodge Room- $2736.00, plus tax

JUNE 4-10—CATTLE/HORSEMANSHIP INDOOR/OUTDOOR

Montana in June is the most brilliant hues of green you have ever seen!  Nice temperatures, warm in the daytime, cool at night. We will be working on arena HMS, putting cattle out on their summer grazing, cutting flag may be an option, trail obstacle courses, trail rides both ½ and full day. Cattle work may include gathering, sorting, weighing and cutting.

RATES for June 4-10

Double Occupancy Cabin- $3095.00 per person, plus tax

Single Occupancy Lodge Room- $2736.00, plus tax

JUNE 18-24—CATTLE/HORSEMANSHIP INDOOR/OUTDOOR

Montana in June is the most brilliant hues of green you have ever seen!  Nice temperatures, warm in the daytime, cool at night. Arena HMS, checking on and moving cattle across our grazing allotments. Cutting flag may be an option, as may trail courses, trail rides both ½ and full day. Cattle work may include gathering, sorting, weighing and cutting.

RATES for June 18-24

Double Occupancy Cabin- $3095.00 per person, plus tax

Single Occupancy Lodge Room- $2736.00, plus tax

JULY 2-6- BUCK BRANNAMAN CLINIC WEEK!

This is a Buck Week.  Guests Arrive on July 1, ride with us July 2-3 and with BUCK July 4-6. Guests depart on the 7th

JULY 10-14 – BUCK BRANNAMAN CLINIC WEEK!

This is a Buck Week.  Guests Arrive on July 9, ride with us July 10 & 14, and with BUCK 11-13. Guests depart on the 15th.

RATES for BUCK WEEKS (includes Buck’s clinic fee)

Double Occupancy Cabin- $4098.00 per person, plus tax

Single Occupancy Lodge Room- $3938.00, plus tax

JULY 30-AUG 5—WOMEN’S 7-DAY

This 7-day will be for Women Only!

McGinnis Meadows is a ranch that believes in giving women equal opportunity!  Join us for a vacation of things we do best. If you have ever taken part in a “women’s only event”, then you know how much fun we have, and how empowering it can be. Here you’ll get to experience top-notch horsemanship led by women riders plus a ‘whole lot more! Riding, Lake Trips, WINE, Hiking, Painting, Games, Massage and More! Then, at the end of the seven days, we will offer a ranch working competition for our guests to put to use all the skills learned during your stay! It is a great time to visit with warm temps, lots of cattle work and beautiful scenery.  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.

RATES for July 30- Aug 5

Double Occupancy Cabin- $3095.00 per person, plus tax

Single Occupancy Lodge Room- $2736.00, plus tax

AUG 13-19—WOMEN’S 7-DAY

By VERY POPULAR REQUEST, we have one more WOMEN’S ONLY EVENT THIS YEAR!

McGinnis Meadows is a ranch that believes in giving women equal opportunity!  Join us for a vacation of things we do best. If you have ever taken part in a “women’s only event”, then you know how much fun we have, and how empowering it can be. Here you’ll get to experience top-notch horsemanship led by women riders plus a ‘whole lot more! Riding, Lake Trips, WINE, Hiking, Painting, Games, Massage and More! Then, at the end of the seven days, we will offer a ranch working competition for our guests to put to use all the skills learned during your stay! It is a great time to visit with warm temps, lots of cattle work and beautiful scenery.  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.

RATES for Aug 13- 19- WOMEN’S 7-DAY

Double Occupancy Cabin- $3095.00 per person, plus tax

Single Occupancy Lodge Room- $2736.00, plus tax

SEP 3-9—HORSEMANSHIP & CATTLE

The ranch is starting to cool down a little.  This is a great time to come if you hate the bugs!  Great daytime temps. Arena HMS, checking on and moving cattle across our grazing allotments. Cutting flag may be an option, as may trail courses, trail rides both ½ and full day. Horsemanship in the meadows.  Cattle work may include gathering, sorting, weighing and cutting.

RATES for Sep 3-9

Double Occupancy Cabin- $3095.00 per person, plus tax

Single Occupancy Lodge Room- $2736.00, plus tax

SEP 17-23— HORSEMANSHIP & CATTLE

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! We will start every day with horsemanship and then head out to move cattle. 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.

RATES for Sep 17-23

Double Occupancy Cabin- $3095.00 per person, plus tax

Single Occupancy Lodge Room- $2736.00, plus tax

OCT 8-14—FALL HORSEMANSHIP

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.  Outside riding will be based on weather.

RATES for Oct 8-14

Double Occupancy Cabin- $3095.00 per person, plus tax

Single Occupancy Lodge Room- $2736.00, plus tax

NOV 5-11. WINTER HORSEMANSHIP 

This will be a session for those who are intent of an intensive feel-based horsemanship experience.  All riding will be indoors in our beautiful heated indoor facility.  We will be delving into the intricacies of refinement in groundwork and in riding.  Don’t think we are limited to dry work though!  It’s not unusual for us to use our cutting flags, roping sled, jumps or poles, etc.  There is never a dull moment around here.  Come with a hunger to learn and we will keep your mind full 🙂

RATES for Nov 5-11

Double Occupancy Cabin- $2600.00 per person, plus tax

Single Occupancy Lodge Room- $2440.00, plus tax

DEC- CLOSED

FAQ

Why did you go from the 10-riding day program in 2021 and 2022 to now a 7-day riding program in 2023?

Good question!  While we and our guests LOVED this format, we feel like we can still optimize results with a 7-day program, and be able to offer more of these options throughout the seasons. We won’t have to turn people away- we can actually open up our doors for more people to come out to ride and learn with us!

How do I book a reservation and why do I have to “interview” in order to become a guest at your ranch?

This is so that YOU and us have the best possible experience possible.  Our ranch is set apart from many in our strong emphasis to Buck Brannaman horsemanship in every aspect of riding—be in in the arena, on the trail, with cattle, etc.  We are looking for riders who are dedicated to a learning mindset, who have the tenacity to work their minds as much as their bodies.  And physical fitness is indeed something to consider when coming out here—we put a lot of hours in the saddle and the way we ride (i.e., advanced horsemanship maneuvers, covering rugged terrain, W/T/C) requires that a person have enough stamina to hang in there over 7 full riding days.  Many of our guests walk a mile to and from the arena each morning and sometimes they do 4 miles a day because they go back and forth at lunchtime too! (We do have a shuttle option as well, if you prefer to save your energy for riding!).

This is not to say that you need to be in peak condition when you come out here, but being prepared for what’s to come both mentally and physically is a big plus.  You are certainly welcome to take a ½ day or an off day.  But our program can be progressive…so we do encourage riders to hang in there to get the most bang for their buck in order to leave with the most tools to become all around hands.

The pre-booking interview process is simple. Just give us a call (Sami or Des can help you), and we will get a feel for what you are looking for, let you know what we offer, and we’ll see if it is a good fit for both of us. We definitely want you to be satisfied with your experience here, so this will give you an inside look at what you can expect from a ranch visit.

Is this 7 FULL days of riding?  YES. 

What if I can’t ride every day, or I want to take a ½ day off during one of the 7 days?

We’ll work with you! 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

What if I get sore?

If you ever feel sore, let us know immediately!  This isn’t something we want you to silently “push through the pain” with!  It could be as simple as lengthening or shortening stirrups, or adjusting seat position and you’ll find you can last horseback a lot longer than you thought possible.

Will I get a discount if I cannot stay the full 7 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!  You will not go hungry with Chef Holly at the helm!

What if I’m a beginner?

Not an issue.  Beginners have less bad habits to break and that can be an advantage!

We do suggest that folks come out here with a little bit of time in the saddle, and we strongly suggest that folks watch Buck’s In the Snaffle Bit -the Journey to the Bridle Horse DVD to get acquainted with the movements and the lingo.  That will help you get ahead of the game.  7 days of riding, at 6 hours a day or longer can be a lot of time for a beginner rider, so it’s best to know that this is something you really want to do!

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 200 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.  *You can discuss exceptions with us

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

For $150.00, 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.

If I want to come by myself, can I stay in a cabin? 

During Peak season we only book double occupancy for the smaller cabins. For the larger cabins, we reserve these for groups of 3 or 4 people. We do have lodge rooms that accommodate a single guest, it you prefer to travel alone.

What is your refund policy? 

All payments made to the ranch are non-refundable. Travel insurance is highly recommended for your trip in case changes do come up.  Travelguard.com is a popular travel insurance carrier with our guests, and there are several others offering plans as well.  Some require obtaining insurance within 24- 48 hours of booking your reservation so be sure to check with the individual carriers, as well as what their individual plans cover.

What if I want to bring my own horse?

We welcome you to bring your personal horses as long as they are a mare or a gelding (no stallions please!)

PLEASE NOTE: Any horses coming on to the ranch are required to have a current Coggins (within the last 12 months), and proof of Rhino and Influenza shots within the last 12 months and no sooner than two weeks prior to arrival.  You can bring your own hay or purchase ours for a small fee.

Is there cell service at the ranch?

There is no cell service however, we do have a landline for use if needed. Iphone AT&T wifi calling can work though it may not be consistent.  We do have Starlink Internet now in the lodge and all the cabins, so wifi is accessible!