What makes our horsemanship program so unique?

We ride strictly in the vein of Buck Brannaman style horsemanship. Shayne heads up the program and has ridden in over 400 clinics with Buck over the last 20 years. He has 7 bridle horses with more in the making! Shayne’s co-instructors Des and Roby have both taken horses from the snaffle to the bridle and all are experienced with riding colts and with working with horses of all backgrounds.

All of the wranglers at the ranch are on the same page and most of us have been riding this way for several years now. You won’t be confused by hearing multiple responses from multiple people regarding horsemanship—all of our answers are synchronized and align with the teachings of Buck, Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance.

In our horsemanship weeks, Shayne strives to teach guests a feel and to work from the horse’s perspective. No movements, however basic they may seem, are ever mechanical. Exercises are thought out with the advancement of both horses and guests in mind. Each guest is challenged to the extent of their own ability, and sometimes beyond what they ever thought possible! It does not matter whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider—each person gets exactly what they need in the small class settings.

While many of our horsemanship weeks occur during times when we are limited to our heated indoor arena, during the spring and fall, horsemanship isn’t just practiced in an arena. We practice it while working cattle, roping cattle, driving cattle over timbered mountains, or riding up a trail. Not many places give you the opportunity to expand your horsemanship in so many varied environments.

Our horses are great teachers. Our ranch geldings are gentle, patient and every single one of them knows how to work a cow, be roped off of, and can perform very advanced horsemanship movements. You are always welcome and encouraged to ride our horses, but you are also welcome to bring your own horse to ride as well! This way of riding works with any kind of horse, regardless of discipline. But don’t take our word for it…here’s what some of our guests have had to say about our horsemanship weeks —

“Winter weeks at MMG brought my horsemanship to a whole ‘nother level. Having one on one time with Shayne was invaluable in experiencing attention to detail that I have not found in the majority of clinics I’ve attended. I really felt like I became closer to becoming a true student of the horse, understanding how the horse’s body works and how they think, figuring out how my body works with the horse (or not, that all depends on the day!) The small group setting is perfect for those who really want to understand horsemanship at an entirely different level than you can get in the bigger summer groups and the social aspect is not lacking! I especially loved having time to ask Shayne questions… from the horse, to how people work with the horse, how vaquero gear works right down to football strategy (go Seahawks!) Combine all that with the lighted, heated arena and time to get to know the guests and the wranglers who work so hard all year long and be in this peaceful but inspiring setting is the perfect getaway.”

Pattie –Virginia

“McGinnis is the best place to learn to ride! I learned so much from Shayne’s classes and I don’t have to guess to know how fortunate I was to have his attention for 3 full days! He’s so passionate about what he does and it comes through in how he teaches green riders like myself and old hands like you and the other wranglers. He seemed to know how much I could do before I even knew! I learned so much from him and because he never let me slide or take the easy road I in turn learned so much about myself. It was amazing to see and feel how my personality (insecurities and securities included) would translate to the horse and as I started to work through those feelings and become more confident and deliberate in my actions with Shadow or Rocky, so did they become softer, more responsive and confident with me. Amazing…! Of course I’ve barely scratched the surface but I’ve found a part of myself, a part of my soul, at the ranch and through riding that I KNOW I would not have recovered anywhere else! Thus my hope to return soon.”


I came to McGinnis Ranch to study horsemanship. Every day I was filled to the brim on how to be a better horseman, new ways to be with a horse, how and what can I offer the horse. But what I didn’t realize was in the learning of how to have something to offer the horse I needed to look into myself: to be 100% present for the horse, for myself, for others. I learned bucket loads of horsemanship and mountains about myself. I stand taller physically, mentally and emotionally. I am not the same person I was when I arrived. An unexpected journey into the “rightness” of life. A big thank you to all who make McGinnis Ranch what it is.

With a hug and a smile,