2023 Working Intern

Being an intern at McGinnis Meadows has been an incredible & well rounded experience I won’t soon forget. Not only did my time here allow me to expand on my ability in the saddle, but it also offered me a wealth of knowledge I will continue to utilize throughout my life. Each day here on the ranch offers a unique opportunity to get better in ways unimaginable to me. There were days when I might be out in the timber learning valuable skills like using my senses to locate cattle on thousands of acres. Then there were days when I might be in our indoor riding arena coordinating a choreographed ride with guests to a song of my choosing. 

Coming from a non ranching background all the cattle work was new to me. Still, both Shayne and Des made sure that I was equipped with not only the knowledge and physical skills to go out and do a job on horseback, but they also instilled in me, confidence and the value of having pride in doing quality work in situations where people were watching and also when I was on my own. I am beyond grateful for my time at McGinnis and will cherish it forever. No matter where you are on your horsemanship journey there is a place for you at McGinnis Meadows, as long as you are willing to try hard, fail harder, and remain humble while you do it all. 


2023 Working Intern

When you start out here at McGinnis Meadows, it may seem overwhelming in the beginning. All the different horse names, all the different pieces of pasture to study and understand, all the different guests to meet. One thing you quickly begin to realize is that you have a lot to learn. It was not an easy transition for me and I had to work to adjust to the needs of the ranch and find my role within it. The process of playing to your strengths and helping where you know you can is the best way to get your foot in the door.

The beautiful thing is that they are willing to stick with you and teach you the ropes. The situations you find yourself in will test all of your problems solving skills and will have you using your critical thinking skills to their fullest extent. No other place I’ve worked has had such a profound effect on me in such a short amount of time.

If you’re ready for the next evolution of your discipline, this is the perfect opportunity for you.


“Having been a guest at McGinnis Meadow Ranch since 2014, I knew long before I was able to be do it that I wanted to find a way to be an intern. Coming from Vancouver, BC, there’s very little influence of Buck’s horsemanship, and certainly no one that could teach me with the caliber, talent, and skill of Shayne, Des, Robbie and all of the other staff who have supported my horsemanship journey so far. I don’t have my own horses at home and I stopped riding with other trainers soon after I started coming to the ranch, which means that I go for long periods without any opportunity to practice. As a result, my progress is slower than it should be, and I’m often starting at square one with muscle memory when I come back, but all of those challenges are worth it to stay true to what I know is the only way to truly be honest and fair to the horses I feel so privileged to ride.

As an intern who was only able to spend 1 month in this role, I wanted to make sure I got the very most of out it. That meant no distractions, no visitors, and a 110% focus pretty much all day every day. Not only did have have the opportunity to ride 2-3 different horses per day, but I also got the chance to see the inner workings of the wranglers and the rest of the ranch. We were responsible for a myriad of tasks from maintaining the hospital, feeding and catching the horses, general barn maintenance, tacking horses, and supporting our guests in anything that they may need. As an intern, you will work hard, but you will also have the opportunity to get trained by Shayne, Des, and the team daily. I was able to put on average 6 hours of riding in per day.

If you want to get an unparalleled foundation for this style of horsemanship, there is no where else to go, or even consider. Aside for the sheer beauty of the location matched with a large herd of some of the most well-trained horses I have ever known, you will find a safe place to explore this style. It’s not easy, it requires focus, concentration, and a humble spirit, but it changed my life for the better and I know it will only continue to help be grow and improve, as long as I put in the work.”


“During my time backpacking in New Zealand in 2016, I visited one of Buck´s clinics for the first time. After 3 days of camping at the show grounds and being overwhelmed by this different style of riding, I decided to walk up to him and ask him where I could learn this kind of horsemanship. He immediately came up with one name – McGinnis Meadows. And so I applied for the internship program.
Half a year later I found myself working on this ranch in Montana. I felt like I had to start from scratch although I have been around horses since I was a kid. There were so many things that I heard for the first time and never even considered thinking about. This experience changed my whole perspective on horses and life in general.
This year in August I came back for another month. Shane had us do different exercises to get our horses balanced what reflected a lot in the horses´ expression. He also told us that it is important to ask for 10% more and measure if you got it – that was something I really struggled with. What amazes me is that the teachers at McGinnis Meadows are not only constantly working on improving their own horsemanship skills but also their teaching. With their help I had my best ride – galloping, stopping, doing cow turns and bringing my horse down to the trot and walk from the canter without touching the reins.One day we had a guest asking Shane how hard he had to think while riding? To show us what focus means, he had us calling out all the different adjustments we needed to make in order to do a certain movement. In the beginning it might have sounded silly talking to your own body but you would not believe the change in the riders and also their horses. I think I now understand what Buck meant when he said that people would be better off if they rode with 90% mental and 10% physical.
It is not only the horsemanship that made me come back but also the people. I enjoyed getting to know all the guests every week and I was happy to see some familiar faces. Doing chores with the other interns and wranglers turned into a lot of fun and it was nice to make some new friends.
McGinnis Meadows is a unique environment to work in, you could not ask for a better team, everybody is supportive and so passionate about what (s)he is doing. If you want a job that makes you fall into bed exhausted but completely satisfied – this is the place to be.
Thanks for this unforgettable experience!
Looking forward to riding with you again!”