The Highline Blog

Christmas season is finally here!

December 7, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 46

Sweet fuzzy Jesse

In the words of Kermit the Frog: “Tis the season to be jolly and joyous!” Merry Christmas everyone! In the midst of our good work here at the ranch, we are readily preparing for the holiday.

Anna’s latest creation <3

This week the crew has been working to take care of a variety of projects. For one, Emily, Janice, and I put together our Christmas gift promotion. We are all very excited about it; I can say from firsthand experience that all of the goodies we will be giving to you are delicious (someone had to test the batch right?). If you’re interested in our Christmas gifts or would like to know more about the goodies we are making feel free to go to the link:

Apart from that, everyone is busy with their projects. This week has been uncharacteristically warm so our crew is working to delimb the west pasture before the snow hits. In addition, Emily has been busy in the kitchen keeping us all well fed- its safe to say no one will go hungry this winter. As the winter goes on, more horses are being allowed to go barefoot which is a great relief to Anna and Scott. After keeping a full set of shoes on nearly every horse on the ranch all season, they are getting a nice break.

Kate helping with the chores

Brenda, too, is working busily on all of her chores. Our herd of fuzzy horses will forever be indebted to her for the devotion she has to them and the care, love, and attention she pours onto each one. Doctoring horses is more than a full time job; our ranch would be lost without Brenda. I am sure that all staff that love her and all guests that know her well would fully agree.

We found our tree!

As we continue to celebrate the early stages of the Christmas season, we decided to get ourselves a Christmas tree. Since we live in the forest it is not unlike living inside of a
Christmas tree farm all year round. So, off we went to find us a keeper. We went over Shayne’s mountain and Brenda led us to a spot that she had scouted out for us to find a good one.  Instead of coming home with one tree, we came home with three. One for the dining room for everyone to decorate and enjoy, one for Emily and Anna’s house, and a final little tiny tree for me to put up in the office. Once we had the tree we set to decorating! We named him Pete and we think he’s beautiful (we’re unbiased of course).

Trump looking skeptical 🙂

The snow should be falling for us soon which will complete the feeling of Christmas. I can hardly wait.

Stay warm. Stay safe. Merry Christmas!




My little office tree- her name is Gloria

All dressed up



Bob and Roanie- good ole boys

Gunner 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 30, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 45

Frozen whiskers!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

We had quite the finale this week as we wrapped up winter horsemanship for 2019, celebrated Thanksgiving, and prepared to say goodbye to many dear friends.

Kelly and Lyne <3

This week, we had a grand batch of guests come back and stay with us- all made substantial improvement this week in the riding intensive setting of winter horsemanship with Shayne; it was great to see! Ann and Erik brought their horses, Brandy and Buck, to ride while they were here.  It’s so special to see how much they are improving with their pretty ponies. Kelly and Lyne came back as well- both had been with us earlier in the season so it was great to welcome them back for the holiday. We also got to welcome back Amy, Nancy, Clive, Helen, and Richard, all of whom have grown to be very good friends to everyone here at McGinnis. Finally, Kevin’s mom, Bronwyn, was able to join us this week- Shayne could not be more delighted with the improvement that she has made.

The perfect setting for our Thanksgiving

Of course, since it is winter horsemanship, we spent all week studying- you guessed it- horsemanship. What a worthy and difficult endeavor. There is so much to learn, to study, to ponder and practice. But we have very good teachers in the horses that we have here at McGinnis Meadows. Their patience and gentleness is unparalleled.

The beginning of the feast

For our Thanksgiving feast, we all gathered in the dining room and, well, feasted. And then feasted some more. Our team in the kitchen really outdid themselves this year- Miriam, Emily, Ash, and Anna were miracle workers. We had two different turkeys, prime rib, homemade bread and rolls, and just about every fixin’ that you could ever want to have! So so nice… and delicious. To top it off, there were three different kinds of pie. Despite all the glorious food, my favorite part of the party was at the beginning. To start off the meal, we all had a moment of sharing while we prayed over our meal. Everyone around the table added to the prayer and thanked God for the best things in their lives; it was a really special time.

By next week our staff numbers will be dwindling; Ash, Miriam, Roby, Shayne, and Des will all be heading out for the winter. Very soon Scott will be headed out as well. And finally, Janice will be going away for a couple of weeks for her vacation- I don’t know what I will do without her- it will be very quiet up here in the office. Here’s to hoping and praying that all of our friends travel safely and return back home refreshed and ready for another season.

Ann and her mare, Brandy. We’re so proud of them!

Thanks to everyone, all of our new and old friends, for the great year we had. It is a joy to have you ride with us.

Stay tuned next week for winter shenanigans

Happy trails,



Trouble looking to get inside by the fire

Kelly, Lyne, and Amy… (and Erik :))

Bronwyn on Dude

Clive riding home after a successful day of horsemanship

No explanation necessary

Reunions, Birthdays, and Holidays to Come

November 23, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 44

Flora and Rachel heading to horsemanship

Howdy everyone,

As we venture further and further into our winter horsemanship season, I am quickly gaining an understanding of what all the hype is about. This is my first season being able to participate in winter horsemanship- there are so many reasons that it is a special opportunity. Riding in Shayne’s large new arena it creates the perfect environment for rider and horse to particularly focus on what is being taught. Secondly, everything changes when you are surrounded by particularly like-minded individuals; this fosters a real sense of community and camaraderie among all of the riders.

Karmen working on impulsion and bend with Jasper

We had a smaller group of guests this week: Lynn was with us for the beginning of the week and Norbert stayed over from the 8-day clinic last week. This week we also got to welcome back our very dear friend Karmen who has been here with us as an intern before.


This week has been special for other reasons too. Rachel and Yaz both came home! It hasn’t been the same around here without them. We’re so glad to have the chance to ride and work and laugh with them again. For just a bit of fun one night, they pulled out their hair straightener and curling iron and went to work on the boy’s shaggy heads. Kevin had his hair straightened and Scott had his curled. Caleb had the good sense to steer clear of the whole deal- it was all so much fun.

Also, this week Emily came home! She went home for six weeks and is now back to stay for the winter- she will be our chef all winter while Miriam is away. From the sheer amounts of delicious food she has made for us in the past, I am sure that we will all be well fed this winter.

Everyone enraptured over Shayne’s demonstration

In horsemanship we have been working a lot on energy at the walk, leg-yielding, and attaining proper flexion in our horses. On Thursday afternoon, after warming up all of the horses and without a direction, everyone started to fall in line behind Shayne and Des as they went single file around the arena. It was really cool to see; everyone in an ant line, leg yielding, changing direction, and making transitions. After that, Shayne picked up his canter so every body else followed suit. At one point everyone, about 12 people, were cantering around the arena with proper spacing and on the correct lead- to top it off we were all cantering with the reins in only one hand. It was amazing!

Shayne and Cooley

Following this opportunity to move the horses out, we worked a lot on very quietly attaining proper flexion in our horses. It was a beautiful sight: all the horses moving around the arena with softness. The arena was silent because of how lightly the horses were stepping as they were ridden in balance. The whole of the afternoon was wonderful because of Shayne’s ability to match the exercises to the needs of all of the horses.

Our fearless leaders!

Thursday of this week was Des’ birthday! I love being able to celebrate birthdays with people because it is a great opportunity to be intentionally grateful for them- to take a moment and really reflect on how blessed you are to have them in your life. I know I can speak for all staff and interns here at the ranch when I say that the place would not be the same without her; her devotion and sincerity are unparalleled. She is industrious, she is clever, she is kind. Finally, she is constantly pushing all of us to be better. I am so grateful to have someone like her to look up to in this worthy journey of horsemanship.

Gotta love Chief

Next week we will have a great celebration for Thanksgiving! I am excited for many reasons, one of which being that I have always loved Thanksgiving at home with my family so it will be a delight to be able to celebrate with the family I have found here at the ranch. In addition to it being our Thanksgiving week, next week is also our last week of the season. It is a little bit surreal to be ending; the past couple of months seem to have flown right by.

Until next time, Friends.

Happy trails,


Photographs don’t do this view justice

Janice and Cheech

Dusty taking advantage of the soft bed and sunshine

Kevin and Chalkeye

Shayne demonstrating ‘the holy grail’ with Julio




Eight Days of Enlightenment


November 16, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 43

Greetings everyone,

When I asked our guests who just participated in the MMR eight day horsemanship clinic what the highlight was for them, I heard after a moment of thought, “ Well, everything!”   Each guest had the same answer, which was pretty cool to hear.

The weather has been nice enough still that we can ride over to the new arena. Very refreshing!

They worked really hard from day one to study a feel and what their horse was thinking. It was probably one of the best sessions in terms of study, that I have been witness to since I have been at the ranch.

Staff and interns were able to take time out from our normal daily activities to ride with Shayne, Des and the guests and it was awesome! Speaking for myself, I learned more these past two weeks, or I should say I absorbed more, than I have in a long time. There has been a lot of discussion about what it takes to make a change. The first thing to realize is that the change has to be made within ourselves, before we ever can think about changing our horses. THIS is the hard part! Once you find a way to do that, everything else begins to fall into place.

Guests had a lot of fun working on getting their horses balanced, and moving them out. Tina gained a ton of confidence while cantering. This has been a personal goal for her and by the end of the clinic, she was cantering all over the arena and bringing Booker back to the trot and walk in a soft feel.

Tina and Booker in horsemanship- the mirrors are a fabulous tool to study body position and movement

Ann rode her mare Brandy and Shayne couldn’t say enough about how far they have come together. Brandy was a challenge in her earlier years but you would never know it watching the two of them go through progressions, walk, trot, canter transitions, and the 180 exercise. Brandy was so relaxed during the demo’s that Ann had to keep walking her around so she didn’t doze off!

Norbert has been coming to the ranch for years, but something in his riding changed this time. He was riding much more relaxed and really waiting on his horses to turn loose to him. Same for Ray…Ray has his young colt Dusty here in training, but he wanted to ride a ranch horse so he could feel what things should be like on a more advanced snaffle bit horse. He rode both Catman and Jasper in away that they were reaching for him and feeling of him and it was very cool to see the evolution in his riding.

Lynn G. joined us again and she got to work more on her progressions leading up to the canter, and then cantering diagonals, straight lines and circles. Lynn has made a ton progress in her riding over the past year, and this eight day clinic really solidified several aspects. She and Norbert must have had fun riding because they are both staying to ride with us next week :-).

Shayne and Des really did a great job of coaching all of us through any trouble spots we were having and also to work on things that would bring us each to the next level. This eight day clinic came right on the heels of Buck’s Whitefish clinic and I have to think that they were a little worn from being on the go—but you’d never know it because their focus level just doesn’t change. This is perhaps the best lesson to be learned. Caleb, our newest intern, demonstrated that he can focus quite well. After only eight days of riding with us, his seat changed dramatically and his horses were moving out and looking happy.

Ash and Anna- Banana

We also welcomed back Roby this week after his stint on the road with Buck and he will be here until the ranch goes on ‘vacation’ for the months of December and January. There are still spots open for winter horsemanship in 2020- we will reopen Feb 16th and the program runs through Mid April. If you are serious about improving not only your riding, but the understanding behind what your horse is thinking, you’ll want to check it out.

Happy Trails,


Lenny, what a handsome boy!

Ray and Catman, feeling of each other.

Whirlwind Days at McGinnis Meadows Ranch!

November 9, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 42

This past week at MMR was a whirlwind!

Buck riding Eddie in the two rein

Buck returned to Whitefish, MT to teach his Horsemanship 2 and Cow working/roping classes at Standing Heart Ranch. This is a special invitational clinic sponsored by Shayne and Dave Gamble, and one of the most advanced in the country that Buck does. I was able to attend to audit along with our intern Maddie. What a treat! There is always so much to observe and learn watching Buck ride Eddie and his green colt Manny. Shayne, Des and Roby all represented MMR in the clinic and it was equally fun watching them.

Eddie reaching for Manny and Manny giving back

I’m already looking forward to next year’s clinic which will be held in July, following our ranch clinics. If this is something you would be interested in seeing stay tuned for more info or contact me at

We arrived back to the ranch on Thursday just in time to welcome our new guests coming in for the 8 day horsemanship clinic! We have 8 guests and interns participating, plus our wranglers and so far it has been amazing. Shayne has everyone really bearing down on the progressions to take a horse through each day, and being sure to move up through the checklist to test things out. Moving back down the list is equally important if there are spots that need to be worked on.

Ann and her horse Brandy

The study never gets any less. The better the rider’s timing and feel get, the crisper the movements become. For me, this doesn’t come easy but each day I work on studying the horse’s feet, my body position and how soft I can pick up on them each time. My brain hurts by the end of the day but in a good way…and the horses really like it!

The rest of the ranch continues to operate in winter prep mode. We welcomed in our new ranch hand Jon last week and he has already been a big help. We also welcomed Caleb, who is from Libby and will be interning with us through the month of November. In just two days his riding has already improved significantly, and he is very focused student.

Winter horsemanship here at the ranch is really quite special. There are a few spots remaining in Feb- April, so if you want to get a jump on your spring riding, or are curious to see what it is all about, give us a call or email us at and we will be happy to tell you all about it!

Have a great week ahead,


What a fun group!

Shayne and Julio showing us a good walk

Maddie getting some attention from Dusty

Flora riding Nigel

Caleb and Trump

Sue’s cousin made us some cookies- they are pretty amazing! Too pretty to unwrap 🙂

Winter Vibe at McGinnis Meadows


November 2, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 41


We are starting to feel the change in the season here at the ranch. Yes, it has been cold and you know that winter is coming, but even more so, the vibe that the ranch takes on this time of year is very special in its own way. The quietness, more relaxed pace and an intensive focus on raising our riding abilities seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Fall colors are still vibrant!

Staff has really been focused on taking advantage of the clear weather to finish cleaning up the pastures, tend to the remaining burn piles, vehicle winterizing and everything else that goes along with preparation for whatever Mother Nature will bring us.

The horses are getting fuzzier each day it seems- already I have to do a double take with some of them as their colors change with the addition of their newly grown hair.

Many of them have had their front shoes pulled and soon their hinds will be barefoot and too. They are not the only ones getting ready- Trouble, Lily and Sophie our well loved ranch kitties, are fluffing up quite a bit as too. They welcome the attention this time of year and as always Trouble is quick on

the draw when he sees a guest with an open door to their cabin- or the lodge for that matter!

We had Nancy and Jodi here with us this week as first timers learning this style of horsemanship. Nancy has been riding much of her life with quite a bit of experience in dressage and English riding. Jodi is new to having horses in her life and came to the ranch excited to learn as much as she could. Both could not have been better students. I had the opportunity to work with them a lot this week in horsemanship and boy was it fun!  The difference in ability level, actually fueled the learning curve and it was a very productive week. We often say that beginners learn quite fast because they have no bad habits. It sure seems to be true and Jodi was no exception. She studied hard, and her seat improved dramatically over the course of the week. She even cantered on Mighty and Bob before the week was out! Nancy worked equally as hard to make some shifts in her seat position and how she used her body while riding. She got along famously with Booker all week and had him really looking soft and willing. Nancy liked this style of riding so much that she has already made plans to visit us again on Thanksgiving and several times next year. We can’t wait to see her again!

Nemo looking good as the herd gets jingled out.

Shayne and Des are packing up as I write this to leave for Whitefish for Buck’s final US clinic of the season. It is the most advanced clinic he holds and always a great one to audit. We’ll also get to see Roby again- he has been on the road with Buck and of course will be at this clinic as well. Maddie and I are beyond excited to be able to audit the clinic and we’ll be sure to give everyone a full report upon our return 🙂

Just a reminder, we still have some space available for the winter horsemanship program in Feb- April. Give us a call if you want to join us for a memorable learning experience. 406-293-5000, or email

Happy Trails,


Nancy on Booker doing the loose rein exercise


Jodi and Mighty

Bye Bye Bovines

October 26, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 41

Howdy folks,

Happy trails, Boys!

What a monumental week we have had at McGinnis Meadows 🙂

Foremostly, our herd of steers left the ranch on Wednesday. With great circumstance and celebration the entirety of the herd were brought up to the corrals for a final time in the scales. Once through the scales, they were all inspected by our brand inspector and prepared to be shuttled onto the truck. After watching over these boys and working with them all summer long it was a bit of a sad moment to see them all packed up and moving away.

The team moving the steers into the scale

However, there is consolation in the knowledge that these steers had the best life they could have possibly had. For a whole season they were given freedom to roam over our many mountains and meadows surrounding the ranch. We had a great season with them and are happy to report that all 218 head completed the season healthy and sound.

Some of our pumpkins 🙂

Following the departure of our steers, all of the staff around here had a bit of celebration after work. The activity: pumpkin carving! Anna and Ash invited everyone over to carve pumpkins at their house. Afterward we watched a movie. In the midst of our busy days it gave us all a good time and some fun laughs.

For the rest of the week it is all hands on deck as we prepare the ranch for the winter transition. Anna, Ash, Kevin, Scott, Brenda, and Maddie are all working very hard to prepare the winter pasture. They are going through and delimbing a lot of trees and clearing away the brush to ensure that when the horses go in that pasture for the winter time they will be safe.  Other projects around the ranch include closing down the saddling barn and taking down our big white tent.

Nancy and Paco

Up in the office this week, Janice and I have the great opportunity to work with our accountant, Nancy. She is visiting for the week and has been exceedingly helpful in streamlining some of our policies and procedures to make everyone’s stay the best it can be.

As we are moving further into winter horsemanship, a lot of the horses are being changed from a full set of shoes to a half set. They will have front shoes until a bit later in the year when many of them will go barefoot. Anna and Scott, our farrier extraordinaires, could not be more delighted. After keeping our herd well shod and sound all season they will get a bit of a break.

Maddie and Janice jingling out the herd

I am going to take a moment for a little bit of staff recognition. Anna-Bananna is a very dear friend to everyone here at the ranch. She is the hardest worker you will find and is exceedingly dedicated to the excellence of her trade. In a very real sense she binds us all together; her generosity, thoughtfulness, and aptitude for laughter make her priceless.

Well, everyone, next week we’ll be back to a bit more horsemanship as we dive into our winter program! Yayayaya! Stay tuned for the tid bits of wisdom that will inevitably follow as we soak in all that Shayne and Des are teaching.

Happy trails,



End of season, new beginnings!


October 19, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 40

Greetings everyone!

This week we had a mix of fantastic horsemanship combined with lots of cattle work. We had a small but very fun group with five returning guests and one first timer.

Calvary- Working on accuracy and precision! Lorie, Janice, David and Carolyn.

Michele came to us from the east coast and stated that she was a beginner rider. Well, she really dived into this horsemanship and she made so many improvements this week. Carolyn and David returned and continued to focus on improving their riding skills. Carolyn in particular, made great progress towards gaining confidence horseback.

Lorie and her sweet mare Tilly joined us again as well. Lorie has done a fabulous job with Tilly starting her several years ago. We always love to see their progress each time they return. Carol also joined us again after a visit last summer- she got to ride her fav, Chief again! Each of them were such good students, not to mention loads of fun!

Carol and Twizzle moving the boys

I was lucky enough to be able to teach several horsemanship classes this week, one of my favorite things to do here at MMR. I’ve learned so much from Shayne, Des and Roby about progressions and teaching effectively. It is really rewarding to help folks see the possibilities not only within themselves, but within the horses too.

We covered a lot of ground (in more ways than one!), and worked our way through lots of walk, trot, walk, stop transitions working from their seat, cow turns, backing, soft feel and balancing exercises. The highlight is always the Calvary exercise! Here you need to think on the fly while maintaining proper balance and position in horse and rider. Riding to music during this exercise is an added bonus!

Cattle + scenery. Can’t beat that!

You know for sure the seasons are changing when we are getting focused on sending off the cattle. Next Wednesday we will say goodbye, and in the meantime they are contentedly munching on lots of quality hay and mineral. Like the horses, they also provide us with many learning opportunities. Driving and sorting cattle at MMR is all about keeping stress on them to a minimum. It requires using your mind more than your physical strength’s. Knowing where to position your horse, how little pressure to put on the steers and when you need to step it up—without getting steers bothered. I’ve learned a lot this season and look forward to sharing this info with all of our future guests!

Kevin, Scott and Anna have been managing many of the ranch hand duties, delimbing the new pastures, getting vehicles winterized, and general maintenance. Willy has been working his magic with the excavator, scraping clean all the holding pens, and the driveway now has a new layer of dirt to smooth it out.

Another rainbow!

In a few weeks the herd will return to the winter pasture but for now they are still in the North piece eating all of the hay that was left uncut! There’s been so many colors this week, from trees to rainbows and sunsets and sunrises!

Our staff responsibilities all change a bit this time of year. It give us a chance to become more well rounded with ranch and general work. You can never have too many skill sets!

Michelle has been heading up our housekeeping this season and will be leaving us tomorrow. We are happy to report that she will return next season. It is wonderful to have her around and we are looking forward to seeing her back here. She intends to spend a lot of quality time with her family back in NY during her time at home. Ahna and Ash will be helping in housekeeping until we close in December, so be sure to thank them when you see them.

We’ll also be missing Des riding the next couple of weeks as she just had surgery yesterday and will need to take just a couple of weeks off of riding- nothing serious thankfully, but she will need to rest for bit. Knowing Des and how active she is, we suspect Shayne will have his hands full keeping her in check :-). We are looking forward to seeing her back in the saddle and send good thoughts her way to wish her a speedy recovery.

It won’t be long now before Anna Banana and Scott start pulling shoes off of the horses in preparation for the snow to come 🙂  (Yes, I am looking forward to xc skiing and if our winter guests want to bring some gear with them I am always up for teaching a lesson or two!) As you can imagine, life at the ranch this time of year seems to be just as busy as our peak summer season, and we love it!

Lastly, but not least- we wish Roby BEST of LUCK roping at the Pro-Am!

Full moon over meadow

We look forward to seeing those of you who have signed up for a winter session. If you haven’t yet, I highly encourage you to think about it. There is nothing else like it for digging deep into this style of horsemanship.

Happy trails,


Jasper! Such a handsome boy.

Wow! So much color this week!

The gang! Michele, Maddie, David, Carolyn, Lorie and Carol

Cattle and more cattle

4 Before 12

October 13, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 39

Well hello everyone,

What a week we have had here at the ranch! Productive? No doubt about it. Exhausting? Perhaps. Absolutely fantastic? You better believe it!

Amy and Scott

This week was chalked full of old friends with whom it is wonderful to reminisce and get to know better as well as new friends that offered such great variety and joy to our week. We got to welcome back Trent and Julie as well as Kathleen and Brian who are not strangers to the happenings on the ranch. In addition, Amy and Scott were able to stay for another week! All of these wonderful people are no longer guests but are considered members of our little family here at McGinnis Meadows.

Li, PC, and Mike

We also got to welcome a great group from China! They were delightful. And they did everything- a lot of horsemanship, cattle drives, trail rides, groundwork, and roping! While it is always challenging when there is a difference in language between groups of people, we all got along very well and had a great time. We are sincerely hoping that they will come back for another visit.

Mike moving steers across the meadow

This week was the last week of our fall gather as we tracked down and moved all of the steers back down the mountain and to the Belgarde pasture. At the top of the week we had 11 steers left on Davis Mountain. The week got off to a great start as seven steers were found on Monday and moved to the Belgarde. Only four lonely little fellas remained. Keep in mind that Davis Mountain is approximately 7000 acres so finding these boys could prove difficult. Our teams set out regardless with high hopes and expectations of success. We searched on Tuesday and found nothing. We searched on Wednesday and found nothing. Thursday was going to be our day! Kathleen came up with our mantra for the day “4 before 12” which meant we would find the four last steers before 12:00 because it was so bitterly cold that everyone was just a bit anxious to be back cozy in front of a fireplace. Well, on Thursday we found nothing. But we were yet determined! After setting out of Friday there was great rejoicing over the face of the mountain when Roby called over his radio that he had found the steers everyone was looking for. His call came through at 12:35. It was decided that we could still hold fast to our motto from the day before- even though it was technically 24 hours past its expiration date.

Sue and Sprocket

With the finale of this week comes the ending of many things here at McGinnis Meadows. Our fall gather is over as all of our steers are now off of the mountain. Our peak season is over as it gives way to fall and winter horsemanship. And finally, many of our people are moving away. This past week we have said goodbye to Alyssa, Emily, and Yaz. Tomorrow we are saying goodbye to Rachel and Michelle is leaving next week. However, for all of these lovely ladies there is a joy in knowing they will be returning in the spring. But for one very dear individual it is a bit of a longer farewell. Sue is moving away. She is going back to California to start a beautiful life with her husband, and, of course, she is taking her horse Rowdy with her.  To know Sue is to love her. She will be dearly missed by everyone back here at the ranch and as she is going away she takes with her the promise that she is always welcome back home.

Here comes the winter

With that, I will bring this highline to a close. Next week will bring many great lessons in horsemanship- we’re diving deeper into our horsemanship program as we head towards winter!

Happy trails,





Beautiful colors!

PC and Dandy

“Roping dummy” gets a whole new meaning when you start trying to rope one another

Anna and Scott hard at work



Gotta weigh ’em all!

October 5, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 38

Well Howdy Folks,

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Our fall gather has continued to be a great time of learning and growth.

At the top of this week we got a taste of the coming winter as the ranch was covered with a blanket of snow. Everywhere you looked was just completely covered with snow leaving the entire ranch looking clean and quiet.

The Mahaffey family in horsemanship

Starting on Monday, while the snow persisted, everyone huddled in Shayne’s newly built indoor arena for horsemanship. Everyone that rode this week improved exponentially through their time in the arena and then were able to apply their skill while riding out and moving cattle.

Curtis and Paco

Carl and Wayne stayed with us for another week and we got to welcome back our wonderful friends Amy, Scott, and Chad. In addition, we got to ride with some other great guests! Jack and Verena came from Tennessee and were the biggest help moving cattle. In addition, Curtis, Larry, Deb, and the Mahaffey family were all great! They learned so much and helped us to move so many steers. Finally, we cannot forget Barb and Diane; Barb knows Shayne from Buck clinics many years ago and brought Diane along with her for a visit to the ranch.

This week at Graze we continued to gather our herd of steers off of Davis mountain and bring them back to the ranch. We would gather them from Davis mountain and put them in the Elk Creek pasture overnight. The next day a group would bring them all the way from Elk Creek back to the ranch to be weighed and then brought to the Belgarde pasture where they are currently residing where they have plenty of tall grass to munch.

Wayne and Chief in the scale house weighing steers

Friday was the grand finale to our week. Here’s what happened: we weighed and reweighed all the steers. We all quickly learned that when Roby says, “Lets take ‘em all.” He means that we will be taking them all, weighing them all, and returning them all safely before the day is through. Long day! But of course, it was a good day 🙂

Verena moving cattle across the meadow

At the time we had 147 steers in the Belgarde pasture, 25 steers on their way back to the ranch from Elk Creek, and 6 head in a pasture behind Shayne’s arena. Everything needed to be weighed. First, we brought the six head from Shayne’s over to the scale and then scooted over to the Belgarde to bring in the bulk of the herd.  We brought them into the middle pasture in front of the lodge and would cut off groups of 20-30 head to be brought up to the scales at one time.  As one team brought the steers up to the scale, another team would be ready to take the freshly weighed steers back to their pasture. It was a huge production! But we did it all! It’s safe to say that everyone earned their dessert that night!

At this point we only have a few steers left on Davis Mountain. Only 18! The hunt will continue next week as we try to get those last stragglers back home. Hopefully they won’t be too much trouble to find- however, in a mountain pasture that covers approximately 7000 acres, there are quite a few places that they could hide! But that’s just what makes it all the more rewarding when we find them.

Carl and Anna C. after a good day on Davis mountain

Well, I suppose that’s all I’ve got for this week. Hope everyone has a safe and happy start to their October!

Happy trails,





Riding off into the sunset

Verena and Brumby

Barb, Diane, and Carl enjoying the snow

Jack and Bob

Staying warm in the indoor arena and getting ready for a trotting exercise

Max and Chief

Clay on Dually, Terri on Roanie, and Curtis on Paco at the lookout

Boone <3