These two pictures were taken in the same location just under two weeks apart on McGinnis Meadows Road. It amazes me how quickly nature can change; circumstances can change and the unexpected appears. So far this winter, besides a cold snap, it has been rather mild up here in northwest Montana. 

No matter how technologically savvy our society becomes, we cannot create what nature withholds, nor can we push back what nature brings. It might be a drought year here at the ranch this spring and summer, so preparation and planning will be of the utmost importance. Of the many things I respect and admire about working at McGinnis Meadows Ranch is the attention to detail and insistence upon preparation- for known and unknown challenges that may lie ahead. 

Some changes to our herd have also taken place over the last few months. As much as we wish our horses could work at the ranch forever, there are a few this year that need a change of pace. I wrote up some words below to introduce them to you and to share them with you.

Those that have been to our ranch know that our horses go through extensive training before they are able to be included in the guest string. Each horse, no matter the size, breed or training background, is required to pass a series of tests such as being able to move cattle, being able to cut cattle, being steady with a swinging rope, and taking care of guests whether in the arena or up in the mountains. 

Once the horses graduate to the guest string, they serve loyally and thrive on attention and companionship. The life of a ranch horse out here in the mountains can wear down even the best equine athletes. Some of our string just need some easier miles as they age. This year, we have four horses that are in this category. We could continue to keep them in our herd, but they no longer would get the stimulation and attention that they crave—our horses LOVE to have a job. So, as much as we love each and every horse, we would like to find a forever, solid and committed home for each of these four beloved friends. 

Each of these horses would be great for light trail riding or being a good teacher to a young beginner or even in an easy lesson program. They make great companions in a herd and great babysitters to younger horses as well. These horses aren’t necessarily giveaways. They still have a lot of life in them and are worth their weight in gold.

If you are searching for a well-educated, kind, light riding horse, please email Des Sides at She will be able to give you specific details on their breed, age and veterinary needs.