July 13, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 26

Howdy friends,

Clem getting his horse Clover to hook onto the steers

This week at the ranch we dove headfirst into horsemanship… but with a twist. We practiced cutting! As some of you might recall, Hall of Fame cutting horse trainer, Doug Jordan did a private clinic at the ranch last month.  Shayne and Des have been working hard to incorporate everything learned into getting their personal and ranch horses much more “hooked on” to the cattle and on the cutting machine.  Shayne wanted to be sure he was not only able to get his riding horses better, but he also needed to be able to teach his best version to our interns and to our guests so that we could get the entire herd more “cowy.”

This week, Shayne and Des put all of their hard work to the test and incorporated guests and interns into the cattle and cutting flag program.  We must have rotated through at least 40 guest horses!  When it comes to cutting, Doug says you know you are on the right track when you are doing less and your horse is doing more on his own.  You don’t demand that the horse hook onto a cow, you suggest it via pressure and release and in no time, the horses figure out the game and start hooking on and cutting on cattle because it’s actually the most peaceful thing to do!  It’s amazing what these animals can do when we simply get out of their way.

Jane and Terry out at the State Section

To join us in our fun this week we had the beloved Binninger family who brought their personal horses along for the adventure. We always have a wonderful time with this handy family and they picked up the cow working really quickly. We also had with us again this week Jane and Terry Lynch who were game for anything we threw at them; this week they worked in the arena to learn cutting and also rode out for full day rides to check on cattle and explore the country. Terry was even so kind as to teach me how to fly fish this week! He is a great teacher 🙂

Madi and Mighty 🙂

And not to be forgotten is our friend, Madi! This week she visited the ranch as Des’ apprentice to learn horsemanship and cattle work. We all had a great time with her! She is quickly improving in her riding ability- more than once wranglers had to tell her to slow down because she was cantering with such gusto around the arena! And to think she’s only 11 years old! Madi was also a great helper this week and was eager to be of assistance in whatever capacity she was able. In fact, she excitedly offered to help write the highline this week! Please enjoy this excerpt by Madi about her adventures here at McGinnis Meadows:

This week I was an apprentice of Des. I learned a lot from her and had fun along the way. I learned a lot about working cows and getting the horses straight and soft in a circle. I rode two horses this week, Mighty on Monday and Tuesday, and Boone on Thursday and Friday. Mighty was a very forward horse. He was easy to ride and had a very nice gallop. Boone was a good horse as well. He wasn’t as forward as Mighty, but I did get him to trot and canter multiple times. Boone also did very well on the cutting ball for his first time. I also got him to hook on to the steers. He did a very nice job and would want to follow them everywhere. On Wednesday, we did not ride, but we did some pretty fun things instead. For example, a group of people rode up Shayne’s mountain and saw some beautiful sights and some cattle. Another group rode through the state piece and checked on steers, water tanks, and mineral tubes. I went with Janice and some of the interns to Horseshoe Lake. We rode paddleboards and kayaks around the lake and Josie and I jumped into the middle of a little cove. We also saw a little tiger Muskie swimming around a sand bar out in the middle of the lake. We had a great time there. The wranglers I stayed with were really nice and caring, even though they might have sent me to the lake without sunscreen or almost forgot me at the ranch one night 🙂

Trouble- majestic as ever 😉

As we head into the upcoming week, everyone here at the ranch is working hard to prepare for the arrival of Buck Brannaman. We are confident that everything will be wonderful for the clinics: the horses are ready for their guests, the ranch overall is being given an extra shine to ensure pristine accommodations, and, of course, Miriam has planned out extravagant and exceedingly delicious meals for us all to enjoy at the end of the day.

Well, folks, that’s everything for now! Stay tuned for the tails of our adventures with Buck this week!

Happy trails,



Jupiter and Jasper more than curious to meet Anna’s dog, Junie!

Intern Alyssa and Dude demonstrating a soft feel

The Binninger family riding out!

 Yaz hard at work

The steers: quiet and calm after a day of working