October 13, 2018 – Volume 13 – Issue 39

This was the last week of Peak season and as we head into our horsemanship weeks, it has us reflecting on what a great season it has been. But more on that later…

Here they are!

Being a working cattle ranch, there was a lot to do this week and our guests were game to jump right in. Some had no previous cattle experience and by Wednesday they were able to head to Davis mountain to partake in a successful hunt for cattle.

Shelly, Roby and the girls

Some of the jobs that were done this week included finding the remaining 14 steers that eluded us over 7000+ acres; there were also steers that had to be moved from the Elk Creek holding pasture to the ranch, and the ones already on the ranch had to be checked on and weighed! In total 224 head were driven in some form or fashion, and we even had several unexpected visitors. A neighboring ranch’s cows and calves found there way to the ranch and our wrangler Scott noticed them on the other side of the fence in the Belgard pasture one morning. When all was said and done, they were gathered and their owners retrieved them a couple of days later!

Adrienne and Twizzle




The colors are spectacular right now both on the ranch and up higher,. The mix of the golden hay with the yellows and greens of the Aspen and Larch trees, is stunning. We even had our first appearance of snow on the mountain two mornings this week. As I glanced out the window a few minutes ago I was surprised to see it snowing quite hard- it has since stopped and the sun Is back out. Next week is forecast to be back in the high 50’s and sunny! We’ll take it 🙂

14 guests arrived at the ranch on Sunday with most of them being first timers. We had folks visiting from the Midwest, California, Washington, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, New Mexico and New Zealand! Not only did they hunt for, drive, sort and weigh cattle, they learned to rope, got to observe the nuances of shoeing, had an afternoon of in-depth groundwork, and did some trail riding in the midst of the peak color.

Amanda on Cheech and Kathy on Nigel

Shelly and her family came to visit, with Shelly keen on riding her two horses who have been in training here for several months. She was joined by her three kids, Madeline, Angelina and Isabella, and her mother in law Laurie. The kids were a pleasure to be around and they are quite the riders already! Laurie (who has not ridden before), even tried her hand at it on Monday- she did great!

Intern Rachel out on a crisp and colorful morning

Kathleen and Brian stayed for a second week, and Kathleen is hooked on enough at this point, that she will be coming back in two weeks to do a month long internship! We are excited for her to have this opportunity and really look forward to having her at the ranch.

Kathy, a long time visitor, joined us again and was able to visit with her horse Romeo (also here for training). Kathy focused on riding ranch horses during her visit so she can continue to really dial in her horsemanship and be able to offer her best to Romeo when she takes him home next spring. Her favorite was Nigel, a cute chestnut who is new to the guest string this season.

With all the cattle off the mountain, Dave and Nathan were busy taking down the panels from Davis Grazing allotment, where we sometimes had put steers that needed to be brought in for doctoring. Adrienne has been very busy cleaning up the limbs from what will soon be the horse herd winter pasture.

Scott and Anna have also been busy doing a variety of different things, including continuing their shoeing education with Nathan and Randy. Scott has been jingling in the horses each morning for the latter part of the season, and I think he is happy that they now have an 8 am ETA to be brought into the holding corrals- it stays dark longer now and it is always a plus to be able to see where you are riding. Just another sign that winter will be here before you know it!

Marsha and everyone’s favorite, Bandit!

As for the reflections I alluded to earlier, this peak season has been filled with the opportunity to meet many great people who spend their vacations with us. It is amazing how friendships can blossom within one week. We were blessed with no nearby fires that caused us any anxiety, even though the season was a dry one. The rains have started coming with more frequency now and for that we are grateful

The team here at McGinnis really had fun all season and worked hard to ensure that horses stayed happy and healthy, guest’s expectations were not only met but exceeded, and they expanded their horizons doing different things on the ranch. Sue did a great job out at graze this summer, along with Jenna, Brenda, Scott and Roby –yes, even Roby got to ride out this year, (usually he is riding client horses in the arena) and he made the most of it. Anna and Scott, as you know, have also been learning a new trade as farriers and they are coming along really well. While we are sad to see this part of the season end, we are very excited to be delving into a focus of horsemanship now. If you would like more as well, or want to check it out for the

Trudi and Amigo

first time, we have a few spots available for winter horsemanship. As long as the weather holds here, we will continue to ride outside- this upcoming week looks stellar! And thinking ahead, Thanksgiving week is really special at the ranch. Ride in horsemanship all day, everyday, and come in on Thanksgiving for a home cooked meal with all the trimmings made by Miriam :-).  Just two spots remaining for that week…Give me a call for more information or to reserve a spot. Space is limited. (406) 293-5000. info@mmgranch.net

Until next week,

Can’t beat this view

Heading home


Brian, Adrienne and Kathleen taking in the color