July 20, 2019, Volume 14, Issue 27
Hey there everyone,
The anticipation has been mounting and finally the time has come. Buck Brannaman is with us here at McGinnis Meadows Ranch once again for his annual July clinics. I am sure you all are familiar with the feeling of Christmas morning- right before everyone gathers around the tree to exchange gifts and sip steamy cups of coffee there is a great feeling of anticipation and quiet excitement for what the day could bring. Welcome to Buck week here at McGinnis Meadows! The feeling that consumed the ranch before the start of the clinic on Wednesday morning was just the same- everyone a little bit giddy and a little bit nervous as they waited for the gift of learning from our accomplished teacher.
Once the clinic started in earnest, guests each morning started with a short demonstration ride given by Buck on one of his three horses that he brought with him; it was fascinating to see the progression of education exemplified through each of his horses. Buck’s colt, Manny, was still very green and before coming to McGinnis Meadows had not worked cattle. A bit more experienced was Buck’s next horse, Finn. Although Finn is still green he is further along and more accustomed to the demands of a snaffle bit horse. Finally, everyone was given the chance to watch Buck ride Eddie who is currently working in the two-rein. Through each of his horses, Buck demonstrated the importance of consistency; although the movements asked of the horses and precision with which they are performed may vary as the horse advances in his education, the consistency and promptness with which Buck asked each of them was noticeable.
Joining us for our first Buck week this year were a great group of old friends as well as some fresh new faces. Marcus and Stormy came back all the way from Germany for their 4thBuck week. Stormy is the artist behind many of our most treasured photographs- her eye and timing to capture beautiful moments is a great gift. We also got to welcome back Gail, Kevin, Anne-Catherine, and Ruth to name a few! It was a wonderful reunion of friends. Quickly welcomed into the family were our first-time guests Samantha and Zoe, Tim and Ruth, as well as Margaret, Eileen and Senta. After speaking with our guests this week and hearing their take on what they had garnered from the clinic, every one without fail gave me the response that their eyes were opened to what they needed to work on in themselves and with their own horses. The ranch horses they were riding for the clinic performed with excellence as they were entrusted to carry the guests through the days of horsemanship and cattle working; as the guests improved their skills, the horses responded in kind and everyone had a great experience in identifying their strengths and weaknesses.
Before the start of the clinic this week, the guests got an opportunity to ride out and help the wranglers and interns move the steers from the State section where they were then living over to the next mountain, McKillop Pasture. With the help of Roby and Buck’s assistant, Isaac, we were able to move over 100 head! We all had a lot of fun working together!
Overall, this week was a lingering delight- every moment of every day was the perfect chance to learn from Buck, our horses and each other. There is no better gift than to be allowed to be present in this environment and to share it with friends. The feeling of Christmas carried itself throughout the entirety of the clinic; as everyone heads home it is as if bidding farewell to family with promises of seeing one another at the next holiday. I hope you can join us for our little Christmas-in-July next year 🙂
Stay tuned for more about the second week of Buck clinics starting on Monday!