Hi, my name is Brooklynn!
I do not come from an extensive background in the horse world, and only began my journey into the horse world around two years ago. I was super excited and nervous to apply for the intern tryouts. Having no experience with roping or cattle, I knew the stakes were going to be high, and the chances of being accepted to try out were very slim. Despite my lack of qualifications, I took the leap of faith because I just knew the experience would be worth any discomfort – and I am so glad I did!
The working internship tryouts were two weeks of immeasurable knowledge, hard work, comradery, success, failure, and amazing home-cooked meals. All seven of the potential interns trying out were immediately welcomed by the staff and brought into the McGinnis Meadows family as if we had always been a part of it. The two-week trial was essentially boot camp for horsemanship, but with the best amenities you could ask for. The stakes were high, but everyone put his/her best foot forward and gave it everything he or she had. One of the most special parts of the tryouts was how every single day we got to watch Des ride every horse being used for the day, and how she would maintain the standard set of skills every horse needs to have to be able to do the job asked of them. No matter what horse, Des would get the same output on each horse. To see that level of consistency, from one horse to another, all maintained by Shayne and Des was eye-opening. Getting two weeks of essentially private lessons from some of the best horsemen in the world, for free, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Shayne welcomed each one of us into the best part of his world, and the two weeks spent in his world were worth more than anything money can buy. Shayne and Des do not just teach you how to ride a horse – they teach you what it means to truly be a horseman, and that teaches you to be a better human not only to the horse – but also others.
As a greener rider, I knew I was going to be the underdog of the group, but I knew no matter what – this was going to be worth every grueling, embarrassing moment. To be introduced to what it means to really be a horseman is awe-inspiring. To know and see that the person running the show cares more than everyone in the room about all of our successes is a unique feeling. Nothing was always sunshine and rainbows, but nothing good in life comes without hard work. Every day I failed on at least one activity if not all, but none of the staff gave up on me or anybody else out in that arena. I knew after the first week that the chances of me being picked over the other interns were not high, but I knew that I did not want to leave this magical part of the world. My goal was to show how good of a student I could be, and hopefully, show how much I cared about the horses and being a better horseman. To my disbelief, my hard work and good attitude shined through and caught the attention of both Des and Shayne, and I was given the opportunity to join the McGinnis Meadows staff as a housekeeper while still being able to learn whatever I can from the wealth of knowledge McGinnis Meadows has to offer.
At the end of the two weeks, we were tasked with a follow-the-leader exercise. All the interns plus the wranglers were split into two groups, and each one of us had to take turns leading our group. The goal was to do any exercise we had learned within the past two weeks. It was hilarious while still productive, and we even had Des cracking up at all of us leading our group. We may have turned into drill sergeants at the same time, but we had to motivate our troops! Not only did we show that we had learned the exercises, but we also showed that we can teach others too! We all had a good laugh as a team. The hardest part was taking yourself and your peers seriously! All in all, these two weeks was an experience of a lifetime, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
I am excited about this upcoming season and everything it has to offer. I look forward to meeting some of you and being a part of your journey to becoming a better horseman.