Shayne - Ranch Owner
Shayne is the owner and he spends much of his time at the ranch teaching these days. Shayne started the ranch in 1998, inspired by the idea of a guest ranch that could share the grandness and excitement of the cowboy way and Buck Brannaman style horsemanship with all levels of rider experience. Most doubted that such a thing could be done. The effort has been astounding, but what we do here is unique and what Shayne has found is a passion for great horsemanship. It shows itself in every horse, wrangler and guest that comes here.
Shayne and Buck have been best friends for a long time, and Buck has been Shayne’s only mentor. He can’t count the number of clinics he’s traveled to and ridden in with Buck over the past 17 years. I don’t think you’ll meet another individual who has worked harder at his horsemanship as well as at his teaching. Shayne is dedicated to sharing all he’s learned with our guests and us.
Des - Ranch Manager
Des is originally from Southern California but has really adopted Montana as her home these last (nearly) 8 years she’s been at the ranch. She started riding horses when she was in college and was hooked immediately! She never had formal lessons before coming to McGinnis but knew there was a better way to work with horses than she had seen thus far. Luckily, she made some friends who introduced her to Buck. Buck told Des that if she really wanted to pursue this horsemanship journey, McGinnis Meadows was the best place to do it! So to McGinnis she went and it has been an incredible journey thus far!
Des rides many of the colts, future guest horses and a handful of client horses in addition to assisting Shayne in teaching horsemanship to the guests. That’s in addition to keeping the ranch running like a well-oiled machine!
Randy - Ranch Manager
Randy is one of our ranch managers. He left Pennsylvania when he was 17 and flew to Wyoming. He knocked on a few doors and has been working for cattle outfits, guest outfits, guided for hunters and packed up to 55 horses on 100-mile trips into the Yellowstone area. He even rounded up wild horses for the BLM! Listen to some of his stories and you’ll be rolling with laughter or dropping your jaw in awe.
He heads up the cattle, the fencing, the haying…he always seems to be working on some sort of project to better the ranch.
Of course, guests love it when he has the time to ride with them as well. Nobody can come up with off-the-wall nicknames like Randy can!
Emily- Wrangler & Chef & Office Manager
Emily is a New England native and grew up just south of Boston Massachusetts in the small suburban town of Walpole. As a young girl she would walk 2 miles down the road from home to muck stalls for lessons but it wasn’t until she was in college that her love of working with horses really grew into the passion she exhibits today.
Emily’s heart and soul have always longed for something greater, for a place that felt truly like home and when she came here to the ranch several years ago as a guest she had found it! Everyday since then she has thought about Montana’s wide open sky’s and all that she got out of her short stay here so when the working internship opportunity arose she wasted no time in reaching out. Once accepted she packed up her truck, and her horse, and drove 3 days and 2700 miles to join us!
Since then she has jumped into anything and everything that we have to offer here at the ranch and has taken up the role of Ranch Cook, where she has been able to share her love for cooking with all who come to visit us, along with the role of Office Manager and Wrangler. She certainly is a jack of all trades!
Brenda - Wrangler & Vet Tech
Several years ago, Brenda found out about the ranch and was mesmerized by the message we taught, the country where the ranch was located and the treatment of our large horse herd. She beseeched us for an opportunity to become one of the crew and was initially hired on as a ranch hand/gardener and as a personal assistant to Shayne. Over the years she has been given more and more responsibilities and now has grown into the position that she wanted all along—she is now a wrangler and when she isn’t riding, it’s because she is the primary caretaker of our 100+ head of ranch horses! Brenda is also quite the writer and her short stories are featured in our monthly newsletters. She’s super smart too—she has a Master’s Degree in Education! And she may be one of the kindest people you’ll meet!
Willy- Ranch hand
Willy has been here at the ranch for many ears and although he works behind the scenes, he is an integral part of the operation. A hard worker and really handy, he also has many talents that are so important for keeping a ranch running. Willy can be seen on any given day, fixing fencing (or adding new ones), repairing equipment, clearing and keeping our pastures pristine looking, and keeping track of things out on our grazing allotments. His creativity does not go unnoticed either. As you are riding along be it on the ranch, or 5000 feet above in the Davis Graze pasture, don’t be surprised if you come across some cool stone art that will have you asking “How in the world did that get there?”…we know the answer 🙂
Kevin - Farrier & Wrangler
Kevin has been coming to the ranch since he was 13 years old! His mom brought him out for winter horsemanship for his spring break that year and once he got home, all he could talk about was coming back! He did an internship with us for two years and this year will be his third as a wrangler. Kevin has really expanded his knowledge about the ranch and is instrumental with everything from building fences to stockman ship, vehicle mechanics, and is now even shoeing. He has been helping Scott take care of the whole herds feet! Don’t be fooled by his youth—he is an old soul, he’s turning into an exceptional rider and he’s just plain nice to be around.
Scott- Farrier & Wrangler
Scott came from Minnesota to be an intern here to study horsemanship and stockmanship four years ago. He was hired on as a wrangler two summers ago, and jumped at the chance to take on farrier school when the opportunity arose. He and Kevin now take care of the entire herd of feet! Scott continues to grow in his development on all levels, and we all love his contagious smile.
Janice - Wrangler & Office Manager
Janice initially came to the ranch to study horsemanship and ranch life. It must have agreed with her because this season marks seven years she has made her home here! Starting as an intern, she was then hired on as a wrangler and later also took on the position of office manager. Recently home events have dictated that she return to the east coast, taking a leave of absence from her job at the ranch. You may still see her bumping around the ranch at times though, and if you do, please take a moment to stop and say hello- she would love to visit with you!
Chris - Ranchhand
Chris was born in Louisiana where he grew up hunting and fishing. After moving to Texas he started working on cattle and hunting ranches at age 14. Chris attended college at Texas A&M-Kingsville where he received his BSA in Range & Wildlife Management. During college he got to participate in many wildlife research projects on ranches all across Texas including the King Ranch. For the last 15 years he worked as a ranch manager & foreman, as well as a hunters safety instructor and professional hunting guide for various ranches in South Texas. We are excited to have him here as part of our ranch family!
James - Wrangler
James started working with horses at the age of 19 when he volunteered for a summer at a pack station in the Sierra Nevada mountains back in his home state of California. By the end of the summer he was hooked, both with the lifestyle and with the animals. Over the past decade he has traveled all across the western states finding seasonal work and different places to call home. He has worked at multiple pack stations in the Sierras, a small cattle ranch in Arizona, a large dude ranch in Colorado and for a hunting outfitter out of Colorado. The places he has worked have varied as much as the people he has worked with. The one constant has been the animals (horses and mules). His love for these animals and even more so for the places they have taken him and may take him still has been the most powerful driving force in his life. He have now worked as a farrier, a mule packer, a trail guide, and a ranch hand. Before the age of 19 he had only ridden but once or twice and was your typical city kid. But eventually, his father was able to introduce him to his cowboy world, and once he had his foot in the door there was no other way.