Riding for the Public

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch
Working Cattle & Guest Ranch in Northwest Montana
Horse Training at McGinnis Meadows Cattle and Guest Ranch

Client Horses

Did you know that we ride horses for the public too?
Horse Training

Groundwork before first ride

McGinnis Meadows Cattle and Guest Ranch

If you've got a horse that you would like to be started, or restarted we've got spaces available throughout the year. We take a limited number of outside horses and teach them to the same quality as the horses our guests ride here on the ranch.

Our belief is to restart all horses and build in the safety, independence, and gentleness that allows you and your horse to be comfortable whether you are alone on the trail, working cows in the mountains or meadows, or pursuing upper levels of horsemanship in any discipline.

Client horses begin their time with us with quality groundwork, which we feel sets the foundation for soft and balanced riding. Horses are exposed to ropes, flags and tarps.

In addition, we teach off of our client horses, jingle in the herd with them, and perform any manner of tasks that we would ask of one of our guest horses. These exercises tend to build a lot of confidence in a horse.

Horse Training

Hooked onto a Cow

McGinnis Meadows Cattle and Guest Ranch

We emphasize working our horses on cattle as this gives a horse a visual reason to stop, turn around, go, then stand quiet. We feel that driving, roping, and working cattle builds a partnership between the rider and the horse that is unequaled in other training methods.

Depending on the length of the horse’s stay, we like to have different wranglers ride him or her during the training. Even though we all practice the Ray Hunt/Buck Brannaman style of riding, each rider has her or her own nuances, and we like to expose the horse to these. This horse we’ve found to be more forgiving to the novice when they climb on, and the horse actually supports the rider.

We strongly urge the owner to come and ride with us during or at the end of the training.

Colts and re-starts are required to stay in training for a 60 day minimum. Geldings or mares 2 years of age and up are considered for this program.

Email Des at info@mmgranch.net or call 406-293-5000 if you'd like more information our program, availability and cost.

I just wanted to write a short note about how my ponies have been since returning from two months training at McGinnis Meadows. I knew I had done all I could with the boys and I suspect they were tired of me guessing. I wanted the braces out, I wanted them calm, I wanted them to move out, I wanted a lot from them that I just did not know how to do it. My expectations were huge, but I had seen McGinnis' string of horses and how well they listen to multitudes of different riders without being upset. I wanted that attitude from my ponies.

Horse Training

Two months went by and when I picked them up and spent another week at McGinnis there was a change in their whole body and mind. They were like two kids who grew up and walk with pride and self esteem. Their manners were more confident, they listened and were attentive. All of that was apparent when I met them in the pen. Both my ponies know what is expected of them when they are asked to do something, and they do it. My job is to learn what they know, give them the right cues with my legs, and be walking every step with them. They wait for me to do the right thing and then respond.

There is the old saying "you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk". Well I can't talk all that well, but I entered my four year old Arab in his first NATRC endurance ride. We won first in horsemanship, first for best horse, sweepstakes and high point combined horse and rider. That's a testament to how good the training is at McGinnis. This was an endurance ride of 30 miles that my horse and I were judged on his conditioning, my horsemanship and our time. So was my money well spent by leaving my ponies at McGinnis, yes. Would I recommend it, yes. Would I do it again, yes. Are my horses thankful, yes.

Thanks,
Scott
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