Wednesday, August 27, 2014

headed out west.

Tomorrow we are loading up the wagon and heading out west. And by wagon I mean horse trailer, funny how things have changed for horses, 150 years ago they were pulling people out west, and now people are pulling them out west.
This year we are going with our neighbors who we went camping with a few weeks ago. It's so nice having friends that have similar interests to you, and as an added bonus they live so close to us.They are headed out today, and we will meet up with them tomorrow. I still have so much to do but I have to say, that using the tack room of your horse trailer, as your full time tack room sure makes it easy to go anywhere. All of our main stuff is already in there, all we have to do is pack some hay, the horses, our coolers, and whatever we will be needing.
We will be taking Cash and Duke this year. I really wish Pistol was still with us and healthy enough to make the trip. He was a rockstar out there. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I would have 10 more horses like him if I could. Duke is always amazing out in the badlands so we aren't worried about him. He loves going to new places. Cash was apparently ridden out in the badlands a few times last year so he should be good to go.
George is staying home to keep pony company. I really think that the badlands might be too aggressive for his first sleep away from home trail ride. I do hope to bring him to the place we camped at a few weeks ago. I really think it would be good for him to get out there. My friend offered to ride him for me, she's got a bit more confidence in the saddle than I do. I can ride him at home just fine. But being a huge chicken, I start getting anxious once I head out down the road. I know, I know... cowboy up blah, blah, blah. Easier said than done. He is so much fun to ride too, so I think that I will LOVE trail riding him, but I have to just get over this bump in the road first.

The boys decided to have a spa day yesterday and took advantage of the mud. They gave themselves mud baths. Can anyone tell me why I like light colored horses so much?? Oh that's right. Because I'm an idiot.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

mamma said they was my magic shoes.

Cash got himself a new pair of shoes last night. A type that I’ve actually never even seen before my farrier suggested them. But based on the way he wears his shoes, she wanted to try EponaShoes on him. She just recently starting to put them on horses but she said her clients have all been pretty impressed so far. Like I said I’ve never even heard of this type of shoe before, let alone seen one, or had anyone I knew try them. But I am willing to give anything a try.
These are like high tech space shoes.
image from EponaShoe website.

This is the side that goes against the sole. Cash will be gellin like a felon.
Image from the EponaShoe website

Putting them on, was a little different than putting on regular shoes. First my farrier made a packing to go in his hoof which contained antibacterial granules that will help prevent yucky stuff from growing “up in there”.  It also protects the sole of the hoof, and I won’t have to worry about rocks and crap going up and getting caught in his foot. SCORE! I HATE picking feet! She applied that stuff to his hoof and then let him chill on a paper towel for a bit to let it ‘set’. Next up was the shoe. She said she could glue it on, but we both agreed to nail it on like a regular shoe. Mostly because she had attempted to glue a set on a difficult horse, and wasted almost her entire supply trying to get the darn thing on.  She put on the shoe and then rasped and nipped it to fit his foot. Repeat on the other foot, and then done. They stay on just as good as steel shoes she said, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they wear on him.
Forgot to take a picture before I turned him out...

Everything I’ve read on their website seems positive. Horses in just about every discipline are using them. They look like hardcore running shoes and kind of remind me of those EasyBoots that you can buy to protect your horses feet. We also discussed that type horse boots. My farrier said that they suck because they have to fit perfectly, so right after a trim they can be too big, and then as the hoof grows they are too small. These shoes are having those boots on, without having to worry about fit.  
 She was also saying that she started using EponaShoes on some of her client’s horses with lameness issues and has seen improvements in them. Especially the horses with navicular. Cash still seems a bit off. It’s a mystery, as to where it’s originating. More than likely we are going to bring him back in for a few more x-rays. My farrier and I both kind of thought that it was up in his knee. But she said “I’m not a vet so I can’t diagnose it completely.” Cash isn’t in pain, but his gait is just a bit off. When I’ve ridden him his walk seems to get better after he was warmed up. I’m thinking about hauling him back in for a few more x-rays. I mean it’s only money right?
The big gray thoroughbred was up next. He was mostly charming for the whole thing. Until we were sarcastically and overly saying nice things about him “OH such a good boy!!” “Look at that big handsome, sweet boy being so good!” Then he got pissed, and could obviously tell we were making fun of him and decided to snatch away his last foot. Seriously horse? One foot left and you have to be difficult. He apparently picked up on the fact we were mocking him. He is a pretty smart horse.

So I’ll keep everyone interested posted on how these shoes go! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

one week.

It’s been one week since I said good bye to my big sweet red horse. Clearly I made the right decision for him and I’ve found my peace with it. But it’s been really weird since he has been gone. Every time I walk down to check on the horses I see a fat red horse, a big gray horse disguising himself as a red horse in his red Kensington fly sheet, a little palomino, and a tiny Shetland pony all stuffing their faces at the round bale feeder. I instinctively walk into the lean of the barn to check on Pistol since that is where he liked to spend his days, hanging out under the fly traps and chilling in the shade. I’ve laughed at myself for going out there and doing that. It’s just an old habit I guess.
On Saturday morning the husband and I were getting ready to head out to a Rodeo in Minnesota with some friends, when my dogs started going nuts at the front door. The mail man brought our mail up to the house because he had a package for us. Yes, my totally cliché dogs were barking at the mail man. As soon as he handed me the package, I knew what it was. It was Pistol’s tail as well as a sympathy card from the clinic staff. I carefully opened the box and there is was, all 27 miles of it. Okay so 27 miles may be a bit of an exaggeration, but Pistol had an amazing long tail. They also braided his mane into two braids and snipped those off for me. Seeing, smelling and touching the hair hit me harder than I thought it would. I was doing so well but it brought me to tears… big, sobbing, hysterical tears. To add another kick in the guts a very, very sweet friend of mine, that I haven’t seen in ages sent me a sympathy card. I was drowning in a puddle of tears at my kitchen table.

I made the right decision for Pistol and everyone that knew him knows that I made the right decision. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I no longer worry about coming home and finding him down and too weak to stand, or even worse, having already passed away. I also no longer have to make him his special sugarbeet pulp and alfalfa pellet meals and then keep checking on him every half hour to see if he is FINALLY finished eating. He was a guy who enjoyed his food and took his time eating. I don’t have to get up extra early to get him his first meal of the day.
When I put Piney down, I went into a deep dark depression. His death was so traumatic on me. I was angry and I was sad. I didn’t have the time to say good bye to him the way I wanted to. He was taken so suddenly that I just felt like I had been cheated and robbed. With Pistol, I had a week with him. I got to love up on him every night, and stuff his face with treats. I feel differently now that he is gone. I still miss him like crazy, but I know that we made the right decision for him. Hopefully I don’t sound like some kind of monster now that I confessed that I don’t feel super depressed.   Did I love that horse? Absolutely! He was the best trail horse I’ve ever ridden! I want 26 more horses just like him. Do I miss him. Of course I do. I miss that big droopy lip of his, and the way his coat was starting to feel like velvet which was the first sign that fall was just around the corner. Okay, so now I’m getting a bit weepy over him. …..

But I’m happy that he is no longer suffering. I’m happy that he knew nothing but love from the moment he came into our lives. I’m happy that we had him. I’m happy that he was my confidence booster after Piney. And I’m happy for every single memory with him…

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Good bye my old friend. Until we meet again.

Yesterday I said goodbye to my sweet old man horse, Pistol. The horse we bought as an impulse buy a few years ago. The horse that I was never supposed to get attached to, because he was our ‘spare horse’. The horse that made me remember exactly what it was I loved about riding. I am a believer that certain horses come into our lives at certain times for certain reasons, and Pistol was proof of that.
The big red horse came into our lives as a complete impulse. We went to a horse auction not expecting to buy anything, but as the last few horses were being sold, he stood there calmly in the center of the sale ring, and nothing phased him. We paid $575 for him. And knew nothing about him,and for all we knew he could have been drugged.  The next day we picked him up and brought him home. Turned him loose with our other two red horses, Duke and Piney and then spent the next 5 ½ hours trying to catch him again. The husband and I figured we had made a big mistake. This horse was nothing like that calm sweet horse we bought. When we finally did catch the horse, he tensed up when you went to touch him. Eyes wide, and nostrils flared. His whole body went rigid when you touched him. And forget about touching his face. The next day we saddled him up and he took off bucking across the yard. We thought about selling him, but I wanted to get him checked by the vet. When the vet came out to check him out, his teeth had sharp steak knife like points and he had ulcers in his mouth. Then when he cleaned his ‘undercarriage” he found golf ball sized beans. I asked the vet if that would cause the behavior we’d seen and he thought that it definitely could have something to do with it. The next day the farrier came out to trim his feet and I apologized in advance for what the horse could be like, as we had no idea what he was like for trims. Pistol stool like a champion, in fact he was better than our other two. The farrier said “if he rides anything like how he stood for me today, you have a great horse on your hands”. It was then that we decided he should get a quick tune up at the trainer.
He was famous for his halters getting twisted around.

And quick tune up is what he got. We dropped him off and the trainer called a short while later saying that the horse was ready to be picked up. He didn’t feel right keeping this horse around because there was nothing else he could train him to do, he did it all already. So we picked him up and he came home with us.
I will always remember that first ride I had on him at home. I was having so much fun with him riding around the yard. But right before I hopped off, my husband said “Piney isn’t eating”. I quickly hopped off and went to get Piney, who in fact wasn't eating, and was in obvious distress. The next day I lost Piney. I then found myself shutting myself off from the two surviving horses. Pistol was trying so hard to get me to interact with him, and I just didn't want anything to do with him.
Duke and Pistol. Best buddies.
Obviously Pistol was upset by the passing of his friend and his condition started to deteriorate. This forced me to step in and start working on getting him fattened back up. I started to realize how sweet he was and started to remember that I loved horses.
One of my favorite pictures of us.

funny to think this guy hated having his face touched at one time.

Hillbilly dressage.

a walk to remember.

He came out of winter fat and happy. He became my riding buddy and I realized that he was an awesome trail horse. He did everything I asked of him. I’d even planned on bringing him to some eventing schooling days that were being held at our local English club. The day before I planned on hauling him out to give eventing a shot, I noticed his breathing was not normal. Heaves. 
Fat and happy. The vet suggested a slow feed hay net to help keep his head out of  dusty hay bales.

The vet prescribed a bunch of medicine, and it seemed that we had it under control. He was great all winter, but this spring his heaves came back with a vengeance. Nothing was working. We worked with the vet and they had us trying all sorts of things but nothing was working. We retired him. He had his good days where his breathing was back to normal, but with the hot and dusty weather we've been having it got worse again. To make matters worse, his buddy Duke went off for 30 days at the trainer. Pistol feeling like he lost his friend forever again, turned into skin and bones. Everything I tried didn’t work. I bumped up his feed and he was getting a ton of alfalfa pellets, and tons of sugar beet pulp, and safechoice, but it wasn't working. Nothing was working. So we decided that we needed to make that decision and let him go.
I had a week with Pistol to say goodbye. While it didn't make it easier it did help. Piney was taken so suddenly from me that I never felt like I got to properly say good bye to him. The way Pistol looked at me, I know he was ready.
Yesterday morning, I woke up and knew I was making the right decision. I was doing okay until I went to get him ready to go into the trailer. I still managed to keep it together, until his buddies called out to him after he was loaded into the trailer. He called back and I lost it.
Once we got to the vet, my husband went to check in. I unloaded Pistol by myself. He was the only horse that would hop right in and out of the trailer with no problems. I walked him into the clinic and as always he was calm as could be. I was still managing to keep it together… and then our vet walked up to me. I absolutely lost it. Big sobbing tears, and our vet was awesome. No doubt the hardest part of his job. He gave me a big hug and took Pistol’s lead rope from me. I kept saying that I was so sorry for Pistol’s condition, and he told me to stop it. It happens to a lot of people. He knew that we were trying our best , and  it can happen to anyone’s horse. He asked if we wanted to stick around, and I said that I didn't think that was the best idea. I've been told that although usually it goes pretty easy, sometimes horses can go down violently and it’s best not to remember them like that. He said he would cut off his tail, and then have it cleaned and will bring it to us. As we left I saw the vet tech in the arena with Pistol, rubbing him and giving Pistol some love. My husband asked if maybe we should have had him put to sleep at home, that way we could have him buried there. I said that it was better to have him put to sleep at the vet, that way he would have an easier time finding Piney once he left. 
I hope that in Pistol’s last years he knew how much we loved him. And that not all people are bad. He had a good life with us and I wish that I had a whole barn filled with horses like him. When we were leaving to go to the vet, I opened the mail, and Cash’s permanent brand release had arrived. My husband said that maybe it was a sign. Cash has been proven to be a good trail horse for me. It was just one of those ways the universe was telling me that Pistol had taught me everything that he could, and that it was time for him to leave.

I obviously am sad that Pistol is gone. But I have found that I am a bit more at peace with it. He was ready to go. I’m glad that he ended up with us, and that we were able to give him love every day of his life. Had we not bought him that day, I don’t know what would have happened to him. But I am so glad that I was able to have him in my life, even if it was just briefly.
He loved George, and George loved him.

Monday, July 28, 2014

bad always follows the good.

I just called to schedule Pistol's last trip to the vet. The old man has been losing weight and condition and no matter what we've done, nothing has been helping him. Top that with his heaves that absolutely nothing our vet has recommended has helped him. Steroid shots, Dex, pasture only, watered down hay, hay in a slow feeder, SmartBreathe, etc.
So he has a week left with me for me to snuggle him, and make him feel as loved as I possibly can make him feel. And next Monday morning he will go in to the vet one last time.

I know that it's the best decision for him, but it's been the hardest decision for me.

first horse camping trip of the year.

I’ve often been asked why I love North Dakota. When you don’t know much about this state I think I could understand why you would wonder why I love it here. I think of it as a hidden gem that not many people know about. But North Dakota was voted the happiest state in the entire country… I think we were also voted the number one state with the highest binge drinking, so I’m not sure if those two things go hand in hand… Fargo, ND is also being written about in many different places as being an excellent place to work and live. I mean we have the lowest unemployment rate in the entire country. Everywhere you look there are ‘now hiring’ or ‘help wanted’ signs. Jobs everywhere for everyone!
But when most people think of North Dakota they think about how flat it is. And how boring it is.  And how cold it is. But what they don’t realize is that we have some absolutely GORGEOUS state parks. And our absolutely gorgeous state parks have horse campsites, and horse friendly trails.
But I mean yeah. I guess this is pretty flat and boring. It's not the mountains that some of you readers have...but I'll take it.

Friday night I dropped off our dogs at the kennel, and then we loaded up the horses and headed to meet our friends at Fort Ransom State Park. It is about an hour and a half away from our place. It’s funny though, as you start getting closer to the park, it’s like you aren’t even in North Dakota anymore, there are hills, valleys, and TREES! I kept saying that it was like we were in Virginia. We checked in at the ranger station, which was located in and ADORABLE little old farm house, and we purchased our season pass and season horse passes.  Then we headed to our campsite to get set up. 
I got new boots a few weeks ago, and I haven't' taken them off since.

We rolled up to our campsite, and unloaded the horses into the corrals we had reserved for them, got them fed and watered, and then started to set up camp for ourselves. We were on vacation, so we all maybe stayed up a bit later than necessary around the fire, having adult beverages, but hey, we were on vacation. I checked on the horses a few times thorough the night, to make sure they were fed and watered, then finally hit the hay myself.
Got up early fed the ponies, realized I was kind of still tired, with a bit of a ‘headache’ so I went back to the trailer and slept for a bit longer. Then finally when everyone woke up, and we had some brunch we, then saddled up our ponies.  

I had brought along Yellow Horse, now known as Cash, for me to ride. I saddled him up and he was a bit ‘up’. My friend could see that I was getting a bit nervous about riding so she hopped on him. He tried to pull some crap with her, but she wasn't having it. She rode him around and then handed him back to me. She and everyone else, decided that he just likes to buffalo me to see if he can get out of work by being a creep. She told me to call him out on his crap, and he will be fine... and we were.
"Hi! I am the cutest!"

One thing we've noticed about him, is that he has a really weird gait. No one can figure out why he does it, but he just walks really, really weird. We had him at the vet for a lameness exam and nothing was raising any red flags. He has shoes on his fronts, because he was completely lame without them after a little gravel road riding. He wasn't bobbing his head, or showing any signs of soreness. He just walks really weird. Maybe I’ll try and get some videos, so you nice folks can maybe help diagnose him. Anyways hopped on and away we went on our first adventure of the day.
The trails were absolutely beautiful. They were hilly, and winded around trees. Right when we got started though, we came up to a little wooden bridge. I internally panicked, but I pushed Cash towards it, and over he went across it beautifully. He was like “This ain’t my first rodeo lady.” We actually had to cross over several more on that trail. We spent the next couple hours riding up and down hills, through valleys, and across wide open areas. Unfortunately I forgot to track that ride, so we aren't sure how far we went but we were thinking we went at least 5 miles but probably more.

After I ride, we went back to the campsite to unwind a bit, and have something to eat. The boys, who stayed up much later than we did, went to their beds and took naps, my friend saddled her horse back up and went riding with our camping neighbor. I just sat and relaxed in our beautiful campground.

Later that evening, we all saddled up again and went back out. BEAUTIFUL night for riding. Not too hot, not too cold, hardly any bugs, and a nice gentle breeze. This time we did 3.80 miles.

Our neigbour came with us for a while on one of her Spanish Mustangs. This little filly was related to Hidalgo!


Love this one of the husband and Duke.

The boys looked at this grass land and were complaining that it was a waste and that they could bale it and make so much hay... 

These are our neighbors from home that we camped with. How lucky are we that it turned out our closest neighbors are awesome and love horse camping?

Once we got back to camp, we had some dinner and all hit the hay pretty early. We were all played right out. Perfect night for sleeping too, it had cooled down quite a bit after the sun went down.

When we woke up in on Sunday morning, I wasn't sure if I wanted to ride. But we all decided that we were there with the horses, we might as well ride while we could. We are taking our horses out to the Badlands for Labor Day so it wouldn't hurt to try and get them in shape. Another great day for riding. It was cloudy, and a bit cool so we rode in sweatshirts and light jackets, which was perfect. I’d rather it be a bit cool than too hot. This ride we did about 3.80 miles. 

"Cross this bridge? What, like that's hard?!"

I was the only one wearing a helmet in my group. But not one person made a snippy remark, or made fun of me. In fact everyone said they totally respected my decision to wear one. 
I don't know what to do with my hands when riding western... So I awkwardly place them like I am holding on for dear life...
We were almost back to the campsite at this point... all the horses were being douches. 

After we got back from our ride we packed everything up let the horses take a little rest, and then headed home. I can, in all honesty say that riding in Fort Ransom was some of the most beautiful riding I’ve ever done in my life. And I can’t believe that it’s so close to home. There are plans to bring George out there. As I really think the hills and different scenery would really benefit his fitness.

The chance to ride out there totally makes up for the awful winters we have ;-) 

In closing I am attaching this picture of me, that proves, I am the coolest person on the face of the earth... and yes, I was totally posing like an idiot on purpose...

Monday, July 7, 2014

get back in the saddle.

 Finally got some time in the saddle this weekend. I admit, I’ve been putting it off, and putting it off and putting it off. My confidence is at an all-time low, and the longer I was out of the saddle, the less, and less confident I was becoming. Excuses?  I have tons of them as to why I didn’t want to ride.
I’d ridden George a while back, not long after he came home from the trainer. And he was perfect, especially with me being as anxious as I was.  But he still has me a bit shaken up. It didn’t help that his attitude got increasingly worse once we sent Duke to the trainer for 30 days. He decided that a hostile takeover of the pasture was in order and he was just an ass around all the other horses. Duke came home last Monday, and George has been put back in his place and is much sweeter than he’s ever been.  He’s quite pleasant, and friendly to be around. But of course he has an abscess that we are dealing with, so riding him this very second, is out of the question.
So we had planned on riding on Saturday, but with temperatures in the upper 90’s with like 100% humidity, we decided that was just cruel to everyone involved. So we sat in the ac all day long and did absolutely nothing. When Sunday rolled around. The temperatures were about perfect for riding. So the husband and I decided to trailer the horses out to one of our favorite spots to trail ride, the Sandhills in the national grasslands.
I planned on riding the new yellow horse, due to the fact that George was out of commission and I’d rather have a friend of mine with more confidence take him out on the trails away from home for the first time. Yellow horse hoped right up into the trailer, and then Duke calmly followed. I gotta say, horses that are easy loaders, are so, so, sooooo much better on my trailer anxiety. When I first started trailering horses I was fearless, and only dealt with horses that would hop right into the trailer. I didn’t even think twice about loading them. Then a freak accident that sent me to the ER to have my head stapled back together changed that and now I am hesitant, and freaked out of being in a trailer with a horse, let alone tying one up, and securing the divider. But the two monsters we brought are nice compact little horses that happily load, and fit nicely in the trailer.
We got to the trail head, and when we pulled up there were a few pickup trucks with flatbed trailers and ramps. People riding 4wheelers, great I thought. Just fantastic. That’s what I need to run into on the trail my first real time out for the year on a horse I’ve never ridden before. But I put that in the back of my mind and unloaded the horses. I tied Yellow Horse (He doesn’t really have a name yet… is that bad?! We just can’t decide what to call him!) up to the trailer which of course freaks me out, because I always have horses that don’t tie and I worried about him freaking out.  He was a champ and stood calm as could be while I groomed him and sprayed him down with fly spray. (anyone else dealing with monster flies that are immune to all and every fly spray this year?!) I kept singing songs in my head to keep calm, and tossed the saddle pad up on his back, and he kept standing there calm as could be. Next was the saddle. I opted for one of our western saddles with a rough out seat. Figured it would keep me locked in a bit incase things went bad. I kept singing and reminding myself everything was going to be fine. Fumbled with cinching him up, I always fumble cinching up western saddles. Also I suck at knowing where exactly to put a western saddle, on a horse and had to have the husband re adjust my saddle. I’ve been riding for how long and I still need help? I mean seriously.

Next up came the bridling portion of our adventure. Little side story here. When we got Yellow Horse, the people selling him said he rode in a tom thumb, or snaffle. Well when we brought him home we tried him in a tom thumb and he was a nightmare. Pistol is ridden in a tom thumb and we have never, ever had an issue.  So we hauled him off to the trainer the day the hubby picked up Duke. They tried a few different bits on him as well as riding him out on the trail, just to make sure he was good to go.  They have him in a Jr. Cowhorse bit, that he worked the best in out of all the bits they tried. Everyone that rode him said he was a nice little horse. Duke also got shining reviews from everyone at the trainer. Duke was almost sold this spring, but after his boot camp, and the wonderful reviews from the trainer, he will be staying with us. Anyways back to the ride yesterday. I slipped the bridle on no problem and then it was time to head out on the trail.
I being a safety nut, strapped on my helmet, as well as my crash vest. Hey, I’ve never ridden this horse, let alone ride him far away from home, in a place he’s never been. I really need to stop defending myself for wearing a helmet AND crash vest… But it’s a force of habit I guess. Not everyone wears helmets around here. Especially not out on the trail. I never did. Even last year when I rode Pistol for the first time out in the sandhills. I’m just a bit more cautious now I guess.
I hopped up into the saddle and remarked about how easy shorter horses are to get on. I think he is 15hh but feels like 12hh compared to all 16.3hh of George or 16hh of Pistol. And like that we were off. I kept telling myself it will be okay. Riding is fun. The people that rode Yellow horse at the trainer said that he doesn’t have any buck in him, but what would they know, they rode him once! So I kept myself guarded. The trainers also said that he needed to be ridden in spurs. So I wore mine.  I don’t have much experience with spurs. In fact I don’t even think I’ve earned them yet. I rode Piney in them, but I knew that horse like the back of my hand.  I didn’t have to use them on Yellow horse most of the ride as he followed nicely behind Duke, never getting too far behind. 
Tried to take a picture of the single piece of grass he had sticking out of his mouth like a farmer....

The whole ride I was a bit nervous. But started to feel a bit better as we went along. I think once I get myself sorted out, he is going to be a great little trail horse for us to have around. He did get a bit nervous which about set me over the edge, when husband and Duke were out blazing their own trails. Last year, I would have been able to handle the situation better, but yesterday I was a bit wound up.
We got back to the trailer, all in one piece. And I tied him up and started to untack. Just then a big group of guys on 4wheelers, and dirt bikes came racing up. Yellow horse just looked over like “oh hello people!” Not even barely paying attention. I was a fan of that behavior. As I was taking off the saddle one of the young men came up and mentioned what nice horses we had, and that he hoped they didn’t spook them when they pulled up. He made some small talk, and then asked nicely if I would mind using their cameras to take a few pictures. Of course not. So I took the pictures and as I walked away, I heard him tell the group that they would push their bikes back onto the trailers, and not to start them back up again. I’m assuming that he said that as courtesy to the horses. Which I though was very considerate. 
"Oh, hello motorcycles!"

So all in all, the ride went well. Hopefully riding will get easier for me. I know it will. I just hate how my mind is making me feel about horses. I love riding, but the fact that is scared me to the point of being sick to my stomach. Not cool.