From the outset, Pema Namgyal knew what he wanted to do in life. He love to keep things simple. Right after finishing his Class 12 from school in Thimphu in 2004, he joined guiding course to aspire to be a guide. Initially he started as cultural guide but with time, he felt more connected with wilderness, he did course for trek in 2008.
After a fruitful experiences with other companies, he joined Wind Horse Tours in 2010. He has led many treks, and I seriously doubt, if there are any tourist trails that he hasn’t tread upon. One trek that stand out is challenging Snowman Trek, he comes highly recommended for this. In October, 2014 he successfully completed Snowman trek with 4 guests.
Pema Loves and he is good in archery and he has a loving family with two children
What Our Guest Says about the guide
CarolineOct 05 -18,2019
My son and I just returned from a truly wonderful 2-week trip (1-week cultural tour, 1-week trek) to Bhutan with Windhorse. The firm is well-established and very professional, and our trip was well-planned from beginning to end. Our kind and knowledgeable guide Pema, excellent driver Kinzang, and hard-working cooks and horsemen took great care of us. Pema would always say, “You’re satisfaction is my satisfaction” and he genuinely meant it. Our Himalayan trek took us far away from the modern world and offered the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend Windhorse and can’t wait to return to explore more of Bhutan with them.
Shantelle16 - 22 March, 2019
We greatly enjoyed our trip. Please find our review below:
Rose AylmerNov 16 - Dec 01, 2018
Happy New Year to you and your family!
Sorry to be so late replying about our WONDERFUL holiday – thank you so much for all your hard work organising it, and I wish we could go back there soon!!
It more than lived up to my expectations – the people, the landscape, the temples, the whole atmosphere…
I think our itinerary worked really well too – flying to the east* and then driving back towards the west, so we had a chance to experience the whole country – and I would definitely recommend it to any visitors who have the time (*though I’m glad we didn’t know in advance how scary it is to land at Yongphula airport!)
Our guide Pema and driver Yonten were very good.
Pema is brilliant at logistics – very resourceful and very efficient at organising for changes of plan and potential problems. Sometimes I felt a bit lost in all the complexities of Buddhism, and wished he could have given us more “technical” information, especially at the beginning of the holiday, to help us understand and to recognise more of the figures shown in the paintings and statues we saw in the temples, but I liked the way he explained how Buddhism relates to everyday life, and his patience in answering our endless questions about traditional customs and what it is like to live in Bhutan.
Yonten was really exceptional – not just a skilful and careful driver, but also unfailingly cheerful and hard working, and very kind to Franco when a trek was too hard.
There were hardly any disappointments: the very dirty (substitute) hotel at Trashigang, where my bed clearly had unwashed sheets (!), the rubbish and general air of neglect at Bom Deling Wildlife Sanctuary, where there was no guide and we were only allowed to walk along a dirt track road, and the fact that the Royal Heritage Museum at Trongsa, which I had particularly wanted to see, is closed on both days at weekends, and on public holidays, which seems very strange!
So thank you again for all your help – and if there is ever a chance to come back we will definitely use Wind Horse…
Lisa13 -20 August, 2018
My husband and I took our first trip to Bhutan with our 20yr old daughter.We chose Wind Horse as our guide service via Kimkim travel service.
I was more than happy with our team. We were well taken care of and came to appreciate all the preparations and in spite of our apprehension about being led around by guides it actually was one of the highlights.In the 8 days we spent together our guide Pema Namgyel and driver Sonam Tenzin came to feel like travelling companions rather than hired travel company employees. Pema’s professionalism and knowledge of the history and culture and Sonam’s calm and skilled driving on washed out roads and sketchy driving conditions made us feel secure and in good hands.
We had some reservations about going during monsoon season in August but other than some rain at night and light rain on our hike to Tiger’s nest, the weather was no problem and we far preferred some clouds to the crowds of high season.
Accommodations: Highlights were Ugyen Homestay in Ha Valley, Gangtey Palace in Paro and Hotel Dewachen in Phobjikha..
Food: Loved it. I am going to attempt to make “chilly cheese” at home. We appreciated the hotels serving Western breakfast but we particularly enjoyed trying the local cuisine. Least favorite was the largely empty road house lunch stops that looked to be set up for large volumes of tourists. Since we were usually the only group eating there it seems that we could have gone to someplace more local. However, we understand the logistics of setting up ongoing relationships with the restaurants.
As we were asked to provide constructive criticism I would just say that we saw many temples and it was very hot. Felt only able to absorb so much but Pema had so much information I had to listen. However thanks to Pema, I was able to identify Guru Rinpoche in the temple above Tiger’s Nest on my own. Maybe include some more secular sites. For example, we enjoyed poking our heads into the many “general” stores to see what was for sale.
-the first night in Thimphu we wandered down to the National Stadium right by our hotel and caught the second half of the Nepal v Bangladesh women’s football (soccer) match.
-driving over Dochu La Pass in the mist, stopping to watch Gray Monkeys in trees next to the road. Stopping for specialty rice balls sold at roadside stands on the road from Punakha. But the ultimate had to be the spectacular hike to Tiger’s Nest on our last day in Bhutan. A once in a lifetime experience not to be missed.
Bhutan, we will miss you.intro
Lisa, Grant and India
John Begale15 - 19, June, 2018
Thanks for reaching out! Would love to share about my experience, because it was incredible!
Not knowing much about Bhutan, if anything really, I was hoping to see Tiger’s Nest and left the rest of what I was to do up to Wind Horse. As you know, I spent time in Paro and Thimphu, learning about the culture, history, Buddhism, and general way of life for the current Bhutanese people.
Ugyen (spelling?), was a great tour guide, providing a constant smile and a lot of laughs. He opened my door, tried to carry my backpack, etc. and always attempted to make the trip for me as easy as possible. Not wanting to be “above” him, I made sure to open his door so he knew we were on the same page and I was happy to be tagging along with the two of them for a great experience.
Pema was greatly knowledgeable about everything I asked about (Buddhism, culture, food, lifestyle, government, etc.). He as well provided great laughs and a very enjoyable experience. Shooting archery in the forest was actually one of my favorite parts of the trip outside of Tiger’s Nest as I do seek adventure and was able to hang with my tour guide and driver as buddies of mine just enjoying life.
From the food, to the hotels and tours and everything I did, wouldn’t have changed a thing! I will come back, and be more inclined to see what else is available and check out more of the country side, mountains, villages, etc. Try and get away from modern city living.
I should also say, after about a few hours of the tour, I was able to feel that I was walking around with friends in Pema and Ugyen. They gave me everything I wanted in terms of knowledge and being a tourist in Bhutan, plus, good buddies for the tour.
Jenny Bell12 - 18,March,2018
Steve and I really enjoyed our trip to Bhutan.
Highlights for us was visiting the art school, textile museum and paper making factory in Thimphu. The hotel was lovely but the downside was not being able to sleep because of the many dogs barking in the square.
The fort at Punakha was amazing. The four of us were all surprised when Pema explained that we would have a 6 hour car drive the following day to the Ha Valley – as it was stated in the itinerary it was 3 hours. However, Pema did explain that was the distance from the temple at the pass. We decided to give this a miss as we didn’t want to extend our travel time any extra longer.
We really enjoyed the Ha Valley experience – of particular note was the lovely lunch we had in a private home. I also enjoyed the walk with school children up the village path to our lovely Hotel / Home Stay. An upsetting incident happened as we were about to depart the Ha Hotel – Delna was bitten by dog and we had to go immediately to the local hospital. The doctors told us they had treated 2 Australian tourists the day before and it seems quite a common event. Some travel warning about this would have been appreciated.
The four of us all made it to the Tiger’s Nest !
On our 9-day tour in November my husband and I had an amazing time! We were particularly blown away by the temples, unspoiled landscapes, and the kindness of the local people of Bhutan! The accommodations were very comfortable – we especially loved our hotel up in the hillside in Punakha! We also loved touring all of the temples and dzongs, and really appreciated the patience and wisdom of our guide Pema, who was also very willing to go on all of the hikes that my husband insisted on! Another highlight was visiting the Artist College in Thimphu – as a graphic designer I really enjoyed seeing the process and the students at work! We also brought home a few beautiful student paintings that we framed and gave as gifts to family! and of course the Tiger’s Nest Monastery was a must-visit that speaks for itself. A big thank you to Pema also, for helping us to purchase the gho and kira (and also to help us put them on correctly!) We were very happy to wear our traditional clothing at the Tiger’s Nest! (see attached photo!)
Our overnight trek was a definite highlight as well, and the camping was quite comfortable and luxurious! We would definitely recommend for people to bring ear plugs with them to help drown out the noise of the barking dogs at night! Also, I would encourage visitors to Bhutan to try the local cuisine! We really enjoyed trying ema datse, kewa datse, and shamu datse! Also highly recommend the hot stone baths – we wished that we had one back home in the US!Very much hoping to come back again some time soon to explore more of the natural landscape and hiking trails!Thanks again for a memorable experience – it was truly a once in a lifetime trip!
Sarah and Eric Hedstrand
MichaelJan. 02-10, 2018
Thank you for your email. We have finally adjusted to the time changes, and are settled in back home.
First, we want to thank you and your staff for such a wonderful trip. Our trip included India and Nepal, but our time in Bhutan will always stand out as the highlight.
We also want to thank Pema and Sonam for their knowledgeable and friendly service. Pema was especially helpful to me, since I suffered a fractured ankle in September was sometimes a little less than sure-footed. He made sure to steady me up and down stairs, as well as on the trail.
Speaking of the trail, the Tiger’s Nest was surely a highlight. I had been unsure of my ability to do it, but was thrilled that I was able to at least reach the observation point (with the help of a pony the first half). Even though we decided that the last steps were a little too treacherous for me, we had a thoroughly satisfying experience. After our trek, Pema and Sonam took us for momo in Paro, which was another highlight of the trip!
Overall, I would have to say that our time in Gangtey was the other highlight of the trip, and in particular the opportunity to participate in a loche with a local family. I can’t think of a better way to have given us a feeling for the Bhutanese people than to have an invitation to celebrate with them in their home. It was a truly unforgettable experience.
I have attached a few of my favorite pictures, which I hope you will be able to use. (I looked on the website for a place to upload a review, but didn’t see one.)
Thank you again for an unforgettable trip.
Gail and Michael Parenti
Corinna RudolphOct 24 - Nov 03, 2017
I`m still amazed by what I was able to experience. I´ve never expected anything like this. It was one of the best countries I´ve seen and experiences I´ve made. I`m very grateful I was able to do this journey.
A big Kadrinchhe la to you and to Wind horse for putting this together for me. I always felt it`s very professional and I know it was the best choice for me to chose Wind horse. I already recommended Wind horse to some other friends and people.
For me, everything was just perfect. Even though the schedule was quite tight from the way I used to travel, I never felt in a hurry or that I´m missing something. I felt like I was able to see the most important parts and getting a good feeling for every place we`ve been. I liked that we had 2 nights in Haa at the beginning and 3 nights in Bumthang at the middle of the journey. It gave me some more time to experience more and to rest. And those 2 actually where my favourites – probably also because they were a little more remote places. I loved the Haa Valley and most of it the Chele La Pass – it was so impressive to see the snowy himalayan peaks, to talk with monks preparing for a puja and just standing there in the middle of hundreds of prayer flags.
It seemed like we were always at the perfect time at the right places.
I think it just happened (like everything else in Bhutan) – but this I loved the most: At every sight or place, even the most famous ones like the tiger`s nest, we were there when almost nobody else was.
For the Tiger`s Nest we just went after noon so when we went up everyone else came down (cause most of them started in the morning). So by the time we reached the Tiger`s Nest only a few people were there and on the way back we were almost the only ones. Even in Bumthang and at the festival, I was so surprised to feel and see the importance of this festival to the locals and that the festival is for the bhutanese and not the tourists (like it`s happening in some other countries).
Most important for me were the hikes, the spiritual life and to be more off the beaten tracks – I got all of this. We were even able to do more hikes then in the itinirary.
Thanks to my Guide Pema I was able to get more off the beaten track. We got in touch with many locals, we visited his sister and lama cousin. That was so special.
In general, the range was quite big. From very simple to very nice. Again, everything was perfect for me the way it was. Just some more detailed Feedback for you, that might helpful for other guests:
- Just as I told you, after my long flight the Haa Homestay was a littel tough for the first night with the cold nights and no shower. But in the end, even this was perfect for a real bhutanes start. I also loved that, besides the nice bhutanese family there, I was able to meet lovely tourists who stayed there as well.
- My highlight was the Mountain Lodge in Bumthang. I think it was one of the nicest hotel rooms I ever stayed (I think I got one of the best rooms with windows to every side and spectacular views). The only minus was the same westernized toast/egg-breakfast for 3 mornings.
- The Gangtay Guesthouse in Phobjikha wasn`t the best. For me it was fine for this 1 night and I know you gave it to me because it`s so near to the monastary, which was perfect (I was there completely alone with the monks in the morning – that was very special). Maybe just for future tourists it`s not the best choice. There I was fighting the most with the cold night. Another couple who arrived at the same time changed the accomodation because they didn`t like it at all and we changed the place for dinner because the guides said the kitchen didn`t look too good.
- For the YT Hotel in Phunaka: it was the hotel with the worse wifi (and of course there I really needed it to arrange some things for Nepal), the rooms were simple and the army started very early with some training which was very close and very loud. The food was very good there and I liked it was a smaller hotel.
- The Hotel in Paro where we met (I forgot the name) was also very nice.
Guide (Pema) and Driver (Thinley)
I`ll start with the Driver Thinley, cause he impressed me the most. He is only 22 but so responsible and the best driver I`ve ever had. I was very glad you prepared me for this tough road from Bumthang to Phobjikha and also other tourists told me it will be very tough. So in the end I didn`t think it was too bad 🙂 I Actually had a much worse bus ride in Nepal. Anyway, Thinley did an amazing job on that road, I felt very safe with him.
The only thing to mention is that he is very shy to speak english, but I think it`ll get better the more tours he is doing, he is still young.
Pema was a very good guide. He managed everything great and was very caring. On our flight to Bumthang I found out it was his very first flight. He was so grateful that you gave him the chance to do this. This was also very special for me – so thank you for letting him fly with me and giving him this opportunity.
Actually this was the thing I was worried about a little since I never did a organized tour before where I needed to be with guide and/or driver all the time. After getting used to it in the first days I appreciated it a lot. I didn`t have to think about anything – that`s why it was probably one of my most relaxing travel so far.
The first days I had some problems with the altitude. I know how it feels like from previous travels, but maybe it`s good to inform tourists, who don`t know how it`s like. Of course the Guides don`t know how it feels since they’ve been growing up there.
It was very nice to see you in person. Thanks for taking that time and thanks for the book – I`m still reading it and love it. Takes me back and let`s me think about ways to be back in Bhutan 🙂
Elizabeth M SullivanSept 27 -Oct 10,2017
A little late to responding to this but just wanted to say that the trip was fabulously planned and organised. From the beginning, we were set up with the packing list, the itinerary etc. Pema was an amazing guide – always happy to answer our questions and support us through the toughest parts of the hike. The rest of the crew was also incredible – so SO helpful.
The food was fantastic and all of the camping gear was excellent.
Thanks for such a great adventure!
Roberto NicholoSept 27 -Oct 10, 2017
Of course see’ing the snow leopard was the highlight! Pema, our guide, added to the experience with his amiable personality and amusing stories.
If I had to give constructive criticism, I would say the food could have been more interesting at the Thimphu Hotel Restaurant, named Swiss Restaurant. My modest dissatisfaction with food could also have been because I never had Swiss food before. 😛
Kirill ShoikhetSept 21 - Oct 16, 2014
Snowman Trek – once in a lifetime experience.
My husband and I have recently completed the Snowman trek in Bhutan led by Wind Horse tour company and both felt that we had an amazing experience. One of the best trips we have ever had.
Before the trek we read that things can be slow and somewhat bumpy in Bhutan and contingency days are must. So we were ready for “things to happen”. But we worried for nothing. Wind Horse has organised the trek to the last detail. The crew was very professional and friendly, the service was outstanding, food delicious, tents comfy and everything went as smoothly as it possibly can. We had enough days before the trek to get acclimatised to high elevation. And every one of these days were filled with interesting cultural experiences. Our guide Pema was really knowledgeable about Bhutanese culture, traditions, wild life and terrain. Since we didn’t need the contingency days after the trek they were also used for cultural visits and experience including the very unique hot stones bath in a local house.
We would definitely recommend Wind horse for anyone who would like to experience Bhutan and bring back unforgettable memories.
GenevieveI -26, April,2017
June 7, 2017
The lure to travel to and experience Bhutan began more than 20 years ago when its relative isolation lent it an “other-worldly Last Shangri-la” sheen. Over the years, the call became even more pronounced as Druk Yul (a.k.a the Land of the ThunderDragon) adopted the seemingly abstract vision of measuring Gross DomesticHappiness versus Gross Domestic Product to gauge its economic development and the quality of life of its people. More recently, Bhutan’s Constitution which mandates that it maintain no less than 60% forest cover, makes it a carbon negative country. At present, Bhutan’s forest cover which approximates 72% has added to its allure. These and the quiet gentleness of the country and its people pulled at my heartstrings.
Three themes/activities shaped my travel plans. First, I wanted to see and experience two or more spring Tsechus/religious festivals. Second, a 6-8 day trek that would skirt aglacial lake and a high pass or two was on tap. Lastly, a more immersive and interactive cultural journey in the countryside would cap my 26-day sojourn inBhutan.
Getting these plans in place was a challenge. No international tour or adventure operator was able to easily put together an itinerary that met my expectations and/or requirements. The reason being, international tour operators are required to use or work with Bhutanese tour operators when arranging tours within Bhutan making international operators largely dependent on local operators. Hence, while trolling the Internet and looking for alternatives, I chanced upon Wind HorseTours, Treks and Expeditions (https://www.windhorsetours.com/), a Bhutanese tour operator whose head office is in Minneapolis, MN. With WindHorse Tours I was able to make my travel arrangements with ease and confidence. In addition, having a U.S.-based office simplified matters considerably.
Ugen Tschering, operating out of Minneapolis, was most patient, helpful and instructive in guiding my travel plans. In particular, Ugen customized the third leg of my trip and put together a wonderful mix of home stays, day hikes, a day and a half on horseback, visits to dzongs, monasteries, a nunnery, museums, drives through the countryside and village walk-abouts. Jambay Dorji’s logistical support, follow-throughs and quick responses (from Thimpu) to my many questions gave me the comfort and assurance that all was inorder. Both gentlemen were friendly, warm, professional, and efficient in their dealings with me. I trusted their wisdom and advice wholeheartedly.
I flew into Paro from Bangkok and upon meeting Pema, our Chief Guide (who would also lead our Jhomolhari trek), Gudu (our amicable and smooth-steering driver) and Tshering (a most helpful, smiling guide-in-training) it quickly became apparent that we were in the best of hands. Pema is a seasoned guide. He was attentive, sensitive to the needs of everyone in our group and readily introduced us to Bhutanese culture, cuisine, folklore and humour. Moreover, his deep knowledge and understanding of Vajrayana (tantric)Buddhism was enlightening. Pema also made sure we got the most out of the Talo and Paro Tsechu festivals we attended.
Half of our group departed after the first week and three of us stayed on to do the seven-day Jhomolhari trek. Our crew was made up of Pema (Chief Guide), Tshering (Assistant Guide), Kelten (Chief Cook), Yeshey (Assistant Cook), 2 horsemen, 7 or more horses, a donkey and a mule. We started at Shana Zam (altitude 2850 metres/~9350feet) and over 3 days we wound our way through a valley, crossed the Paro rivera number of times and hiked through forests treed with cider, juniper, pine and oak. On the third day we reached Jangothang Base Camp, (altitude 4080 metres/~13386feet) where the sunrise view of Jomolhari in the distance was breathtaking! The next day being a rest day, Tshering and I, with more gumption than direction,clambered over boulders and scree to reach a glacier fed lake to the east of the camp.
Were it not for Pema’s solicitousness, patience and excellent pacing of our ascents and the crossings we made over Bhonte La pass (4890 metres/~16043 feet), Takhungla pass(4520 metres/~14829 feet) and Thombu La pass (4380 metres/~14379 feet), I doubt that I would have managed as well as I did. From Thimpu, Jambay called to check on our well-being as he was concerned the inclement weather in Thimphu could delay or affect the rest of our trek. In same fashion, like a concerned son,Tschering kept me good-natured company as we both hummed songs on the 1650metre/~5413 feet descent on the last day of the trek. The happiness and inner peace I felt after coming down the mountain are beyond words. Given the challenges thrown our way, the oneness with nature and the sense of quiet accomplishment made it all the sweeter. To top it all off and to Gudu’s credit, he had at theready tall, cold bottles of golden Red Panda beer (or was it Druk 11000) to wash away our fatigue at the end of the trek.
I will beeternally grateful to Pema, Tshering, Gudu and all who made this trek a fulfilled dream.
Flying to Bumthang a day later, I began the third and last leg of my Bhutan experience. Gaki was my young and sweet lady guide, Tenzin was our cheerful, gallant and able driver, and Pema (not our earlier hiking guide but a different Pema) was our lead horseman and riding guide. Dzongs, Buddhist lakhangs (temples), maroon robed monks, prayer flags, prayer wheels, chili-laced dishes, yaks and yak cheese were a-plenty. However, it was the interaction with the locals that made the trip all the more endearing.
Hiking down from the monastery in Padselling we were led part way by a young lama, his student and 2 dogs. Shortly after they left us, we came to a fork on the trail. Gaki made the right choice and we hiked through the forest, into a valley and open fields. As we climbed over a stile and came off the trail, we spotted a worried Tenzin in his Gho (traditional menswear), walking up the dusty road,umbrella and water bottles in hand, rescue in mind, The sight was priceless! Riding on horseback from Ngalakhang to the village of Nagsphel, Pema was caught in a dilemma as to who to attend to first when we took off on a gallop and the horses had to be reined in. Should he attend to me, the client, first or help Gakiwho was struggling to stay on her horse? I managed to rein in and quiet down my horse so Pema ran off to assist Gaki who had fallen off her horse! In Mesethang,our host, his mother and aunt were most gracious and welcomed us warmly intotheir lodge/farm house. The same warm hospitality was extended us by the family whose home we shared in the village of Nangsphel. In Chumey, while discussing fabric with staff at our lodge, we arranged to buy a couple of yards of locally woven fabric when we returned to Thimpu. We picked up the fabric, and with Gaki’s resourcefulness we found a tailor and got it sewn into my very own Kira(national dress for women in Bhutan) – all in the span of a day!
For all thatI saw, heard, tasted, smelt and experienced in Bhutan, there is Wind Horse Tours to thank in spades!Without the attention, organisation, follow-through and terrific front and back office handlers, guides, drivers and support staff, Bhutan would still be adream.
Namey samey kadrin chhela!
For ever grateful,
Genevieve H. Plank
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Ruth BlolandApril 01 -09
Dear Anand — I am sorry that I am so slow in giving you a report on the trip to Bhutan that my son, Peter, daughter-in-law, Martha and I made to Bhutan the first of April. We did the cultural tour of Bhutan first and then Peter and Martha stayed on to do the Jomolhari trek. Our guides were Pema, Tshering, and wonderful driver, Guddu. Thank you to all of you for a wonderful trip. I will let Peter and Martha speak for themselves but I enjoyed the trip thoroughly. Pema was so well informed and obviously so dedicated to his country, his culture, and Buddhism. We saw wonderful dzongs, outstanding architecture, beautiful countryside and mountains and very interesting craft studios in Thimpu. The two mornings we spent at the festivals — one local one, and the first morning of the Paro Festival were wonderful. I feel so lucky to have seen them.
I especially want to thank Tshering for taking such good care of me — I am 88 and very fit but he was my extra support system whenever I needed one and such a wonderful young man. Guddu was outstanding as a driver — taking us through some very rough, under construction roads and making us feel that we really would survive after all.
You have a beautiful country and warm and friendly people — please keep it that way. All my best to you and to our guides and driver and to continued success of Wind Horse Tours.
TatyanaApril 01 -09
I have traveled with Windhorse Tours in April 2017 for Bhutan Festivals tour and was very happy with the quality of the services the company provided. The booking process was very smooth and Ugen was always very responsive to answer any questions I had. The tour itself was very well organized and run. The quality of the transportation provided was great; both our guides, Pema and Tchering, and our driver, Guddu, were superb and took a great care of the group throughout our tour. The accommodations provided were very good and comfortable and service at the hotels was very good.
One thing that could have been improved is meals (especially in Punakha and Paro) – it could have been nice to have more variety but was good enough for 9 days of the tour. Overall, I would highly recommend the Windhorse for all of your travels in Bhutan, which is an excellent and trustworthy company. I would book other tours with them without any hesitation! Thank you, the Windhorse team for the superb trip!