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Trail rides in Hawaii?

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  • Trail rides in Hawaii?

    I did a search and didn't really find anything....so sorry if I'm duplicating

    Does anyone have any experience with any of the places that offer trail rides on Oahu? We're headed there in about a month to get married and want to do a ride while we are there. The people who have expressed interest in going are all different skill levels, from my fiance who's only been on pony rides to myself who has ridden/trained on the H/J circuit for many years.

    A quick internet search yields a few options: Kuoloa Ranch, Gunstock Ranch, and Happy Trails Hawaii. There is also the Koko Crater EC, but I'm sure they would be more suited for those of us who have more riding experience. It is important to me to support a place that takes quality care of their horses.

    I would greatly appreciate hearing any opinions or personal experiences with any of these places. Thanks!

  • #2
    You could always check with the hotel you're staying at! They usually have a few brochures about the local trail riding barns.

    I've never been to Oahu so I can't help you, but I can say that trail riding in Hawaii is absolutely beautiful!
    http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
    The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
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    • #3
      I have done the Kuoloa ranch one.

      The scenery is amazing--you ride through this gorgeous valley which many movies were filmed in, so there are remnants from the sets of Jurassic Park, etc.

      The actual riding is very low key--almost all walking, pretty much the standard hack line, you are encouraged to take pics from horseback, etc. My SO who had never ridden did just fine. (To a serious rider, the riding would be boring, but I enjoyed the scenery enough not to care).

      As for the care of the horses, this was my first ride of that type, so I'm not sure the standard. Most of the horses looked in good weight (a few were thin), our guide seemed very knowledgeable about horses. It sounds like they work a full day (like, they mentioned that ours was the 3th and last 2-hr trail ride that my horse was doing for the day) but that might well be typical.

      I think it would be a good choice if you have non riders or beginners in your group.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Beam Me Up View Post
        I have done the Kuoloa ranch one.

        The scenery is amazing--you ride through this gorgeous valley which many movies were filmed in, so there are remnants from the sets of Jurassic Park, etc.

        The actual riding is very low key--almost all walking, pretty much the standard hack line, you are encouraged to take pics from horseback, etc. My SO who had never ridden did just fine. (To a serious rider, the riding would be boring, but I enjoyed the scenery enough not to care).

        As for the care of the horses, this was my first ride of that type, so I'm not sure the standard. Most of the horses looked in good weight (a few were thin), our guide seemed very knowledgeable about horses. It sounds like they work a full day (like, they mentioned that ours was the 3th and last 2-hr trail ride that my horse was doing for the day) but that might well be typical.

        I think it would be a good choice if you have non riders or beginners in your group.
        Thank you! This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for.

        While I'm sure I would thoroughly enjoy a more advanced ride, I just want to relax and take in the scenery with everyone and make sure that my husband to be ENJOYS it. Let's not scare him off two days before the wedding LOL!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by NBChoice View Post
          You could always check with the hotel you're staying at! They usually have a few brochures about the local trail riding barns.

          I've never been to Oahu so I can't help you, but I can say that trail riding in Hawaii is absolutely beautiful!
          I have an email out to them, and to our local wedding coordinator. Thanks!

          I can't wait. This trip has been two years in the making and while I've been to Hawaii twice before, this will be the first time with him. Very much looking forward to it!

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd recommend Kualoa for the scenery alone.

            Just make sure you get reservations early. We didn't know about it until we got to the island so by the time we called, even with a couple days' notice, it was too late to reserve a horse ride.

            We opted to do their bus tour instead and that was a lot of fun. The ranch is where a lot of movies and tv shows you've probably heard of (one of the later Godzillas, Jurassic Park, LOST, Windtalkers, 50 First Dates...) had filming done so seeing different areas in person that you remember seeing on the big screen is kind of neat. Plus, again, the scenery. I took scads of pictures while I was there (though, to be honest, it's next to impossible to take a bad picture in Hawaii. Also, I have people not believe me when I tell them the water really is that blue).
            The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
            Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

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            • #7
              Happy trails is nice too. Here is a wonderful website that I recommend to people planning on visiting any of the Hawiian Islands.

              http://www.101thingstodo.com/hawaii/...ding/index.php

              Have a good time and you'll have to share your adventure when you get back.


              The trail ride by the Polo club is probably for a more advanced rider since they use to let you canter on the beach and in the surf. Depending on who is running it anymore they may not let you do this. If I were you I would do the Happy Trails or Kualoa Ranch. Mr Hawaii and I lived in Kaneohe which is about 13 miles over the Pali Hwy from Honolulu. By Kaneohe there is chinaman's hat which is interesting and maybe worth stopping by since you'll be over there if you go to Kualoa Ranch

              Happy Trails is in Waimea. Waimea is a great place to see the dolphin pods, whales, and sharks because the water is deeper on that side of the island. The beaches are not as nice as the windward side though. (Kaneohe side)

              My definate beach to tell you to visit while there (prettiest one on Oahu) is bellows beach park in Waimanalo. The surf is calm and it's a nice relaxing beach that is clean and not crowded. If I can tell you anything get away from Wikiki beach..its nasty/dirty, crowded, and the corral is dead. Sunset beach and North Shore beach has rough surf and is more for watching surfers. Turtle Cove in the North Shore is nice to visit too and the North Shore has the BEST shaved ice. I could go on for hours telling where go and what to do.

              If you have any questions about Oahu or any of the other islands let me know. We lived there for many years.
              Last edited by Hawaii; Mar. 12, 2011, 10:29 PM. Reason: spelling errors

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by analise View Post
                I'd recommend Kualoa for the scenery alone.

                Just make sure you get reservations early. We didn't know about it until we got to the island so by the time we called, even with a couple days' notice, it was too late to reserve a horse ride.

                We opted to do their bus tour instead and that was a lot of fun. The ranch is where a lot of movies and tv shows you've probably heard of (one of the later Godzillas, Jurassic Park, LOST, Windtalkers, 50 First Dates...) had filming done so seeing different areas in person that you remember seeing on the big screen is kind of neat. Plus, again, the scenery. I took scads of pictures while I was there (though, to be honest, it's next to impossible to take a bad picture in Hawaii. Also, I have people not believe me when I tell them the water really is that blue).
                Thank you! I want to make reservations in the next week, so I'm hoping that should be plenty of time. I have been meaning to do this for a few weeks but things have been crazy around here.

                Originally posted by Hawaii View Post
                Happy trails is nice too. Here is a wonderful website that I recommend to people planning on visiting any of the Hawiian Islands.

                http://www.101thingstodo.com/hawaii/...ding/index.php

                Have a good time and you'll have to share your adventure when you get back.


                The trail ride by the Polo club is probably for a more advanced rider since they use to let you canter on the beach and in the surf. Depending on who is running it anymore they may not let you do this. If I were you I would do the Happy Trails or Kualoa Ranch. Mr Hawaii and I lived in Kaneohe which is about 13 miles over the Pali Hwy from Honolulu. By Kaneohe there is chinaman's hat which is interesting and maybe worth stopping by since you'll be over there if you go to Kualoa Ranch

                Happy Trails is in Waimea. Waimea is a great place to see the dolphin pods, whales, and sharks because the water is deeper on that side of the island. The beaches are not as nice as the windward side though. (Kaneohe side)

                My definate beach to tell you to visit while there (prettiest one on Oahu) is bellows beach park in Waimanalo. The surf is calm and it's a nice relaxing beach that is clean and not crowded. If I can tell you anything get away from Wikiki beach..its nasty/dirty, crowded, and the corral is dead. Sunset beach and North Shore beach has rough surf and is more for watching surfers. Turtle Cove in the North Shore is nice to visit too and the North Shore has the BEST shaved ice. I could go on for hours telling where go and what to do.

                If you have any questions about Oahu or any of the other islands let me know. We lived there for many years.
                Thank you so much!

                We're actually getting married on Waimanalo beach

                Fortunately, my fiance lived on Oahu for three years so he has tons of experience of the islands....just not of the horsey stuff!

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