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Riding in Hawaii

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  • Riding in Hawaii

    Anyone ever do horsebackriding in Hawaii while on vacation? We are going there on vacation in 2013 and I was looking at the options and they look kinda boring. My daughter (8yo) rides and I try to get in a few lessons a year. When we went to Grand Cayman we did a ride on the beach.

    The hawaii trail rides look like you are walking through fields and trails. Is the scenery worth it? It doesnt look like you can ride on the beach (which would be a key feature in my mind) when visiting an island. Maybe I should stick with Marine based activities on this vacation. ??

    If I put as much effort into my relationship as I do charging my phone, I'd probably be much better off.

  • #2
    Which island are you going to? Big difference. I just got back from the big island. My sister in law has relatives there, and while I don't ride there (because I ride at home) she says there is one place where you can ride down into the Waipio valley, which you can't get into otherwise.

    It depends on what you want. On Maui I think it's on the hillsides. Big island I think most of them through the ranch land in the north.


    • #3
      Which island? I was there for a few days last year and while I didn't get to go riding (though I did get a small sense o the horse community there), if I'd had the money and time I probably would have gone here


      I made it to the gift shop, anyway. Touristy, but it seems that most of te state is touristy.


      • #4
        YES, did this on the Big Island, think it was Kahua Ranch can't really remember. Was very enjoyable, hey your in Hawaii even the everyday things are enjoyable! DH(hasn't ridden since he as a kid) DD (very experienced) and myself (not a complete beginner but it had been a while) rode up into the forest, and along the coast line, not on the beach, but the views were wonderful. Horses were picked for each person, they asked who had experience, DD was the most experienced in the whole group and loved the horse she got, did get to canter and even a little "race" up the hills, the cowboys paid lots of attention to her (16 year old very pretty girl, who would have thunk it?) But everyone had fun, horses were very well behaved and in good condition. Lots of options but it depends on the island you are visiting. Have fun, DH and I are going back at the end of October, just the two of us, CAN'T WAIT!
        "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

        "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


        • #5
          If you happen to be going to Kauai, I have heard good things about this place:

          APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


          • #6
            When I visited Oahu, I didn't see any horse riding places on the beach. The one place we looked into riding at (Kua Loa ranch) I think does their ranch property which looks out over the water but isn't actually down on the beach, per se. We didn't try to get spots till we were actually on the island though and by then all the horse ride spots were full so we did the bus tour of their ranch instead (a lot of tv shows and movies have been filmed there) and that was pretty well worth it, in my opinion. And yes, the scenery is lovely.
            The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
            Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


            • Original Poster

              We are spending 3 days on Oahu and 4 days on Maui. Thanks for the suggestions so far. I will check them out.
              If I put as much effort into my relationship as I do charging my phone, I'd probably be much better off.


              • #8
                The Big Island has lots of riding, as was mentioned -- the Big Island is worth a visit, as well if you have time/funds to do an interisland shuttle.


                • #9
                  i have had three students go riding there. I do not know where they each rode, but they all had a great time, and felt the rides were safe, professional, and more individualized than rides around here are. One went to more of a ranch where it was just them on the ride (not a group), and the other two were in bigger groups.
                  Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                  • #10
                    My mother and I took the 2-hour horseback riding tour at Kualoa Ranch. They filmed parts of Jurassic Park and Pearl Harbor (and other films that I can't remember) there.

                    It was a lovely easy ride that takes you by many movie locations. We were asked our level of experience and I always say I have horses - I don't necessarly want them to give me their most difficult horses since I have enough fun with my own at home. What I want is a push button ride so I can take pix and that's what I got. I'll post a link to the pix from my ride when I get home (can't access the photo site from work).

                    It is not a beach tour, but the scenery is stunning and the ride was very relaxing. I enjoyed it. Was only unhappy it was only 2 hours (I'm used to 3x that, LOL). My little horse was great - not real responsive, but a good hearted little packer.


                    • #11
                      I visited Oahu a few years ago and wanted to go riding on the beach. I did some research and found Kahuku-Kai Horse Ranch. They were AWESOME! I had two non-horsey friends with me and we had our own personal trail ride. They gave all of us appropriate horses. We got to ride in the water and there is a section where they allowed us to gallop the horses down the beach. They took very nice photos of our entire ride on their camera (we then purchased a CD with all of the pictures on it for $30, I think) but also offered to take a few group shots on my camera. Private, quiet and beautiful. The horses were in great shape as well! Friendly people, reasonable prices - highly recommended!

                      Here's their website:


                      • #12
                        The reason you're not seeing a lot of beach rides is because it's frowned on in Hawaii. The horse manure polutes the ocean. (Too many nutrients, it upset's the balance of the marine ecosystem.)

                        The closest you can really get is the Polo club's trail ride on Oahu. It's my favorite, you ride the actual polo ponies, not just deadhead trail horses. They only offer trail rides three times a week, as the rest of the time the ponies are working.

                        Another option, that's not a trail ride but is horsey, is to catch a polo game. They are amazingly fun! The field is literally 20 feet from the beach, and you basically tailgate around the edges of the field to watch the game. The "halftime" show usually involves skydivers from the little airport down the road and after the game there is live music and and a bar. Though that last bit is probably not suitable for the kids, the game itself is still fun to watch, even for folks who don't ride. Tickets are very reasonably priced, considering how expensive everything in Hawaii is.

                        They have a game every Sunday from March through September.
                        For the horse color genetics junky


                        • #13
                          We rode in the Waipio Valley. The horses were in good condition and it was pretty, but we really only got to walk! If we did any trotting, it was so little that I can't remember it.

                          My trainer did some riding along a volcano and is very clear that she hated it! I think a lot of it was walking along areas with bad footing, cliffs, etc. Not my kind of thing, either.

                          I know there are ranch tours where you can actually do w-t-c, but I've seen them on travel shows and cannot remember the names.
                          Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                          • #14
                            I've been to both Maui and Kauai and both times have gotten excellent service and recommendations from the hotel concierge. When we rode on Kauai, we had a nearly-private ride (just one other couple) to a private waterfall that we got to swim in for a bit before heading back. We did get to trot although I had signed up for the "beginner friendly" ride before of my husband.


                            • #15
                              On the Big Island there are some nice places as others have said up past Waimea -- fun rides at a faster pace.

                              Just FYI, you can absolutely get to the Waipio valley w/o horses -- you park at the top and hike in and out. I did it with a friend last year. Good workout and very neat. On the beach there are some wild horses -- cool!
                              The big man -- my lost prince

                              The little brother, now my main man


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Jo View Post
                                When we rode on Kauai, we had a nearly-private ride (just one other couple) to a private waterfall that we got to swim in for a bit before heading back.
                                I think I did that same ride decades ago! My Mom/Stepdad had a condo on Kauai and I went over with them once; they knew I "liked" horses so planned a horseback riding trip for us. I remember the private waterfall and rope swig into the pool ... I didn't swim; it was too cold for whimpy me, LOL.

                                Here's the pix from my Oahu horse ride (not all the pix are of the ride):



                                • #17
                                  I rode on Maui, west side somewhere... I can't remember the name, offhand, unfortunately. But had a great time--they split us into two groups, fast and slow. My husband is not a rider, so I ditched him in the slow group. (; Both groups meet up at the top of the mountain (dormant volcano) for lunch, then ride back down. Fast ride was definitely fast--lot of slightly hair-raising galloping, especially since I made the mistake of saying I rode and therefore got the recently added ex-polo-pony who liked to take the lead. (; But it was a fabulous ride and great views...
                                  "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                                  Graphite/Pastel Portraits


                                  • #18
                                    Rode on the Big Island at (I think) Waipio Valley. I was 11 but jumping 3' + at the time (very competent rider) and went with my Mom who was also a good rider. Helmets were provided and we went on a private ride where we could trot, canter, and gallop. It was BEAUTIFUL country and well worth it even though it wasn't on the beach!!
                                    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                                    My equine soulmate
                                    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                                    • #19
                                      Second the vote for Kahuku-Kai horses while you are in Oahu. I had a great time riding with them when we stayed on the north shore. I was also worried about getting stuck on a boring walk-only trail ride with a bunch of novices. We took out two horses with a guide, went down to the beach, and ended up cantering along in the surf. One of my fondest memories on horseback to this day!!!

                                      Totally jealous, by the way...enjoy Hawaii!!!!!!