The other day a few of us from the Ho’olei at Grand Wailea team were given the opportunity to go on a three-hour horseback ride at Piiholo Ranch. Located right in my back yard (relatively speaking, of course) in Makawao, the 800-acre Piiholo Ranch offers their visitors a few different options to see and experience the ranch. You can sign up for horseback riding lessons, two or three hour horseback ride tours, you can even be a cowboy for a day (you drive the cattle to their destination), or you want a little more action, you can helicopter in to a remote cabin location, then take a horseback ride back to the ranch.
The tour we went on was their three-hour private horseback ride, which takes you through the ranch and stops for lunch at a secluded group of cabins, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. After lunch, the ride continues through the ranch property and ends where you began.
Although the day was cloudy and rainy, when the sun shone through, the views were spectacular. Just to be in the middle of nowhere surrounded by pastures, rolling hills, forests, a few cattle, and the occasional bird soaring overhead made the experience worthwhile.
To be completely honest with you, I elected not to ride a horse during this horseback ride. Instead, I rode in the four-wheel-drive quad that brought the lunch to the cabin ahead of the tour group. I am not that comfortable around horses (although after watching Piiholo’s staff work with my friends, I may be ready next time), so instead of slowly meandering along the horse trails I was bouncing and jostling in my seat, clutching my camera bag, trying to keep everything dry and close to my body.
Since I had a faster mode of transportation at my disposal, it gave me ample time before the rest of the riders showed up to walk around the ranch and take as many pictures as I wanted. I could just soak up the fact that we were miles away from anybody else.
Here are some pictures from our day at the ranch:
Everybody who went on the ride could not say enough about how nice it was. It seemed that the staff and even the horses all want to make sure you are comfortable and are enjoying yourself throughout the day. The only thing that did not want to cooperate was the weather, but when you live upcountry, you know that sunny days are never guaranteed. Giddy-up!