Big Island Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding

In 1793 British Captain George Vancouver gave King Kamehameha five head of black longhorn cattle that Kamehameha set free to roam the plains of the Big Island. These cattle flourished and soon became a nuisance because of their rapidly growing numbers. Mexican cowboys or Vaquiro as they are called where brought to the island in 1830 to teach the Hawaiians roping and riding skills necessary to herd the wild cattle. The Vaquiro called the men they trained Paniolos.

A colt and its mother


Today the Big Island is known as paniolo country. It is home to nearly 200 cattle ranches, Parker ranch being the largest and one of the biggest in the country.

Several area ranches offer the opportunity to ride the range in a guided tour of the pastures with spectacular views of the coastline and peaks. You can ride along with paniolos on working cattle ranches who will tell you stories that have been passed down in their families for generations. The stables cater to riders of all experience levels with horses that the first time rider will feel safe on to the ones that will only respond to the most experienced riders.

Horseback Riding on a ranch
Paniolo country

If you looking to walk, trot, or canter along the stables will have what you are looking for in the open plains of Waimea. If you would prefer to go on more of a sightseeing trip then an open range ride.

You can also saddle up and explore the trails above Waipi’o Valley for amazing sightseeing and backcountry waterfalls. These rides will take you into a lush tropical jungle on windy trails to a beautiful waterfall. If you looking to go for hard riding or an afternoon walk the Big Island of Hawaii has what every horse lover wants.

Saddle up and see you on the range.