Had a wonderful half day experience on the windward side of Haleakala National Park, just south of Hana. I am not a big fan of horses and have previously found the animals at other places to be in poor shape or looking sad. What a difference on this ride. We had a quality outing with 5 riders and our guide for about 4 hours. My horse was gentle and perfectly sized for my 210 pounds and long legs. She was easy to ride and the gear was first rate. The horses climbed nearly 1000 feet of elevation going from quiet forest paths to open ridge lines and amazing views. Having a 360 degree view of coast, brilliant blue ocean, dramatic water falls slipping in and out of the fast moving clouds and steep valleys essentially to yourself was worth it for me. Our guide was a native Hawaiian with a winning smile and a gentle way with horses and novice riders that put me quickly at ease. He was eager to share his knowledge of the many plants and their uses, the history of the Hana area, the changes that have occurred in the last 200 years and the hopeful future of the islands. The time went quickly for me and I was sorry to see the stable come into view at the end of the ride.
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