We went out in January, and it is only now that I have time to write some trip advisort reviews. I enjoyed the ride at Maui stables so much that I wanted to make sure I put in a review.
We were fortunate to have Keone as our guide. I went with my husband and daughter, and there were 11 people total in the group. Keone asked each person about his or her experience with horses, and matched the horses to the riders.
I was a bit worried when I saw only one guide for a relatively large group. However, Keone managed the situation really well. He put a relatively experienced rider in front, and rode up and down the line to make sure that everyone was okay during the ride, chedkin girths, telling people when to shorten their lead, etc. He also has amazing social skills and a broad range of interests. From other reviews, I knew tht he would be discussing local history and culture and explaining the different plants. However, he listened well to his clients and engaged all of them. For example, as he helped me get on my horse, he asked what I did -- I told him I worked in international finance and economics. "What's going to happen with Greece?" he asked, "Is the IMF going to help?" I later overheard him discussing politics with my husband who used to work on capital hill, and acting with my daughter, who is studying theater. I wish I had his gift for engaging with strangers.
His skills with the horses was amazing He trains all the horses, and apparently is in demand from other stables. He demonstrated how calm his horses are. He tossed a jacket over th head of his horse, and then had the horse move forward, back, left, right -- the horse trusted him completely, and followed Keone's commands even though the horse could not see. The horses also stayed still while Keone flickered his jacket in their peripheral vision, which would normally cause a horse to bolt.
The ride was terrific - 4 hours of beautiful scenery, with some really interesting history and cultural stories. I've never enjoyed a ride so much.
Some tips for enjoying it -- make sure you use the bathroom before heading out, and bring some sort of raingear. Keone explained that we were riding through one of the wettest places in the world, so during the 4 hour ride, it almost always rains for part of the time. If you forget to bring a jacket, definitely borrow one of the ones they have at the stable. Even though it is hot and sunny at the base of the mountain, it will be cooler and wetter as you head up the mountain.
And speaking of tips -- tip the guide! He won't ask or hint for one, but he definitely earns it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.