Horseback Riding Vacation on Hawaii’s Big Island at Pa’ani Ranch
Maybe I was a sugar plantation owner in my former life? There’s something about horseback riding on the Big Island of Hawaii, with its wide open expanses and connection to the land that keeps me coming back. My time spent on the Big Island has always been rewarded with good horseback riding weather and a chance to hang with friendly paniolos – Hawaiian cowboys.
A horseback ride with Pa’ani Ranch Owner Donald Pascual was like a storybook come to life on horseback. As we rode horses through the ranch, we tasted local fruit growing wild on the property. Pascual pointed out where we might see volcanic activity in the distance and he shared stories about cattle round ups and how he and his wife, Charlene, came to own all 220 acres of Pa’ani Ranch, one section at a time.
Pa’ani Ranch offers horseback riding, ziplines and ATV’s
Pa’ani Ranch is the second ranch that I have encountered where they offer zipline and ATV rides, in addition to horseback riding vacations. My first experience with multi-activities in one location was in Cancun, Mexico.
Pa’ani Ranch is a completely different experience from a horseback riding vacation in Cancun, Mexico. I found myself looking at zipline platforms in several locations on the 220 acre Pa’ani Ranch in Mountain View, Hawaii. I had a similar experience in Cancun, in that the horses were perfectly fine with zip lines and ATV’s going by during my horseback riding vacation.
While I’m sure that the horses of Pa’ani Ranch are fine with ziplines and ATV, as well, it wasn’t an issue for our horseback ride. In fact, we had the ranch to ourselves, save for a children’s birthday party going on at the fishing pond and sharing pasture land with cattle scattered throughout the ranch. There was also a beautiful stallion in the distance than ran towards us with his mane and tail flowing in the Hawaiian breeze. If Owner Donald Pascual has his way, that gorgeous stallion will be a mild mannered gelding on my next visit to Hilo. All of the horses at Pa’ani Ranch are well mannered, with horses matched to rider’s ability.
Hawaii’s Big Island for a horse riding vacation
Hawaii’s Big Island is a great place to go horseback riding. With the amount of rainfall this part of the Island receives, the grass is always lush and green; perfect for a trail ride on horseback. Trail rides are typically one and a half hours in length and have guests walking and trotting – depending on their level of riding experience – on mostly level ground. As this is a working cattle ranch, the guide will take horseback riders through several gates on the property, keeping the stallion and bull separate from one another.
Horseback riding Hawaiian style
Owner Donald Pascual and his wife Charlene like to do things big – Hawaiian style – they operate the Black Angus cattle operation with family members, allowing a select few to join the family when they need to round up the cattle. It wouldn’t surprise me if Pascual opened Pa’ani Ranch to overnight guests for a Paniolo horseback riding vacation package. With volcano craters and ash plumes in the distance, this would be one fine place to play Hawaiian cowboy or cowgirl for the weekend.
What are your favorite things to do in Mountain View, Hawaii?
If You Go:
Pa’ani Ranch & ATV Adventures (808) 968-7529
17-7850 North Kulani Road, Mountain View, HI 96771
Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown was a guest of Pa’ani Ranch. I stayed at The Palms Cliff House Inn during my visit to Hilo, Hawaii.