The Big Island has a long, rich equestrian history and is home to the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) tradition. In 1793, Capt. George Vancouver gifted King Kamehameha I several head of long-horned cattle; the King placed them under a kapu (taboo) so they could multiply. The first horse arrived in 1803 as a gift to the King, and he was so impressed after a riding demonstration that he had more horses brought to the island. By 1830, the cattle had become so abundant that they were decimating the island’s flora and disrupting villages, so the King brought in Mexican vaqueros (cowboys) to bring the cattle under control. From them, Native Hawaiians learned the art of herding, roping, and ranching, and a Hawaiian tradition was born on lands that soon became Parker Ranch. An added bonus of the vaqueros is that they introduced the ‘ukulele, which was immediately adopted by the Hawaiian people. During vacation, what better way to see the island’s awe-inspiring sights than the way paniolo do – on horseback? Though there are no riding stables on the Kona Coast proper, you will find several excellent Kona horseback riding tours within easy reach.
Whether you are a true country person or a city slicker, there is a horseback ride near the Kona Coast that will be just perfect for you. So pull on your boots and hat and get ready for the ride of a lifetime! All horseback riding in Kona Hawaii requires advance booking, so contact Kona Concierge today!
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