By Catherine Sweeney
Among the many varied experiences during our recent trip to Maui, one of the most memorable was horseback riding in Hana, on the island’s eastern coast.
Though Sweeney had done some English style riding years earlier, my experience had been a few rides on a friend’s horse; in that the goal there was not to learn to ride but to survive. There are coastal horseback rides in California very near our house, but we’d never chosen to try, partly because there had been some controversy regarding the treatment of the horses. Both of us were quite happy with the decision to ride in Maui: even with our history, riding was basically a new experience, the views along the coast were perfect and so was the weather, but probably the biggest reason was the surprise we hadn’t expected.
As we approached the Hana Riding Stables, just across Hana Highway from our cottage at Travaasa Hana, we were greeted by our guide, Jolynn Piimauna, who introduced us to Lucky and Cody, the horses Sweeney and I would ride. We were especially lucky to be the only ones taking advantage of the early morning ride.
As with anything new, there’s always a little apprehension and a desire not to do anything stupid. Jolynn was very calm and instructive and seconds later Sweeney was up on Lucky. Jolynn provided the basic instructions for holding the reins, leg and body positioning and then basic ways of communicating with Lucky to go right, left and stop. It was here we got our first insight about Jolynn. Sweeney said, “And you’ll be right there with us.” Jolynn said, “No, I’ll just need to go with you to cross the road and then you’ll be on your own for the ride; just be back in an hour.” We were both surprised.
To read more about Catherine’s horseback riding adventure and see more photos, click here.
Catherine Sweeney and her husband/co-blogger “Mr. TWS” aim to entertain and inspire others to travel or try new destinations. They share their travel experiences on Traveling with Sweeney, and can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.