Horse Keeping in Hawaii

By Patty Wilber

I spent the last week on Oahu, Hawaii, visiting family.

L to R Amara, Erika, Me, Mark, Rick, Maegan, Leilani, at Gunstock Ranch where the girls did a pony ride on the trail. Their guide was very very nice and walked backwards leading their horses for the whole 30 minute ride.

I would love to live there to be closer to the grand girls, however, there is the little problem of the horses…

I obviously like to show cow horses and Appaloosas. There are no Regional Appaloosa Horse Clubs in Hawaii, and there is not even a Quarter Horse Club on Oahu, anymore. BUT there was just an Oahu Ranch Horse Series event, that included Cutting, Boxing, Reining, Barrels, Poles and Breakaway roping.  It was the weekend before I arrived, so I was not able to check it out.

The entry fee was $500 for the whole event and $35 for the office fee. This is close to what I expect to fork out for our upcoming Appaloosa, Buckskin, All Breed show at EXPO NM (Aug, 21,22), but in our show I will get to compete in four cow events plus around 10 other ranch horse classes and three halter classes.

To get more info on horse keeping in HI, I was able to get a hold of Debbie Chinna who is the admin for the FB page Oahu Cuts (along with Michi Karito Atamian). She was great!  She told me that that if I wanted to go to a show on a different island, I would probably send my horse on a barge, which works like this: You drop your horse off in the morning and they get a stall. The barge leaves about 1 pm and get to the destination island in the evening, but the docks are closed so you cannot pick up until around 8 or 9 the next morning. The trip would cost over $500.00, not to mention the cost of trailering to the event, staying at the event, getting ones self there, paying for the event…yikes.

As far as buying a place to house my own horses...hahahaha!  We could not even afford a normal house, so we would be renting a shack and boarding…five horses…

I called two places to get info on prices, but neither  responded, so Debbie to the rescue again! Stall boarding where she has her horse: $300 per month. BUT that comes with…not much else. The horse gets one hour of private turnout per day IF it has not rained too much. Debbie buys and sets out her own feed and the facility dumps that in 2X per day.  Debbie buys her own shavings and cleans her own stall. Feed at the local feed store, let’s feed cubes, is $21/ 50 pound bag.  That could add up to about $200.00 per month. Times 5. I just fainted.

Then, where would I ride?  There is a 900 acre ranch that boards (no response on cost or facilities) but people do have access to the trails.  Otherwise…I’d guess a lot of arena work…?

Clearly there are cows, and people are doing cow events, so pretty sure I could find that.  Do I ship my new big trailer or my old small one over? How much would that cost?  But hey!  It would be a one time expense!

Also, the horses need to get here…by plane…When I took my polo lesson a few years ago, the polo guy said it cost him about $2500 per horse. Latigo Livestock has a good reputation (Debbie said!) and there was even an article in Western Horsemen in January about this company!

So, given all that expense, it looks like we will be happily staying in NM for the foreseeable future, where we have our own place, room for ten horses, access to shows, a cow horse trainer, cows, and millions of acres of riding (except most of that is now closed due to crazy fire danger.)

I will just have to suck it up and travel to Hawaii a couple of times a year.

Happy Thursday from Hawaii!

About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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