Aloha! And mahalo for a terrific visit and ride (3/22/22) from all of us in the Macleod family. Vicky was our wrangler and guide. She confidently managed the horses and all of us on a beautiful ride through the green breezy upland ranch lands. We are a family of 5, a 70+ grandmother, 2 beginnerish (to riding) parents, a timid 8 year old and an active 3 year old. Vicky put us adults on wonderful, well-trained horses, and ponied our 8 year old while having our toddler in front of her in the saddle for the entire ride. She chatted with the kids and kept the rest of us headed in the right direction. We had our freedom to find our own way through the lovely terrain and ride without having to follow anybody except our own peaceful hearts. I adored my horse, Smoky, a tall, kind-eyed blue roan who never once put a foot wrong through the grassy hills. He was alert and calm, stepped out willingly, trotted with an easy to sit jog, neck-rained easily, and never once put his head down for a snack. I could’ve ridden on happily for another two hours.
My family and I would like to thank you for the amazing horseback ride we had with you this past weekend, we had and incredible time with the animals regardless of having no experience with them. Although our fear made us really nervous at first, your confidence and connection with the horses allowed us to relax far more than we had anticipated. We could then focus more on the unforgettable views that kept us speechless throughout the entire ride. It truly impressed me how much time and dedication you and your family put toward the ranch.
Much thanks, Marisa Sugiyama
Our Family had a great time while at your ranch on 23 December. Ku’uipo and Ikena were great!! We really enjoyed Ku’uipo’s fun personality during our ride. thank you for sharing your family and life with me and mine. God Bless! Much Aloha!
The Wall Family
Hi! My name is Sheri Waterman and I brought up a family group of 11 on Fri., March 25th. Enclosed is a group picture you took of us. and one of me so you might remember who we were. I just want to thank you again, for such a wonderful ride! I absolutely LOVED the style in which we got to ride, side by side and on our own. It felt like we were riding the range like when I was younger. Most of the kids had never ridden, and I felt they were given the best 2 hour lessons imaginable! They all got to actually “ride” and were in complete control of their horses, unlike a head to tail ride. I also loved how you told the kids to pick their own way up the side of a ridge, having to make at least two turns and not allowed to follow anyone else! We all went back to the hotel full of stories. Thanks again for a marvelous experience!!!!
“Purposely avoids the nose to tail lineup” Honolulu Advertiser
I’ve been back in Chicago for three days and I was just thinking about what a great time I had the two days I got to ride out on the ranch. The first day was the 1 1/2 hour ride with Ku’uipo and Ikena. It was so amazing I went back the next morning for the 2 hour ride with Pa’akaula…he has a dream job…I told so. Running the 4 buildings here in Chicago is just super fast and crazy…it seems that the ranch life would be a dream to many people like me. Thank you for allowing me the honor to experience a touch of heaven on Earth even if it was for a short time, so far I have been to the Big Island 3 years in a row and I believe that I will be back again next year. If I am lucky enough to do so, I will be sure to at least book 4 rides in advance! .Thank you again…and I look forward to seeing everyone…the dogs, Red, Weipea, and everyone else… the ranch is a wonderful place…I could have stayed there for a very long time… Thanks again, Paul Czarnowski from Chicago….Mahalo 🙂
My wife and I spent 5 days in Maui and a few days over on the Big Island and did tons of stuff on both Islands from snorkeling, zip lining, surfing, etc., and your ride was by-far the absolute best thing about our vacation. I have always wanted to ride a horse but I am a big guy and weigh about 270. Most places have a max weight of about 220 to 250lb’s.
Not only did I get a great lesson in riding horses, I got to drive cattle! That was insanely cool and so much fun.
We had Pike’ (I hope I am not butchering his name, your son that went to Dallas for college) as a guide and he is the absolute coolest guy. On the trail we were chatting and the subject of bull whips came up and I had mentioned that I had always wanted one and so forth and at the end of the trip ha came out and gave me one of his old Whips. That is one of the coolest things anybody has ever done for me. He is a great guy!
I can go on forever about how amazing and wonderful our experience was with your family and ranch but I will spare you and just say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Tony and Linnea Martos (We were on the 9am range station ride on 5/31/10)
My Ohana and I would like to take this time to send to all of you a warmest “aloha and mahalo”. Words cannot express our gratitude, and appreciation for allowing us a chance to experience the beautiful art of a “paniolo”.
As a child growing up on Hawaiian Homeland (Keaukaha,) I never had the opportunity to experience this lifestyle. We were raised to fish, hunt, surf and listen to our kupuna’s and show everyone respect; especially the aina and the ocean.
This experience will live with me forever. To see my children’s faces and hearing the joy in their voices when we talk about the experience. To listen to my son Kennison, explain how he became a “cowboy” when he did not fall off Rosey when she went down the side of the hill. Also to listen to my daughter Kenisha Ann, talk about how she rode Kailua all by herself and how she was scared at first, and how brave she was at the end.
My wife on the other had, used to ride all the time. her mother and her could run, and help to round up cattle so they were so pleased to be able to do that again. I told my mother in law that she was very impressive and she should keep doing it.
As you know, like most local families, we couldn’t wait to tell our stories and our experience with all of our ohana and friends, and we hope that they would come to your place and experience what we have. I hope you don’t mind.
Until then, a hui hou and malama pono, Kenneth, Roxi, Kennison & Kenish-Ann Rowe
We recently visited your ranch (10/24/03) for a cattle drive. There were 6 people in our party, although my sister chose to back out at the last minute. Unfortunately she doesn’t know what she missed out on. The ride certainly lived up to its billing. The scenery was beautiful. It was great to get the opportunity to move cattle as well. It was something that we were talking about for the rest of our trip. It is also one of first things that we mention when our friends and family on the mainland ask us what we did in Hawaii. Your guide, Allison, did a great job teaching us what we needed to know, as well as incorporating personal experiences into the ride. I would highly recommend this activity to anyone. thanks again.
Aloha Nakoa family & Ranch staff,
You made 2 first time riders very at ease during our recent visit. The 90 minute journey across pastures was truly a delight and accommodated each person’s comfort level without the “stay in line” feel of a trail ride. The Waimea high country is stunning, a perfect place to soak in Hawaii away from the major tourist areas, yet very accessible.
Mahalo! – Margaret & Geoff Thomas – 6/26/03
“The combination of Hawaii and Nakoa have an uncanny ability to let a person experience a certain spirituality that is truly unique to place or person. The horses bred at the ranch are top quality Quarter horses. It is one thing to be a great teacher but to be able to put the final result into action so successfully is another.” AQHA & WB Yearbook, Austrailia
“This is not the kind of Cattle drive where you sit there and they do all the work. You will see lush rolling green hills from open country, not from a trail” Hawaii, the Big Island Revealed Guide book
“I’m not a spiritual guy but I’ve never had a spiritual equestrian experience like riding with Harry Nakoa at Dahana Ranch for $65 across 600 acres. Harry is a “horse communicator.” He takes an unridden horse and in 90 minutes makes it rideable, and makes the horse lie down at his feet. In five minutes he’ll tell you everything that’s wrong with your riding. I left a much better horseman. You will too.” October 9, 1999 – MIDWEEK Bob Jones
The horseback ride you provided for myself and Debbie Weil and company was a terrific experience. To be able to cross the upcountry slopes of green pasterlands in an almost surreal mist and coolness certainly exceeded my every expectation. Your horses are not the typical “nose to butt” variety at most riding stables. Thank you for your hospitality and for a most enjoyable afternoon.
J. William Boyd, CMP
President – CEO