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2011 Hawaii Horse Expo at Anna Ranch in Waimea – Hawaii Island Humane Society's Horse Rescue Fund

This year (2011) marked the fourth year of the Hawai’i Horse Expo, a benefit event for the Hawai’i Island Humane Society’s Horse Rescue Fund.  

Having attended many of these events on the Mainland where the same clinicians typically fill a fairground or stadium with 3,000 horse lovers, I find it an extraordinary privilege to watch them in an intimate setting of only a few hundred attendees. Besides, I always step up to the plate for a level of sponsorship that entitles me to the post-Expo wrap party—dinner and a glass of wine with some of the most sought-after clinicians on the planet!

Top clinicians present to an intimate audience at the annual Hawai’i Horse Expo—this year at the historic Anna Ranch

If you are not familiar with the natural horsemanship movement, skip ahead as these names will mean nothing to you. If you are a horse-owner considering moving to Hawai’i, here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Rick Lamb is the master of ceremonies, and Dr. Robert Miller has attended and presented each year. These guys literally wrote the book The Revolution in Horsemanship and What it Means to Mankind.
  • Dale Myler has worked his magic with bits at 3 of the 4 events.
  • Curt Pate, Tammy Pate, training legend Jack Brainard, and Road to the Horse winner, Richard Winters, are some of my past year’s favorites.

Because of the intimacy of the setting, all of the invited clinicians watch—and sometimes are invited to assist in the others’ sessions. I find the enthusiasm for lifelong learning and collaboration between the presenters to be especially inspiring. Rather than get confused by which technique or choice of equipment is “right,” we as an audience begin to find the similarities, and that helps us on our own path to mastery, whatever the breed we own, or riding discipline we pursue.

Linda Tellington-Jones gives confidence to a “spooky” horse at the 2011 Hawai’i Horse Expo

I especially want to mention the participation of two Big Island residents who are perhaps better known among serious equestrians outside of Hawai’i than they are here at home! Linda Tellington-Jones is hard to catch on the Big Island because her travel schedule has her on the Mainland and in Europe most of the year. I’ve been reading her books since 2002, but never had the chance to see her work in person.

Her first demo was with a barrel-racing horse owned by a woman who was afraid to let her daughter ride the horse. By the end of the hour-long session, Linda was riding the horse bridle-less with only a rope around its neck, and the owner was in happy tears. 

The horse in the photo above was her second demo project, a young gelding described as “spooky” by its owner…described as being ungrounded by Linda, which is a much easier “condition” to remedy. Oh, did I mention this marvelous teacher and fearless rider is 74 years young?

Equestrian community Puu Lani Ranch home for sale (MLS# 247075) is only $599,000

Lester Buckley can be found at the sold-out Light Hands Horsemanship event in California each spring, has presented or brought horses to three of the four expos if memory serves…and currently teaches and trains at Waiki’i Ranch, and a private stable in Waimea. He is the ultimate cross-over trainer, having started his career training ranch horses at King Ranch and Parker Ranch…then getting fascinated by classical horsemanship, which he studied in Germany.  

This year, we had lunch together at the Hawaii Horse Expo, and Lester and his wife happened to mention to me that their house at Puu Lani Ranch has just been listed for sale. (You knew I was somehow going to work Big Island horse property into this post!)

Because it has a barn, arena, and riding trails, Puu Lani Ranch is one of the few gated communities on the Big Island that is truly suited for horse owners. There are currently 8 active listings at Puu Lani, seven of which are under $600,000 for 3-bedroom homes on an acre or more in a gated community just minutes from the amenities of Kailua-Kona.  

Here’s a gallery of those Puu Lani Ranch homes for sale, and of course, I’m happy to consult on which Big Island properties will work best for you and your horses!

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