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Big Island

Paniolo Life on the Big Island of Hawaii

I met an old cowboy in Kona a couple weeks ago and  I entered a new circle of people and friends here on the Big Island. I loved meeting Ron , a 65 year old cowboy and a western saddle and tack maker. He was flown out here by local ranchers from Oregon where he had suffered bad asthma. When he arrived in Kona he was shocked that his asthma went away….even in Kona with some of the volcanic emissions (VOG )from distant Kilauea volcano, Ron says his asthma is better! This fact made him move here right away. So I helped him find a home in quiet Naalehu that he wants to buy and after a little negotiating we just found out the Seller accepted his offer today which is also Ron’s birthday….a good sign Ron says!

He is so happy and the girls at the local bank are already bringing him horse tack to repair and spreading the word. It looks like he is going to be a busy cowboy. He said that there are other saddle makers in the islands but that they all build the Hawaiian saddle (much like a Spanish saddle in design) and Ron has been in local saddle maker gatherings on-island and says he is the only Western saddle maker on the Big Island.

Horses at Waikii Ranch, Big Island

Ranching is a big thing on the Big Island of Hawaii, Molokai, Maui and some of the other islands, with many cowboys and cowgirls enjoying the sport of Ranching, rodeos and horseback riding. I have a client who has a thriving horseback trail riding business called Paniolo (Cowboy) Adventures. His site is www.panioloadventures.com.  He is located outside of Waimea, Kamuela in the incredible Kohala mountains.  This horse activity stirs my cowboy blood as I grew up on a Ranch in California in my early years where I rode horses daily.

In our local paper, www.hawaiitribune-herald.com the Oct 4th I read that Parker Ranch continues its strugle to manage its 150,000 acre ranch and other holdings and will be selling off 3,509  acres of its North Kohala property soon.  This is not available for sale yet but here are some ranching properties for your review: Big Island Ranch Properties

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Beth Thoma Robinson

October 9, 2009

Heidi,
Thanks for sharing your client’s story and putting together the gallery. The astute reader will see MY horses grazing in the photos for one of the properties you included as the seller let me pasture them there for a few weeks when they were in transition from Kohala Ranch to Maliu Ridge!

Two weekends ago the Paniolo Preservation Society held a wonderful event honoring master saddlemakers from each of the islands. If anyone is curious as to the differences between the Hawaiian saddle, which is uniquely suited to the paniolo lifestyle, and the typical Western saddle, I’d be happy to fill them in! Did you know that even the parts of the saddle are referred to by their Hawaiian names?

I’ve also been writing a series of Hawaii Life blog posts about horse-friendly areas on the Big Island. Perhaps you should write one about Na’alehu!
Happy trails,
Beth

Beth Thoma Robinson

October 9, 2009

Heidi,
Thanks for sharing your client’s story and putting together the gallery. The astute reader will see MY horses grazing in the photos for one of the properties you included as the seller let me pasture them there for a few weeks when they were in transition from Kohala Ranch to Maliu Ridge!

Two weekends ago the Paniolo Preservation Society held a wonderful event honoring master saddlemakers from each of the islands. If anyone is curious as to the differences between the Hawaiian saddle, which is uniquely suited to the paniolo lifestyle, and the typical Western saddle, I’d be happy to fill them in! Did you know that even the parts of the saddle are referred to by their Hawaiian names?

I’ve also been writing a series of Hawaii Life blog posts about horse-friendly areas on the Big Island. Perhaps you should write one about Na’alehu!
Happy trails,
Beth

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