It always surprises me that many visitors don't consider Hawaii to be ranch and cattle country. Few realize that there were cowboys (paniolos) in Hawaii years before they flourished in the American West.
Did you know that one of the largest privately owned ranches in the U.S.A. is in Hawaii (Parker Ranch on the Big Island) and that each of the main islands has a signficant number of ranches, many of which offer horseback trail rides.
On Maui, no fewer than nine companies offer visitors the opportunity to see Hawaii from the saddle.
Visitors to Maui can choose between many different types of rides thanks to the island's varied geography and topography. In Upcountry Maui you can ride across ranch land where cattle still roam, you can ride on the often steep hills of the West Maui Mountains, along sea cliffs with views of the Pacific Ocean or on the slopes of Haleakala high above Maui's central valley. You can ride through tropical rain forests or groves of blossoming lehua trees, cloud-shrouded eucalyptus and sandlewood trees. You can even ride into the crater of Haleakala itself with one of Maui's most popular rides.
If you're planning on riding on Maui, be sure to bring a pair of long pants (preferably jeans), closed toed shoes, and windbreaker. Many rides have age and weight restrictions, so be sure to check with the company with which you're interested in riding.
I have personally ridden with both Lahaina Stables and Mendes Ranch and thoroughly enjoyed both rides.
For more information on the companies offered horseback rides on Maui check out their websites, listed here.
Central Maui and Upcountry
Makani Olu Ranch
Pony Express Tours
Thompson Ranch Riding Stables
East Maui (Hana)
Maui Horseback Tours (Maui Stables)