“The goal of Makani Olu Ranch
is for guests to want to continue
in some level of horsemanship,
whether it’s frequenting a
stable near home for a lesson, or
advancing with their own horse,”
says Neal. “It’s very important
that our guests leave the ranch
understanding that horses are
smart, loving, living, breathing
and thinking creatures, just like
The horses at Makani Olu Ranch
are an eclectic bunch, o;ering
riders a range of experiences,
according to Neal.
“Each horse is selected to
meet the needs of the rider, and
every guest is accommodated,
whether they are a first-timer
or a professional,” he says. The
ranch features a variety of horses,
ranging from Quarter Horses to
“They have a wide range of
backgrounds and abilities, and
include jumpers, barrel racers,
ropers and dressage horses,”
One of the nicest aspects of
riding at the Makani Olu Ranch is
knowing the horses are loved and
well cared for.
“Guests often comment on
how well behaved our horses are,
and this is because of the way
they are kept,” says Neal. “They
live together as a herd in a natural
environment, with open pastures.
This helps them maintain a great
frame of mind. The horses are our
partners, and are loved very much.
They live a great life, and they love
For more information, visit the
Makani Olu Ranch website at
AUDREY PAVIA is a freelance
writer and the author of Horses for
Dummies. She is based in Southern
There are horses to accommodate every riding level, from beginner to professional.
how well behaved our horses are,
PACKING FOR A RIDING VACATION Equestrian photojournalist Shawn Hamilton has been on over two dozen riding vacations, from pack trips to luxury “glamping.” Here, she shares her advice on packing for a riding vacation. Pack at least two days worth of riding gear, advises Shawn. She recommends a complete change of clothes after riding—especially footwear. “You can get cold at night if you keep on sweaty or damp clothing,” she says.
Take comfortable, broken-in clothes. Breeches take up less space and roll up easier than bulky jeans. You will also want to bring your own helmet for comfort and safety. Comfortable boots, full or half chaps and riding gloves round out Shawn’s essentials for the saddle. A vest and lightweight rain jacket will layer well for a variety of weather conditions.
Baggage Claim: How much to bring on these trips really depends on mobility, says Shawn. If you are staying at a dude ranch where you will be in a comfortable cabin for the duration of your trip, then by all means bring an average-sized suitcase. If you are moving camp every day, however, you’ll need to downsize. Shawn recommends a soft-sided duffle bag for trips where your bag will be trucked to each night’s location. Pack light and choose a bag that’s easy to maneuver. For packing gear on horseback, waterproof sacks come in handy. Pack like a Pro: Shawn uses stuff sacks to corral her clothes, with riding gear in one stuff sack, after-riding clothes in another, and a spare stuff sack for dirty clothes. You can use the stuff sacks as a camping pillow as well. Ultimately, patience and a sense of humor are the most essential things to bring. Go with the flow, be open-minded in your expectations, and you’ll have a great time, promises Shawn. Read about Shawn’s Mongolian horseback trek on pg. 38. www.clixphoto.ca
For a complete packing list, visit HorseChannel.com/Extras