In the late ’90s, 10-year-old Hoku Kawaroa Eiflander was so desperate for a horse that he struck a nearly impossible deal with his mother. It was a year of hard work for him. No whining. Don’t ask him for anything.
A year later she bought her first horse, a Philadelphia named Faith.
Faith will be the first of many horses to which Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander pours her love.
Today, Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander shares a whopping 22 horses with children as part of the Hoku’s Legacy Riders operation.
Teaching Keiki of the Big Island to ride on his 28-acre ranch on the Steinback Highway in the Mountain View hills.
Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander’s youngest rider, now five-year-old daughter, began lessons as a toddler when she was just two years old.
She also teaches young people how to care for horses. She encourages constant vigilance, perseverance, hard work and consistency.
“A lot of these things we learn in life are taught by horses,” says Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander.
When Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander purchased Faith, she didn’t know that Faith was too young and too small for Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander’s age and weight. Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander traded her faith for the better after she found out that she had hurt her faith in the years she rode with her. This is why she wants her riders to understand the full scope of owning a horse and not hurting animals.
Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander purchased the ranch in December 2021 and has yet to name it. She wants something positive and strong, just like her surgery and the students she trains.
As Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander recently observed students circling the ranch arena: It’s my passion. ”
The Ka’awaloa-Eiflander follows the long tradition of paniolo (cowboys/cowgirls) highly regarded in the Hawaiian Islands. In the heart of the Pacific, cowboys have been arguing cattle and controlling land long before they came to prominence in the “wild west.”
After the longhorn cattle were introduced to the islands in 1793 (when Captain James Vancouver presented King Kamehameha I with six cows and a bull), they ran rampant for ten years. It was only after witnessing the skills demonstrated by the first cowboys, the Mexican vaqueros, that King Kamehameha III stepped in. He invited his three men to the Big Island to teach people how to ranch to control the number of cattle.
Hawaiian participated in practice.Aided by their close relationship with the land, they have developed a unique ranching culture that takes into account the unique volcanic landscape and humid climate. Woven into Hawaiian fabric.
Women have carved out space for themselves as rodeos and paniolos have taken center stage. Over time, pow riding turned into pride and spectacle.
Women on horseback learned the assertions necessary to control a thousand-pound beast while continuing to display grace and dignity.Paniolo women have always embodied generosity and perseverance. , one such woman defended those attributes in Waimea: Anna Leialoha Lindsey Perry-Fiske.
She learned ropes and horseback riding at a young age and became the steward and head of the Anna Ranch in Waimea. Having defeated her brother in a male-dominated era and inherited her family’s fortune, she was a renowned powder rider and earned the title of “First Lady of the Ranch.”
Anna Ranch trustee Steve Bess describes her as follows: she was a force ”
After her death in 1995, Lindsey’s legacy and 110-acre ranch were preserved with the opening of the Anna Ranch Heritage Center in 2007. The ranch is a gift to the local community and is open to the public. It was listed on the State Register of Hawaii in 2005 and on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.
During her lifetime, Lindsay spent 20 years in Hilo as a park commissioner and entrepreneur, sharing her knowledge and teaching others about wrangles and horseback riding.
Today, Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander teaches a new generation of paniolo with the help of her cousin Kahealani Walker.
Walker remembered begging his parents to let him spend the weekend at his cousin’s house.
Now a psychologist, Walker helps out on the ranch. Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander focuses on children’s techniques and Walker is there to check children’s psychology. Together, they make a strong team.
Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander says he goes to great lengths to make his lessons accessible despite the steep cost. She spends her $1,400 a week on feeding her animals. Many of them are rescues, including a few cows from her 2018 Kau her rescue facilitated by her current Hawaiian Animal Kuleana alliance. Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander relies on her donations and seasonal fundraisers to keep her operations and ranch running.
Despite this, she continues to offer lessons for just $40. Her young students receive a two-hour learning session each day after school. Walker provides transportation for students in need.
Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander starts with the basics and builds the mentee’s skills from there. As they progress, students can choose to participate in rodeos or learn how to train their own horses.
When asked why women are attracted to rodeos and ranches, Kaʻawaloa-Eiflander said:
The best way to contact Hoku’s Legacy Riders lessons is by phone at 808-765-5624.