Since the mid-eighteen hundreds, horses have played an important role in the evolution of Hawaii. Some of the earliest European immigrants to Hawaii were Portuguese and they brought their equestrian traditions with them. These horse loving people later became known as Hawaii's "paniolo's", or Hawaiian cowboys. One Paniolo ranch is still in existence today on the foothills of the West Maui Mountains not far from where the cruises ships are docked in Kahului. This well known Maui ranch is called the Mendes Ranch and the descendants of the original Mendes family are still here to share their horse loving traditions. You'll need to make arrangements to get to the ranch via a taxi or a rent-a-car.
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