A farewell message.
Six years ago, a seed was planted within a small group of people who shared a love and appreciation for horses. This small group consisted of a ranch foreman, his wife, and a few exceptional volunteers. With working cattle horses and some extra room to spare, this foreman offered a place of refuge for rescued horses with no place else to go. Those who came along with these horses would soon become close friends, and would play a pivotal role in the tale to follow. As everyone shared duties caring for the horses, the foreman offered horsemanship lessons at no cost to volunteers, friends, and family in his limited free time. Relationships were built, and prospered, until the story took an unexpected turn.
The working ranch went up for sale and this foreman was going to eventually lose his position, as well as his horse haven. He was offered a new job–a new foreman position on a new piece of land–and struck a deal that would change the narrative once again. He accepted the offer under one condition: he would be allotted a space for his horses, and the rescue horses, to live. The horses’ new grazing area was not as abundant as their previous home, so the foreman started giving horsemanship lessons on the weekends in exchange for horse feed.
Local interest in his lessons were growing, so his wife created a humble website, a recognizable logo, and organized a calendar to keep up. Seeing students come and go, envisioning the success an actual facility could achieve, this foreman’s new employer presented him with a proposition. A deal was struck, and with a gentleman’s handshake, a change from “employee” to “partner” ensued. With the help of the original core team, North Shore Stables was born.
As business grew, so did services and personnel. North Shore Stables began offering Horseback Trail Rides to expand its clientele, became a premier private party venue and field trip location for local families and students, and added ATV ranch tours to supplement the burgeoning business’ bottom line. At one point, North Shore Stables became one of the largest employers on the North Shore of O’ahu. A sort of “Robin Hood” effect started taking place, as revenue from visitors increased and was then paid out to local employees.
While the seemingly prosperous company evolved throughout the following years, there were moments of bitterness and moments of sweetness, as with any company. Key players were stretched thin, “bad apples” were sorted through, and unpredictable financial trends fluctuated. Immeasurable sacrifices were made on many fronts. Yet also, remarkable people were brought together, families grew, genuine connections blossomed, and a movement was started. Horsemanship was beginning to be more than accessible and affordable, it was being achievable.
Scholarships were offered, the student roster rose exponentially, and it was finally happening–the mission was being fulfilled. Through its growing pains, North Shore Stables has had the privilege of serving over 200 students. Diverse backgrounds, various age ranges, and contrasting levels of experience were all welcome. North Shore Stables became a place of routine recreation for many families, and a sanctuary even, for some. It managed to become fragmented pieces of unforgettable memories, both preserved in photos and left untouched in the thoughts of those who loved it.
Presently, the two owners of the company have set their sights on incompatible objectives and North Shore Stables, as its original partnership, is dissolving.
A few months ago, the company made a plea to the community for financial support. It was clear then that the equine portion of the company was in danger of closing, which was made known to the public. People showed immense compassion and rallied in supportive efforts for this company that has become somewhat of a staple in the community. Their efforts were not in vain.
All donations made to help “save the horses” were put into an emergency fund to be used in the event a situation like this were to occur. The generous support received will help provide feed and care for the horses and animals during this transitional period, as horseback riding services will no longer be offered at North Shore Stables effective December 29th, 2023.
What does that look like for you? Students who are scheduled past the closure date will be contacted, and those lessons will be honored. Field trips as well. A new system is being put into place, and will be made available to students soon. Guests with Horseback Trail Ride reservations scheduled after the closure date will be contacted and asked if they would like to either rebook their reservation to a pre-closure date, or cancel and receive a refund. If you would still like to schedule an ATV reservation, you can do so online. If you would like to see what the horses will be doing after December 28th, 2023, please contact us.
To all that have visited North Shore Stables, it is hoped that you enjoyed yourself, took memorable photos, and left with positive experiences. Mahalo for taking the time to read this, and for your continued support of the original mission: horsemanship for all.
And so the story of horses at North Shore Stables begins, and also, ends.