Job Swap: Jason Tang Horsing Around

Kerrie Padeken
Kerrie Padeken

KANEOHE (KHNL) -- It's one of the oldest and largest working cattle ranches on Oahu, but there's much more to Kualoa ranch than beef. There's an adventure just waiting to be had, and I decided to try his hand with the horses.

"Heyah! just like that. heyah, heyah!"

After corraling the horses, even the disobedient ones, it's time to prepare to ride. I'm lucky to get gentle "Johnny."

"The first thing I do is pick their hoof, because if they don't have a shoe on, I'm not going to waste my time," said Kerrie Padeken, Trail Supervisor.

Next I scrape off dry mud, and follow that up with a nice brush down. But right before the saddle goes on, Johnny had plans of his own.

"Oh I just cleaned your shoes, come on!" I said.

Thankfully the mess was pretty easy to clean. All that was needed was a shovel and a wheelbarrow.

That's what we call a pooper scooper!

After laying on the saddle blanket, the saddle pad, and the saddle, my final task before mounting up is to put the bridle on Johnny's head.

"The reins go on first, the bit goes in his mouth, and you're going to ask him nicely by just gently touching him here, and if he doesn't do it, you've asked him nicely so now you just press down a little bit, and pop it goes in," instructed Padeken.

Much easier said than done.

I told Johnny, "I'll give you some carrots, how 'bout some oats, an apple?"

He's not taking it.

After three unsuccessful tries, Kerrie saves the day.

"Don't quit your day job," reiterates Padeken.

Finally time to ride, and the scenery is breathtaking. From the panoramic views of Chinaman's hat, to the wildlife all around, this morning ride is perfect; well, almost.

I'm a little saddle sore.

After an hour of riding, Johnny is relieved to be back -- literally. And I'm pretty happy too.