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Vol 19, no. 6
December 2016/ January 2017


Maui Little Pony 
Photo By: Sean Freeman
Photo By: Krissy Millar

In the age of Lyft and Uber, people have come to expect rides on demand. But what if you are six years old and the ride you demand is on the back of a pony? Well, if you live on Maui, you might be in luck.

Run by longtime pony lover Melissa Sowers and her family, Maui Ponies offers riding lessons and riding camps at a five-acre ranch in Kula. It also loads ponies into a trailer and delivers them to birthdays, lu‘au, weddings and any other event where the little steeds are called for. Need a team of sparkly rainbow-colored mini horses for a princess soirée? No problem. Looking for a few rugged Shetlands for a posse of junior cowpokes to tame? You got it. Searching for some mythical unicorns for an unforgettable first-grade graduation? As long as you don’t mind ponies dressed up as unicorns with plastic horns attached to their bridles, that can happen, too. “You name it, we’re ready,” says Sowers. “Throw it at us.”

Sowers got her first pony when she was six. She grew up riding it on Maui’s north shore, through sprawling pastures and pineapple fields. Maui Ponies got started after she became a mom and bought a pony for her son. “Everything just kind of snowballed from there,” Sowers says. With names such as Sea Triscuit, Applejack and Princess, a dozen ponies now inhabit Sowers’ stable.

Starting around $250 an hour, Maui Ponies will deliver three or more ponies to your door. Sowers says she is partial to Shetlands because they’re just the right size for kids and “they’ve got a lot of spunk to them, a lot of spirit.” But of course all ponies, regardless of breed, have a way of putting smiles on people’s faces. “It’s really moving to see how they can change somebody’s mood,” Sowers says. “They make people happy just by being there.”