Mihara Horse Riding Club

CONTRIBUTED BY DIANA MIDDLETON

My children love this and I usually take them here twice a year. The pony rides are only $10 and if we had more time, we would definitely do the lessons. My daughter is interested but I want to wait until she’s a little older. Here’s a picture of my very happy daughter getting a pony ride. Enjoy.

They are located just past the Courtney front gate north on 75.

Their SITE has more detailed information about what is offered and how much and so forth.

36 COMMENTS

  1. I’m pregnant and due in November but I can’t wait to get out to the stable — I haven’t been in the saddle for more than a year (before finding out we were expecting in spring, it had been winter in Minnesota since about October … awful) and I’m more than excited to get back in the saddle!

    Does the barn do any sort of work / lesson exchange program? I’d love to be in the saddle more than once a week but we wouldn’t be able to afford it. However, I’m an expert with a dirty stall and a muck fork and I’d be willing to help with anything else, too.

  2. My daughter has been attending riding lessons there since last Dec. and I can certainly attest to the way things were and the way things are now. Its like night and day. The new trainers CARE about the horses and the students, they are encouraging and are very professional. If you haven’t been since the new trainers have come on you should check it out. I am so glad we went back.

  3. Shelly- This is good to know! Do you know if they allow volunteers during the day while kids are in school? Until my husband returns from his deployment, that would be the only time I’d be able to volunteer. I am more than willing to lend a hend, especially if it involves equine!!!

    I couldn’t imagine tubing a pony! I remember what a stinker my pony was, especially when it came to invasive medical procedures!

  4. I know that you were not trying to be rude. I completely understand, I have owned horses my entire life and it has never seemd this hard. The difference here is that, they just do not have the resources that we have or had in the states. There are not an abundance of farriers around here and the people who do know how to do the work don’t want to do it for free. The Vet clinic on base will not come out and take a look at the horses, and the barn does not have the money to pay a japanese vet to come out and take a look at one of the horses when they go lame. I personnaly have had a vet in the states come and take X-rays of my horses leg when he has been lame for a week. I can’t even immagine that happening around here. Me and one other girl tubed one of the ponies when he had colic two years ago. They keep Banamine on hand and if it gets bad a vet will be called, but it is a vet who mostly takes care of cows. The good side is the barn is the cleanes on the island and the girls who teach up there are dedicated to taking care of the horses. Extra carrots, Bran, and they sneak them extra food whenever they can. The Japanese staff loves these horses as well, believe me it is not out of love or compassion that they are not all overweight butterballs running around. Japanese just do things differently that is all. The one constant at the barn is the Japanese, the americans come and go…. as I said I have been here for 5 years now and I have seen 3 4 American Barn managers come and now Go, and this will be the 5th one. They have all done their best and given a bunch of their time. The best part is the barn looks better and better with each one that takes over. If anyone is truely a horse person and knows something about horses and can donate some of their time, you should go out and help some. If anyone knows how to trim feet!!!! Please go out and assist. Some of the guys out there need to have their feet done on a regular basis. The ponies are usually good and can go longer but some of the big boys need to looked after. Angles need to be corrected, cracks need to be looked after, nothing real bad just over all hoof care. 10 of them all together… I may be missing someone but any way.. Since I have started my new job I have not been able to get out there nearly as much as I used to. The horses are great lesson horses and they are great at dressage, you would be amaized at what they know given the right cues (even the ponies) The more business the barn has the better off the horses will be and as I said before, if you think that you can help out either with your time or a donation I am sure that the barn would greatly accept it. If you are looking for a place to go and ride these are great horses to do it on. Usually the Barn has 2 horse shows a year with both japanese and americans, it is great fun and a great way to meet new friends. I hope to see some of you out there when I can, I like to go out and check on the guys once in a while, and I guess with the new american barn managers out there I should pop in.

  5. I see. I wasn’t trying to be rude, really. I understand that horse and stable upkeep is hardwork, but I have never minded it. My whole livlihood was centered around horses, therefore, it never felt like a job to me. My paycheck was just invested back into horse ownership anyway. Of course, I was never burdened with trimming hooves, and the people who came out for lessons were never impolite- that’s too bad.

  6. it isn’t that bad, that is not what I am trying to say. The people are great. and the horses are great, but it takes alot of work, as you know since you have spent alot of time around horses. Most people do not realize how much time and effort it takes to keep horses let alone a bunch of horses. The Japanese do not have the pasure space the us americans do so we need to get a little creative when it comes to keeping the horses active…. besides working them for lessons. The japanese do not have access to wood chips like we do in the states so you need to get creative in ways to keep feet cleaner and a farrier…. are you serious. I trimmed the horses feet until I had back surgery and the barn has a hard time finding a regular farier to take care of the horses feet so, the barn is always looking for someone to come out to help. This is what I mean by it is hard work. Not only do you need to teach lessons but you need to actively work at asking for donations, and ask for others assistance with any type of vet help or varrier help and oh by the way the barn does not have that much money to pay because the money that gets paid for the lessons does go back into the horses or to the instructors. The instructors do need to get paid for their time so that they can keep them around. People are generous with their time but come on they do need to get paid. That is what I mean by thankless. It is rewarding by seeing the horses taken care of, what is not rewarding is when people are always mad at you because you are not dressed right or you are dirty or you are not in a perky mood all of the time, but they do not realize that you have been in the heat all day or have trimmed 6 horses feet, or have bathed 4 or 5 horses and cleaned all of the stalls and taught lessons. This is what i mean by be patient and that it is a thankless job. The horses appretiate it but sometimes people do not. I don’t want to sound crabby either but for those of you who have been around know what i mean and for those of you who will be going out there, it is a great place to go, people are friendly and I am sure that the new instructors will be great.. Give it a try, the horses are great and the horses need you to come and visit them.

  7. …If it’s that bad, then why does it continue to operate? I have worked with horses my entire life, with my own personal horses and at other owner’s stables, and it was never heartbreaking or thankless. I’m really not trying to come-off as rude or ignorant, but honestly- Why does the stable continue to operate if it’s that bad?

  8. I am sorry the hear that some of you have had bad experiences out at Mihara. It is hard to keep instructors at the barn with people PCS’ing on and off of the Island. I have been on the Island for the past 5 years and I recently retired from the Marine Corps and had intended on teaching at Mihara full time however with my child headed to college soon, I needed to find a job with a more stable income. Mihara needs instructors who are willing to give up alot of free time and energy to animals who need alot of care. In the 5 years that I have been on this Island I have seen barn managers come and go, and those who are willing to give their own personal time and money seem to do well. Those who plan to make a huge proffit as a riding instuctor or barn manager need to look elseware for a job. These horses work hard and need alot of care. This is only a personal oppinion comming from someone who has been around these horses for the past 5 years and who has seen two new horses come and 3 horses go… one tragicly. I have judged 7 horse shows at Mihara and I will miss both the horses and most of the people that i have met out there when I finaly leave this island. Everyone please be patient with the people who work and volunteer their time at Mihara, it is a hard and time consuming job… often a hartbreaking job and for the most part a thankless job. Just my oppinion

  9. I wanted to follow-up on my previous posts about the pony ride issue. After she contacted me (after hearing I had commented publicly on this site) and offered the free pony ride, she NEVER responded to any of my emails to try to set-up a day to come out… my son never did get the make-up pony ride.

    From what I’ve heard from other horse people and those who used to ride at Mihara, this was once a decent stable. However, the main instructor PCS’d last spring and it is now being run by some pretty unprofessional and inexperienced girls on the American side. I’d wait until they get some new staff there before even considering them.

  10. I also had a negative experience with Mihara. I went once and the instructor was in flip-flops! Not a good role model for the kids, working around horses dressed like that. I have a lot of experience with horses and felt that this girl didn’t have that much horse knowledge/horse sense. I tried to contact her for additional times for my son to come out and never heard back from her. I wouldn’t trust them to teach my kids unless I’m right there to supervise… and yes, not very friendly there either and extremely unprofessional.

    • Who doesn’t wear flip flops in Okinawa? What did American Indians wear when they were riding bareback? She probably didn’t call you back because you left such a bad impression.

  11. J- I believe it is for the hour but I’m not sure what the lessons consist of. I know they can work with anyone from novice to experienced riders.

    Unfortunately I had a very negative experience recently with Mihara Riding Club when I was trying to arrange lessons with one of the instructors (I forgot her name). She was very friendly until she found out that none of her time slots would work with my schedule, and then she refused to answer any of my emails from that point on. I thought it was rather cold and unfriendly.

  12. is anyone a member here that can tell me how their lessons work. They are $30 a piece… so how long are they or what do they consist of? Any info. is great 🙂

  13. From Kadena:

    Go out gate 3, continue straight until you hit Hwy 329, turn left on 329 and go North. 329 will split near Ishikawa, veer right at the split, continue about 2km, at the top of the hill you will turn right on Hwy 75, Mihara Riding club will be down on the right just after the next traffic light.

    Map to Mihara Riding Club

  14. I am planning on driving out to these stables, but I am a bit leary about driving off-base. One of the instructors gave me directions, but they’re a bit confusing. Can anyone give me simplified directions from Kadena?

  15. Dasha, they are still $10. She mischarged me and was really nice to offer a free pony ride to make up for it. I’m glad to know they are $10, because now we can go out there frequently!

  16. I was so glad to here there is a stable on Okinawa. My husband and are are trying to decide whether or not to take orders to the hospital there, our 10yr old dtr has been riding for 2 years now, and this is a major factor in our decision. Good to know, love this site!

  17. I haven’t been there recently, but when I went there to do a “Hai Sai Okinawa” segment, I was told that most of the funds they generate go back to the horses for their vet care, stables, etc. The horses are in small stables (compared to those in the States) which require a lot of upkeep. Some of the ponies are also a bit older from what I recall, so they require quite bit of care….I agree $20 is a lot of money for a short ride, but I just wanted to let you know that it’s for a good cause.

  18. It was Chelsea who did the pony ride. She was very friendly and the pony was adorable, but I was definitely surprised about the price. I suppose they can charge whatever they want, but we certainly won’t be able to justify going back often at that price.

  19. Kristen, they were only $10.00 back in March, and I hadn’t heard they were going up. I’m with you, twenty bucks is outrageous. Was it a Japanese or an American who gave the pony ride? Did you happen to catch a name?
    Ana is the American manager and lead instructor, Chelsea is an instructor. They are both very nice, and can answer your questions about pricing.
    Here’s their email [email protected]

  20. Has anyone done pony rides here recently? Their website says the rides are $10, just like this post, but when we went to pay the woman asked for $20. Just wondering if they doubled their rates and forgot to update their website.

  21. Hi Dasha, We too “just” rode when younger for hours on end. Found out not a few years ago that I was doing dressage moves without even knowing it!! Now I’m older and more fearful of getting hurt. The past few years have not been kind in my dealings around horses, heh. I do know that english lessons will make you use muscles you forgot about or never knew you had!! 😛

    Chris

  22. Hi Chris,

    Never had an “instructor” before – just casual riding with friends. I grew up in farming country, lots of horses. 🙂 In his younger years my dad was a ranch hand, and my mother was a barrel rider for rodeos!

  23. Do they offer adult classes or trail rides?

    I recently won a gift certificate from them but I have no children nor do I know of any, but I’d like to use it myself.

  24. Hi Dasha, I was just there on Sat. and will be joining on the 29th! English can be very different from western depending on who your western instructor was. More challenging but very fun! If you want I can show you some exercises shown to me by an accomplished teacher that totally help in the process. Horses and riding……great fun!!!

  25. My daughter and I went out here today to check it out – it’s great! The staff is very friendly, and there are a variety of horses. We both already ride Western style, so we signed up for English lessons! They also have jumping clinics, and trail and beach rides. Anybody else been out there?

  26. Bella was 3 then, but is now 4. I’m not sure about the age limit. Give them a call and check it out. I’m sure Bella was in Mia’s class, but she’s changed classes a couple of times to adjust to our schedule!! Now she’s at Courtney/McT with Ms Tara on Thurs eves.

  27. I think your daughter might have been in my daughter’s ballet class! THANK YOU for this! We were just talking about finding something like this for Mia. Love it!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here