The Horseriding Guru

by Leisa on July 17, 2011

I love synchronicities (as I wrote about in this post here) and love meeting new people when travelling and being amazed at who turns up on your path.

One of the things I really wanted to do whilst in Hawaii, was go for a horse-ride in the lush Hawaiian landscape. So I found a place and booked a private ride, so that we could go for a little trot and a canter instead of just a leisurely walk with a group – being the adventure seekers that we are :-)

Our guide Suki, proved to be a very interesting character, and as we spoke a little and he realised that we were conscious of different environmental issues and ways of eating – he really opened up.

Suki lives on a 242 acre property that backs onto the beach as well as having a natural fresh water stream running through it. The land has been classified as a natural reserve and bird sanctuary, and he is listed as the trustee of the land for life – so no land tax to pay. The property can only be used for agricultural purposes which don’t damage the land, so he has set up a completely self-sufficient lifestyle.

His home is powered by a mixture of solar power, turbine power from the running stream, wind power and some of the excess energy is stored in batteries. He grows all of his own vegetables and fruits organically and has planted so that he has different varieties of fruits available all year round.

He raises some animals for eating – and even though I am not an advocate of eating a lot of animal products – if you are going to eat meat, then raising the animal y0urself on the organic food you grow on the property, and allowing the animal to live out a happy and peaceful life before a humane death – well that is as close to ethical as you’re going to get as a meat eater – and that is how our guide Suki lives.

The really interesting thing is that he has absolutely no need for money. He has no taxes, no food to buy, no power bills – he uses his horse or a bike to get anywhere he needs to go on the island so has no need for a car. He enjoys riding horses and uses the money he earns from guiding rides he uses to travel to see his family every couple of years – but he could happily live the rest of his life on his property with no use for money at all. It was a fascinating insight into someone who has opted out of the system and lives a very happy, peaceful and productive life off the land.

So our enjoyable afternoon of horseriding took on a much deeper meaning as we pondered the concepts of living in a money free society and what constitutes happiness. Is it having enough money to buy whatever you need, or not needing money at all?

It was a very interesting afternoon. What are your thoughts on living without the need for money?



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6 commentsAdd comment

Annette July 20, 2011 at 1:14 am

I would love to live a life without the need for money but I doubt that there are too many people who can make this happen. I know that living in a suburban area makes this virtually impossible but perhaps if we lived a more communal existence, even in the cities, we could cut down our need for so much money. I think this takes a paradigm shift in the way we think about living though.

Ahhh……maybe one day!

Leisa July 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Hi Annette – yes it is something to aspire to – but rather difficult in the way we run as a society today – although more people are moving in that direction as able. At least doing things like having sustainable power and growing your own food is a step in that direction. I’m just waiting on a new book just released from one of my favourite authors, Charles Eisenstein called Sacred Economics which explores these subjects and the gift economy – I’m looking foward to reading it!

Stephanie Black July 21, 2011 at 4:24 am

Thanks for this article Leisa! I agree with much of what you say, about the ethical production of meat and the chance to have no need for money… what a life! Sacred Economics is worth checking out :)

Sustainable living is a hobby of my family and we aspire to run a farm similar to Suki’s sometime soon! For inspiration we look to David Holmgren and Permaculture ( whom I’m sure you will have heard of.
For Annette, I know what you mean! Getting started is really hard, because so many of us must buy all the resources to set our sustainable lifestyle up :(
A good place to start would be purchasing and watching the film “Anima Mundi” by Peter Downy (I’m not an affiliate, I just love the film which has some good info and resources, such as Very Edible Gardens which make over suburban gardens into Permaculture paradises, using volunteers to reduce or eliminate costs

Leisa July 26, 2011 at 12:26 am

Hi Stephanie,
Thanks so much for your great comment! What you are doing sounds so fantatic – great hobby to have! And your links are awesome, thanks for sharing those with me and with everyone who reads the blog, much appreciated. I’ve been visiting David Wolfe’s permaculture place and it is incredible, the way it is planted, it maximises the space and the plantings are quite dense with the ecosystems supporting each other – and there is a huge amount of food produced – it’s very inspiring! All the best with your projects!
Love, Leis

Stephanie Black July 27, 2011 at 12:20 am

Thanks Leisa,
Your right, those permaculture paradises sure are inspiring ;) I’m really glad the links are helpful! Thank you for the well wishes too :)

Annette July 28, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Stephanie – thanks for those links, they’re great!

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