Poor weather this year put paid to the planned roundup of wild Kaimanawa horses in New Zealand’s Waiouru Ranges, and advocacy group Kaimanawa Heritage Horses is expecting a big muster next year.
Earlier in the year heavy rains destroyed roads and property making transporting the horses to homes across the North Island too difficult.
Kaimanawa Heritage Horses (KHH) said a horse count will be carried out early in 2024, and from there, a decision on mustering numbers will be made by the Department of Conservation (DOC).
KHH is already taking applications for placing the wild horses into experienced and safe homes. All applicants will be visited by a KHH team member who will advise on suitable yarding and fencing.
The group has established a fund-raising page, and donations go towards the welfare of the horses including immuno-contraception for the mares which was started in 2021. Volunteers fund-raise throughout the year by selling KHH merchandise online and at the horse expo Equifest. “We also organise annual bus trips to see the horses in their homeland in the Waiouru Ranges,” the KHH said.
Hundreds of horses have been rehomed since the roundups began in the 1990s.
“Since 2014 every horse suitable to rehome has been saved,” the KHH said. The organisation also organises an annual show for Kaimanawa horses, publishes a magazine, and promotes the Kaimanawa horses as great all-round riding ponies.
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