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Low Rehoming Rates Threaten Kaimanawa Horses’ Long-term Future

The official 2024 Muster count has been completed by the Dept of Conservation (DOC) which has confirmed that there are 530 horses in the Waiouru Ranges. Confirming the number of horses in the ranges marks our official start on the push to find as many homes as possible for the 230 horses that will need to be removed from the Kaimanawa Ranges in April or June, the possible muster dates.

There are a greater number of horses in the Ranges as the muster was cancelled last year due to the cyclone causing damage to property and roading damage.

Alternative options will need to be explored if homes cannot be found, as maintaining the herd of 300 allows for the horses to maintain the best condition, while also protecting the fragile ecosystems, unique to the Moawhango Ecological Zone.

It is hoped that the use of contraception for the mares in time will reduce the number of musters and the horses to be removed, however this is in its early stages.

Kaimanawa Heritage Horses (KHH) the welfare group that manages the rehoming efforts are urging people who are interested in taking a horse from the muster to get in touch now.

Kaimanawa horses are known to be curious, honest, and friendly, are trained for a variety of equine disciplines, and are now being seen in the upper levels of equine competitions. They are gaining favour among the equestrian community as highly competitive sport horses, pony club mounts and good all-rounders.

KHH continues to work on the development of training incentives, including the annual Stallion Challenge competition, and ways for people to experience the taming of a wild horse themselves or having one trained initially by a proven professional.

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With low numbers of applications for horses received to date, time is fast running out for interested parties to apply before the application deadline in early April. KHH is more than happy to offer prospective new owners support and advice, and encourage anyone interested to get in touch now.
Information and applications on rehoming a Kaimanawa wild horse can be found at:
Kaimanawa Heritage Horses Welfare Society

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