Wild Horses in Central New Zealand
January 6, 2017 10:59pm CST
The central plateau of New Zealand is quite a barren place, in the volcanic region of the North Island. The highway known as the Desert Road passes by three major mountains, Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro. To the east of this road, toward more fertile land, roam the wild horses known as Kaimanawa horses. Horses were introduced into New Zealand in 1814 and the first wild horses in the Kaimanawa region were first reported in 1876. These horses had either escaped from their remote farms or had been released into the wild for one reason or another. Today the Kaimanawa wild horses have developed into their own breed and their population has to be controlled, to protect the numerous native endangered plants in the area. The horses are culled every year and many find new homes as farm or domestic pets, once they have been broken in and tamed. I cross the Desert Road once or twice every year, but only once have I glimpsed any wild horses roaming in the area. They tend to stay quite removed from the main highway, where the vegetation provides a better habitat for them.
17 people like this
• United States
@valmnz i find such most heart-breakin', ms. val :( 'tis not their fault that mankind initially abandoned 'em. do they use birth control (pzp) to help with the population? such's been used quite successfully 'p'n canada, 's well 's some portions 'f the u.s. the ranchers claim they aint native to these parts either, but then, they've been here longer'n the cattle 'n sheep...
• New Zealand
@crazyhorseladycx our main highway goes through the centre of the area. Culling is deemed essential each year, and every effort is made to find homes through auctions. There's one lady who buys most years apparently. Whilst the horses are not protected I believe they are considered an element of pur culture to be preserved.
• New Zealand
8 Jan 17
They have developed into a unique breed since they were released by the early settlers. They are wild, never known human limitations. But there have been wonderful success stories of those who have taken one on and broken them in. Many go to farms and with patience become good working animals.
7 Jan 17
We have wild horses here. Every year in late October volunteers accompany the horses in a protected area where they can be fed during the winter if we have a lot of snow. I know that they control the population spaying some horses, nobody like to see them culled.
• Eugene, Oregon
7 Jan 17
Fascinating! We have upwards of 60,000 wild horses and burros roaming the eastern part of my state of Oregon and eight other western states. Their management is quite controversial here. They are currently trying birth control for the population control.