Kaimanawa Heritage Horses created the Stallion Makeover and the Major Milestone events in order to recognize and highlight the value of Kaimanawas through a national training competition. The Kaimanawa Heritage Challenges give the public a unique opportunity to see the results of wild horses becoming trained mounts. The purpose of the Kaimanawa Heritage Challenges are to showcase the beauty, versatility and trainability of the wild horses that are found in the Kaimanawa Ranges of the central North Island.
To see the list of competitors visit the competitors page.
To see the final results from the Kaimanawa Challenges visit the results page.
After being selected to compete at a Kaimanawa Heritage Challenge event, trainers are randomly assigned an adult Kaimanawa stallion (over three-years-old) that has never been touched by humans. With approximately 150 days before the Major Milestone at Equidays, and 250 days before the Stallion Makeover at the New Zealand Horse of the Year, the stallions must be gelded and trainers must build trust and develop a relationship with the horse to ensure the best possible performance.
At each event, horse and rider teams compete in preliminary classes and the highest placing horses are chosen to compete in the finals. Trainers are then required to present a freestyle performance to showcase their Kaimanawas’ abilities and talents. Similar challenges are hosted in America and audiences are amazed at the willingness of the horses, who under the direction of their talented trainers often perform amazing feats such as being ridden without a bridle, standing steady as their rider stands atop the saddle, riding past noisy obstacles without flinching and other training accomplishments not seen in many horses after years of training.
The KHH mission is to increase successful adoptions of wild horses and to promote the horses versatility and trainability. Only 300 wild horses are permitted to remain in the wild and biennially approximately 200 wild horses are in need of adoption during the musters. The DOC removes horses from the ranges in order to protect endangered plants and to sustain the natural resources necessary for the wild horses.
The KHH works with horsemen and women who have the knowledge, experience and facilities to gentle and or train a wild horse. Every time a horse is adopted it saves it from being sent to slaughter, but more importantly, it transforms the wild horse into a sensitive, yet hardy, authentic equine partner. The horse is not the only one being transformed by the experience. Horsemen and women find that working with a wild horse creates an unspoken bond while also improving their horsemanship skills. We hope the Major Milestone and Stallion Makeover inspires others to adopt Kaimanawas in an effort to protect the wild herds and inspire future generations to love New Zealand’s wild horses.
We are grateful to have a number of fantastic sponsors for the challenges:
- CopRice: http://www.CopRice.com.au
- Thoroughbred Floats: http://www.ThoroughbredFloats.co.nz
- Saddlery Warehouse: http://www.SaddleryWarehouse.co.nz
- WashBar: http://www.WashBar.co.nz
- TuffRock: http://www.HorseTack.co.nz/TuffRock.htm
- Horse & Pony Magazine: http://www.NZHorseAndPony.co.nz
- Equidays: http://www.Equidays.co.nz
- Horse of the Year: http://www.hoy.co.nz
- Horse Gifts NZ: http://www.horsegifts.co.nz
- John Wilson Sculptures