Ten years ago, a core group of six people asked themselves “How can we stop the slaughter of the Kaimanawa horses?” It was 2003 and they had had enough of seeing horses culled off the Kaimanawa ranges in the annual muster (around 300) and being sent to the abattoirs to be turned into pet food. They wanted to secure a better outcome for these horses and formed the Kaimanawa Wild Horse Welfare Trust (KWHWT) to do exactly that. Since 2003 KWHWT has placed around 600 wild Kaimanawa horses from the musters.
In more recent years, the KWHWT saw a sharp increase in the number of re-homed Kaimanawa horses. The KWHWT uplifted and re-homed hundreds of abandoned, neglected or unwanted Kaimanawa horses to save them. This kept our network of twelve Area Representatives and our Welfare Officers busy year round. In addition to this, the increase in Kaimanawa ownership meant an increase in the need for ongoing education and support.
As a result of these changes, the KWHWT changed its name to Kaimanawa Heritage Horses (KHH). We felt that it was important to recognise the Kaimanawa Horse as an important historic link to New Zealand’s pioneer past. The activities of the society will always remain focused on welfare, both of the wild herd and domestic Kaimanawas, and to assist owners with their horses. Kaimanawa Heritage Horses promotes Kaimanawa horses to the public and maintains a breed register. We undertake a number of fundraising activities and offer a variety of membership options to assist our continued work to save this unique, living piece of New Zealand heritage.