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PO Box 133 Patumahoe 2344

Freedom to Friendship

Lou McNutt

Cascade & Not yet decided

Lou is a Wildlife Biologist that hails from rural Hawkes Bay. Inspired to ride the length of New Zealand on Kaimanawa muster stallions, Lou took her first stallion, Koru from the 2016 muster. Six months later she set off from Bluff, with a pack horse in tow to ride through the South Island high-country to Blenheim. In 2018 she took her second stallion, Tane from the June muster. That summer she completed the North Island section of the ride from Cape Palliser to Te Araroa, with her two kaimanawa stallions. 

Lou has a passion for wild places, wildlife and expeditions. As a biologist she has worked on many international conservation projects. From radio collaring wolves and cougars in the Americas, to snow leopards in Mongolia. She has spent summers trapsing through the forest of Norway monitoring Lynx, wrangled reindeer with Inupiat herders in remote Alaska and tracked Siberian Tigers and Amur Leopards in Russia. Her love for adventure has taken her from the Australian Outback, where she worked as a Cameleer crossing the Simpson desert by camel train, to the heart of Myanmar where she trained indigenous rangers and onward to Kenya where she lived in bush camps while training Masai rangers.

In New Zealand, she spent many years at sea working as a Fisheries Observer, and has led field teams in the subantarctic; tagging sealions on Campbell and Auckland Islands. Lou currently works as a Project Manager in Kiwi Conservation. 

Since departing high-school her time with horses has been very sporadic, so she does not consider herself an experienced horse trainer. However, she is eager to learn and believes these wild stallions are great teachers. She finds working with these wild horses very rewarding, as you get to work with a completely blank canvas.

This year she has two stallions in the challenge.

This solid, stunning boy is Cascade, a 7yo from Argo Valley. He arrived from the muster a few days after my chestnut stallion and joined him at Kaimanwa Krazy to graze for a few weeks, whilst I was away on a work project. He arrived at my base 10 days ago, on 19th May.

Cascade is was very confident in himself and sure of his surroundings. He is very brave and inquisitive. He arrived so calm and unfazed by everything that you would almost think he had been born into domestic life. However he is quite a dominant boy, who was very sticky on his feet, so initially, he just wanted to face up and challenge when you were in his yard. I have worked on getting his feet freed up and in the past few days, he has settled and become more accepting of things in close proximity. 

This chestnut spent the first few weeks directly following the muster, grazing under the care of Kaimanawa Krazy, whilst I was away tying up a work project. He arrived at my base on 19th May.  He was mustered from Zone 20 and was not previously documented in the database, so as yet he is still unnamed..  

Being from Zone 20, where the horses are less habituated to people, he initially had a very strong flight instinct and was very panicky if you passed by his yard. Whilst, he is still quite snorty when he first sees you he has settled hugely in the week I’ve spent with him and is gaining more confidence with each passing day. He can be haltered in his large grass yard, has been rubbed down from poll to dock and is learning to lead. He is an intelligent boy and a quick learner.  I think he has the makings of a very sweet horse and I look forward to our journey over the coming months.