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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 7 (February 1, 1932.)

Wild Horses

Wild Horses.

An English baronet, who has been sampling our trout-fishing in the Rotorua-Taupo waters, expressed a wish to get out into the great open spaces mounted on one of the “wild horses” in our backblocks. Whether he attained his wish or not—one hopes he has enjoyed his fill of bucking by this time—it is most pleasing to read of a traveller who has a liking for horseback, in this motor-mad age. Our visitor spent years in the Argentine, which accounts for his tastes. W. H. Hudson and Cunninghame Graham have made us familiar with conditions in the great plains of South America, where everyone is a horseman, and as recorded by the sober economist, Alfred Marshall, even beggers are mounted. It may not be quite so easy to discover wild horses in our back-country to-day; still, they are there. In some parts of the King Country and on the pumice plains to the east of Lake Taupo—the southern end of the Kaingaroa Plain—small mobs of wild or semi-wild horses still rove the fenceless lands. The problem is how to catch one of them for the baronet. The Maoris of the Galatea district, up in the Rangitaiki Valley on the edge of the Urewera Ranges, used to enjoy great sport rounding up the ownerless steeds and lassooing them in a blind gully. It was thrilling work racing after those herds over the tussock and scrub prairie, one of those sports of the open lands that is disappearing with the spread of barbed-wire fences and the afforestation work on the semi-desert backbone of the island.