The Bronze Horse

The idea for the construction of a monument to highlight the Kaimanawa Horse in the small military based town of Waiouru is becoming a reality. Waiouru deserves such a bold structure. The town has the connection to the horses, whose ancestors once gallantly carried our soldiers through the fields of past battles.

Just up the road, also sitting under the majestic volcano Ruapehu, is the ski resort town of Ohakune. Each winter graced by snow loving seekers, travelling from a far for their thrills on the mountain’s slopes. The town fills with people wining and dining late into the night while sleepy neighbour Waiouru turns the lights out early. Ohakune is seen as the glamourous sibling, except it won’t have a wild horse. It’s already got a carrot!

Taihape, my hometown and southern neighbour to Waiouru has the Gumboot. Artfully created from corrugated iron, portraying our long muddy winters the gumboot is a go to necessity to be able to exist here.

Because of my location I was able to bring my Kaimanawa horse Brave to the Z station in Waiouru for a day to help raise money for the project. There I met up with Elder Jenks who instigated the plan of action, and Tommy Waara with his handsome, hardcase stallion challenge horse, Te One.

When asked to help, I thought this would be a great opportunity for Brave to get a bit more of his brave on. He has never fully accepted the things in our artificial world. Whether it’s a wheelbarrow, a blanket hanging on the fence, or the farm tractor going past, these things for him are NOT to be trusted. So how was he going to fare for a day at a service station?

On arrival we wandered over to the location where the monument is going to be erected. Growing on the site was the vegetation that Brave grew up eating in the ranges. He couldn’t have been much happier at that moment, munching on that.

Heading back to the service station it was clear to see Te One’s only concern was there was NO grass on the concrete forecourt. Nothing else phased him.

Brave stood like a little statue at the front doors of Z while people came and said hello, made donations, patted and got photos with him. He loved that part, and it was hard to tell what he was really feeling about all the comings and goings of the big engines, motor bikes, trailers and trucks. It wasn’t until the wide load with flashing lights and pilot vehicles pulled in that he showed his concern by literally peeing on the forecourt!

The staff at Z were so obliging and washed it all down. They looked after us a treat.

After what was a very pleasant day out, I felt very appreciative of the many generous and genuinely interested people who were happy to help towards the completion of this beautiful concept for a landmark.

Nicola Megaw – River Valley Adventure Lodge