A charitable organisation is urgently looking to rehome 70 wild horses that will be mustered out of the Kaimanawa Ranges beginning next month, as part of the region's ecological management strategy.
In a statement, Kaimanawa Heritage Horses (KHH) urged people interested in taking in a Kaimanawa horse or horses, or sponsoring the placement and upkeep of one, to fill out an application form.
So far, the organisation has only received applications for 12 horses, chairperson Kimber Brown said.
"With only four weeks left until applications close on April 1, there's not a lot of time left for interested parties to deliberate," she said. "That leaves a lot of horses still in need of caring homes with suitably experienced new owners."
KHH welfare officer Michele Hautain added, "The Kaimanawas coming out of the muster are true wild horses who have never been in contact with humans.
"In time they will do anything their owners ask of them, but in the early days they need sympathetic handling to ensure they make a successful transition to domestic life.
"Kaimanawas have an X-Factor, their senses are acute, and they have proven to be very trainable. Given the right environment, they are very curious, honest and friendly and are suitable for a variety of equine disciplines."
The cost for a Kaimawana horse has been set at $250, which includes an initial property check, transport from the muster to a central pickup location, and membership and registration of the horse with the KHH.
A gelding rebate of $75 is also on offer for new owners taking in colts.
Further information and application forms can be found on the KHH website.