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Museum to preserve horse history



Horse museum-705Ruakaka-based Northland Equestrian have run horse programs for several government and mental health agencies over the last few years including Emerge Aotearoa (formally Recovery Solutions) and Child, Youth & Family.

These programs are designed to benefit children with a range of personal obstacles and challenges such as OCD, ADHD, ODD, anxiety and special needs.

Tying in with the care, anatomy and historical aspects of the program, Northern Equestrian have started a new venture, opening a horse museum and horse library.

The owners have a love of antique horse gear and equipment and a strong belief that sadly one day it will disappear as it either wastes away or becomes discarded, so they began collecting it.

“A lot of dedicated effort has been used to preserve and restore as much as we can to ensure the survival for generations to come,” says Maryke Wichmann. “We have set up a horse museum which is a labour of love and has the sole purpose of preserving and exhibiting the history of horses and as an education centre for schools, agencies like those mentioned earlier and the general public.”

A number of the children and their social workers from those organisations have been heavily involved in the creation of the museum.

The exhibition includes an extensive collection of gig's, side saddles, stock, jumping and UP saddles, a large amount of harness gear and memorabilia.

Hundreds of horse books and photos depicting work horses, harness racing, gallopers, and showjumpers fill the library section of the museum.

The museum is open 7 days a week from 10am till 4pm or upon request. Entry is free as the owners want to share their passion with as many like-minded people as possible. School excursions are welcome at no charge to the school.

“The museum has been created with support and assistance from the local community making it even more special,” says Maryke.

As part of the Waipu in Tartan promotion, the centre will be hosting their annual Northland Equestrian Petting Zoo again this year. Last year it attracted around a 1000 people from all over Northland and Auckland. Once again this will be a free entry event, however donation buckets will be on hand to fundraise for our horse museum in order to assist in growing the exhibits.

n Northland Equestrian, 2760 SH1, Ruakaka. Phone 021 066 8546 for more details.

HORSE TALES: Memorabilia, books, photographs and equipment line the walls of the horse museum.

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