Waiheke Horseworx is a family business offering visitors to Waiheke Island the opportunity to experience its beauty on horseback. Experience riding on beautiful Waiheke beaches, native bush tracks, and visiting award-winning wineries. Learn about our local Marae Piritahi with packages incorporating the history of Waiheke and traditional Maori culture.
Our horses are (almost) famous having featured on some well-known movies, which means they are well-trained with quiet natures to cater for all levels of ability.
Waiheke Horseworx owner/operator Karina Wallace has been a horse lover all her life. She started riding at the age of 10 after immigrating to New Zealand with her family from Canada in 1982. Finally she convinced her parents to by a pony and it all started!
After spending 5 years studying fine arts and graphic design and working for many years in the graphics and printing industry Karina decided to change direction to her love of horses. Bonanza horse riding was Karina’s first horse business adventure and was a successful horse trekking operation for 3 years.
However itchy feet and a love of travel took Karina on her next journey and after many years of trekking through the hills of Taranaki Karina returned to Canada. She went to Banff in the Rocky Mountains and worked as a rider/wrangler on a horse ranch, taking people riding along the Bow River.
Returning to New Zealand in late 2007 Karina had the opportunity to work on a film with the horses. This film ‘The Warriors Way’ was a great experience and Karina went on to work on other films such as ‘Kingdome Come’ and then ‘The Hobbit’ as an animal handler and horse wrangler.
Along the way Karina has breed a small mob of horses and as a result some of them have also worked on the film sets along side her. Shaman is a horse Karina breed and is now 11 years old. She has now featured on 10,000 BC, The Warriors Way and The Hobbit. Thorin the Dwarf Leader played by Richard Armitage in The Hobbit rode Shaman. Although it is not obvious to see as they wore full suits to make them look like fat ponies!
Horses Tigger, Doofus and Gypsy also worked on The Hobbit as Dwarf horses and our lovely pony Gideon was the small scale double for Bilbo’s pony. Some of our other four-legged friends also featured on The Hobbit. Fred the goat is one of Beorn’s animals in the scene at Beorn’s house in The Hobbit The desolation of Smaug. Rocket the sheep and Sweet Pea the pig grew up at The Hobbit animal farm while The Hobbit was being filmed and were also on set.
Karina hand raised both Sweet Pea and Rocket and as a result they are quite the characters! Precious the pig is my daughter’s pet pig and is a lovely natured miniature Kune Kune who is always getting up to mischief!
Karina has three daughters Asha, Macy and new baby Kahurangi all growing up around the horses and animals all sharing a love for animals!
Tikapa is the sea, Moehau is the mountain, Waiheke is the land, standing for all time. To you people from all parts of the world, carried here by the four winds. We welcome you with open arms to our home.
Ko Tīkapa te moana, Ko Moehau te maunga, Ko Waiheke te whenua tū tonu, tū tonu. E ngā iwi, E ngā waka, E ngā hau e whā, nau mai haere mai ki te manākitanga
ō mātou kāinga.