Hi there, my name is Bill Newton and together with my wife Arena, we have been operating western horse treks since the mid 1980's.
I guess you will be wanting to know a bit about me - but I don't want to give away too many spoilers as you and I will have some big days ahead of us and plenty of time to talk on the trail.
I am a third generation farmer on our Urenui block. My grandfather broke the land in. Back then, the Clydesdale horse was worth gold - literally. We had over 20 Clydesdale horses before we had our first powered farm vehicle. The horses soon gave way to heavy machinery but the land had the final say. Although the land had been opened up for grazing, due to its Papa Clay nature, it continued to shift on a year to year or even day to day basis. Where a wide track was formed, it could be disappear overnight. There was no replacing the horse.
My father was a great inventor, he cut and welded gadgets of every kind and locals would marvel at each of his inventions including his vehicles modified to traverse the landscape. But as a young man I developed a passion for the American wild west and the American Quarter Horse! My brother and I took over the farm during the 1980's and it was at this time that we re-introduced horses to our farming practices in a big way. I also married Arena and together we started our own family.
We bred Quarter horses and studied western horsemanship, utilizing the Quarter horse for general farm work. It didn't matter which way the land shifted, a Quarter horse would get us there. I also studied natural horsemanship which was pretty much unheard of at the time. I utilized the Jeffery method from which Monty Roberts derived his natural horsemanship methods. The truth is, Jeffery never really got the credit he deserved.
My brother and I decided to incorporate horse treks into our farm work, again during the mid 1980's. In those days advertising was by word of mouth but we managed to maintain a number of clients from all around the world. We met many interesting people from all walks of life and the treks were as much a joy for us as they were for them, cementing the trekking as a permanent feature of our business. Eventually my brother started his own family and with a need to expand, they moved to a large sheep station in Wairoa on the east coast of New Zealand. Since that time, I have continued to breed Quarter horses which we still use for work along with our trekking operations.
is our registered horse and cattle brand and describes our breed line of Quarter horses. Historically, the term 'bar' is a description of cattle branding in the U.S.A. Traditionally, ranch names described cattle brands and vice versa. As an example, The LN
has a line underneath it, hence bar LN
. LN is the initials of my grand father Lewis Geoffrey Newton who settled in the Urenui district in 1914, utilizing horses for working the land and pleasure riding. Our trekking business started under the brand name Tuahu Horse Treks, which reflects the name of our farm block. The name was later changed to Bar LN
Horse Treks to reflect our brand. Our most recent change came with the introduction to the internet, we needed a searchable name and decided on Adventure Horse Trekking as our current and future logo.
I suppose I am a true cowboy at heart, whether that be in my farm work methods or leisure time. I use Western horse riding methods for stock work, am a member of the Urenui Rodeo Commitee which as an event, attracts over 20,000 people to our district each time it is held. I can rope cattle, I like denim, I can name just about every western movie that was ever made. There was a time when perhaps I would have been a bit shy to admit my passions - high production being all the rage. But its funny how things change, the horse is now considered "environmentally friendly" as part of farming practices which is certainly true. Riding also keeps me fit and healthy, the work pace of a horse is in keeping with nature, neither rushing all the time, nor stagnant. You can have your high production and early heart attacks, I'll stick with what works thank you very much.
So yes, I suppose I really am cowboy at heart.
Until we meet.
All the best, Bill.