HIGH COUNTRY HORSES
High Country Horses is one of the original Horse Trekking business in the Wakatipu Basin and has offered both experience and beginner riders an opportunity to explore some of the finest riding
Deana Insley bought High Country Horses in 2004 and with her late husband and a great team of staff has built this business into what has been rated NUMBER ONE IN NZ.
WORDS FROM THE DEANA
From then until Covid 19
I have had a few years to reflect on how to put this on our website and to bring you all up to speed with my journey through with HCH.
On the 15th October 2017, my life came to another big intersection in this thing called life.
Duayne was competing at the World Marathon Jetboat Championships on the Waimakari in Christchurch and a freak accident happened on the river. My husband/soulmate and partner in business lost his life.
It has taken me until now to be able to type those words, and it still makes my heart stop a beat. Casey (my daughter) came back from overseas to grieve and to help me keep the business running. Di, who had been our manager up in Paradise stepped up also and took over the reins from me as my operations manager. Between these two strong women, they allowed me time to heal and to get my head back with the horses. This was quite the process but we have come out the other side and I use Duayne’s strength every day to make good decisions.
Our beautiful Five Day Ride has been dedicated to him as every trail we ride, the campsites and cabins we stay in up the Rees Valley and Paradise are all there because of him. He will never be forgotten and his legacy will be forever in our valleys.
I have also been so fortunate to have a great community of Glenorchy behind me the whole way and HCH has carried on going from strength to strength with our Five Day Ride being fully booked from the last three years running. Our short rides have also thrived with a huge increase of overseas tourist. I managed to purchase our main farm – MID RIVERS FARM, which was probably the turning point for me as Duayne had put so much into this place moving it into a centre point for the horses and business. Life was starting to become normal again.
To the present – WOW COVID 19 – I would have never thought anything would stop tourism in NZ and throw us back to the days of just a domestic market. I have been proven wrong. HCH is in a good place though, we have just on 100 horses who are all healthy with winter feed and care already for them, our beautiful staff are all living either close too or in the farmhouse free of rent, and HCH can hold on to a majority of our staff until we are up and running again.
I hope this will happen when NZ moves into Level 2 and the ski fields open. On our website, we have updated our treks and also have a great offer there to help bring you to our farm. Once we are riding again, my next hope is that Australia and NZ will bubble together. Believe it or not but Aussie’s love our Back Country, to ride in rain forest areas, clear pure glacial-fed rivers and snow-capped mountains are just what they love.
We have all managed to stay safe and to be honest our bubble up here has been amazing. We could still ride, school horses, and enjoy our little HCH family.
I will update again as we move forward into a positive future, thinking of you all and we really look forward to having you all back in our beautiful place we call home
Since we last posted here Duayne and I have got married
After the hype of the wedding, we were straight back to business
Casey our daughter has now left to go overseas, working in Australia, and Canada. We have a new Yard Manager Calder Houliston who comes from a racing background. Calder brings a lot of knowledge to the team with horse health, farrier experience and he is a fantastic rider as well. He joined our team at the beginning of April 2017.
We also have brought on a new manager who is full time in Paradise. Di Barkman is another Southern woman with a background in farming and management, so she was perfect for the position. Di brings the balance for both yards to work smoothly and she is also very handy on a horse also.
I am bringing on a new horse of my own, thanks to Casey finding him in Canterbury. His name is Payback, named accordingly after Duayne went out and bought a digger to develop our next piece of land! Keep an eye out for us both me on my young horse and Duayne in his digger.
DEANA AND DUAYNE INSLEY
Born in a small country town in Canterbury, I was brought up with sport and horses. My father was the manager for the Canterbury Crusaders and I represented Canterbury, Canterbury Country, and Mid – Canterbury in Netball at National level and was a Competitive swimmer representing Canterbury and Central Canterbury.
But horses were my passion, riding any available horse of friends and eventually got my very own horse at 8 years old. Horses were part of my life from that point onwards. Pony club, eventing and showing as a child and later on to the sport of Hunting. They say all retired eventers become hunters And it is true.
Brought up in a small farming town and headed to
Tourism was where I wanted to work and I started a “Dolphin Swimming” operation in Akaroa. This was an incredible time spending twelve years showcasing the dolphins to clients and working with the Worlds smallest and one of the rarest Dolphins – Hectors Dolphin. After selling this business I then had an opportunity to manage a jet boat company in Glenorchy. I did this for two years before being offered the opportunity of purchasing HCH in 2004.
HCH is the oldest Horse Trekking business in Glenorchy as it has been running since 1987. When I took over the reins I started with 8 horses and a shed. We now boast over 50 horses with many many different breeds in the paddock. We now have spread our business into multi days rides and still Love showing clients our pristine backcountry.
A huge part of the success was finding an awesome man to be by my side. Duayne came on board in 2006 and together we have built a great friendship and business. He originates from the Central North Island coming from a family of shepherds and musterers. His knowledge of horses and the land is extensive. He came down south to work on the Routeburn Sheep Station in 1997. Duayne has a fantastic background in farming and he makes sure that all horses have food all year round. His dream has been to own a farm of his own, which we have just been able to purchase. Duayne has also worked for Dart Safaris as a commercial jetboat driver and also a digger operator. He loves to Race jet boats as a sport, having picked up two New Zealand Champion titles plus a World title last year. We set off to Monaco to pick up his trophy earlier this year and this is where he proposed marriage. We are due to marry in March 2015.
Hope you know us a little better, we are very authentic New Zealanders and can’t wait to show you around our special place.
20% off all direct bookings
For Beginner - Experienced Riders
For Experienced Riders
Intermediate - Experienced Riders
For Intermediate - Experienced Riders
Phone: +64 3 442 9915
Freephone: 0508 59 59 59
Address: High Country Horses, 243 Priory Road, Glenorchy