Keeping Up With The Kaimanawas: A Review

The Wilson sisters, Amanda (left), Vicki, and Kelly, with their stallions in Keeping Up With The Kaimanawas.

I’m not really one for reality tv, but combine it with horses, and my eyes are glued to the TV, and have been for the past eight weeks. Keeping Up With The Kaimanawas finished on TVNZ here in New Zealand last week, and I’m sad to see the Wilson sisters go.

Keeping Up With The Kaimanawas followed Wilson sisters, Vicki, Kelly and Amanda as they saved 11 Kaimanawa horses from slaughter at the biannual muster in 2014 and trained their wild stallions for the Stallion Challenges at Equidays.

The series was not only insightful, but also entertaining, with Wilson sister Amanda providing much comic relief with her antics – making the builder biscuits that just happened to be dog biscuits covered in chocolate and hundreds and thousands (he actually enjoyed them and thought it was a lovely gesture…until he found out what they were of course) – and overall goofy personality. She appeared to be the underdog of the sibling rivalry and in the Stallion Challenges, but in the last episode emerged with a second place ribbon. She was my favourite.

Vicki always seemed to be several steps ahead of the others in her bond with her stallion and training for the Challenges. For me, she appeared fearless, doing a lot of tricks on bareback, on both land and water (the property flooded after a lot of rain!)

Kelly wasn’t just a ‘country bumpkin’, constantly being teased for her love of makeup and clothes by her mum and sisters. Kelly appeared to be a talent with the camera and seemed media savvy. She also wrote the Wilson sisters autobiography, For The Love of Horses (which is on my list to read!)

I loved how the show did not shy away from the difficulties and struggles the sisters faced, within themselves and also with their stallions. Amanda comes particularly to mind here, with her stallions Hoff and Nikau, where she had what can be characterised as an up-and-down relationship – with Hoff it was because of pain associated with his teeth that had become psychological. And then there was Vicki, who made the difficult decision to put one of her Kaimanawas down.

It was great to see both the stallions and the sisters grow as the series progressed, and truly captured the spirit of the horses.

The relationships that developed between the sisters and their Kaimanawas was so heartwarming, and beautiful to watch.

Overall, it was great that the series brought all the highs and lows to the screen and hopefully this means more Kaimanawas will find homes in the next muster.

I’m looking forward to their documentary The Mustang Ride which is due for release in 2016, and follows their time with training mustangs in the U.S.

If you’d like to know more about the Kaimanawas, check out this website 🙂

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