Candidate for world’s best job: travelling Aotearoa with horses

At just 23, Lizzie Tangiwairua Po Marangai Rangihuna has what many might consider the best job in the world - travelling Aotearoa with horses

She presents the TV show Hōiho - Riding On which explores the connection between Māori and horses.

“Māori really know how to connect to horses. The horse can really sense that spiritual essence within us,” she tells Re:’s reo Māori series Ohinga from a paddock in the Hawke’s Bay.

For many Māori, images of people hunting on horseback or horses galloping along the beach pull at the heartstrings. Hōiho - Riding On features many of these nostalgic scenes.

When Lizzie (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu & Ngāti Tūwharetoa) isn’t filming, she spends most days riding her horses in the Hawke’s Bay. 

“You need to build a connection with the horse first because if you don’t have that connection - you won’t ride as one,” she says. 

“My horse is the first thing I think about when I awake and the last thing I think about before I sleep. I’ve been riding horses for a very long time. My pāpā shared his knowledge with me. “We’re a horse riding family. (My father) took me riding when I was just three-years-old.”

Lizzie also has a passion for showjumping.

“My passion for jumping comes from being one with the horse,” she says.

“I didn’t really know what was what in the world of competition but my horse Jake knew. I didn’t know a thing but he’s a gun at jumping. I would hold him very tight and say: ‘you got this Jake’.”

Lizzie wants to share her love of horse riding with tamariki Māori. 

“My goal is to open a horse riding business - for children who need extra support in life… the horse will guide them.

The next season of Hōiho - Riding On screens on Whakaata Māori in September.

This is part of our reo Māori series, Ohinga, created by Mahi Tahi Media, with funding from Te Māngai Pāho and the NZ on Air Public Interest Journalism Fund.

Stay tuned for a new episode every week.

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