The Kaimanawa horse muster may be scaled down this year because the drought is making it hard to find new homes for the horses that are captured.
The Department of Conservation had planned to muster about 150 wild horses from the Waiouru army training area in the central North Island, to bring the total population down to 300.
But DoC says it will now take 30 fewer because the Kaimanawa welfare groups who organise homes for about a third of the horses, are finding it hard this year.
Palmerston North area manager Jason Roxburgh says the horse population will now be brought down to 300 over three years, instead of two.
Homes are needed for the horses so they don't end up at the abattoir.