Warning: This story contains references to sexual and physical abuse and may be upsetting for some readers.
There's a whiff of bacon in the air, lazy flies are circling the horse yard and Terry King is lining up saddles and bridles with military precision.
At the fence - Jacko, Nipper, Stella, Anzac, Seamus and Star - nickering and swishing their tails, ready for their breakfast too.
"He's a big sook," Terri says giving Star a rub.
"He loves cuddles, scratches, everything. He's a bit of a smoocher."
Grooming and touching the horse is where it all starts on Terry's Equine Rehab Unit camps - three or four days of treks, cowboy breakfasts and camaraderie for men and youths with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
The volunteer group is run by male PTSD survivors and runs on the smell of an oily rag.
"We've been down in that hole," Terry says.
The wiry 70-year-old has a "hard case" of PTSD after a lifetime of abuse and harrowing United Nations work in refugee camps.
He describes being raped as a new army recruit, being sexually abused as a boy and ending up as an alcoholic. He wanted to give something back after people had helped him.
"Here we walk side by side," he said.
Behind the barbecue frying up the cowboy breakfast is Male Survivor West Coast's Richard Bonar, who is trained to provide peer support for men on the camps.
A lot of them arrive withdrawn, he says, but after taking on the challenge of making friends with a half tonne beast they go away with a beaming smile, raised confidence and self-esteem.
"We show them how to make friends with the horse and once that happens you see very quickly a spark in that person."
Terry says it's all about trust and helping the survivor become a "gentle master" of the horse, showing kindness and respecting the horse's place in the pack.
"They've all got characters," he says describing Seamus as the show-off, Nipper as the boss-man and laid-back Jacko, with his scraggly hair, a hippy.
The two teenagers on this camp, accompanied by a constable, are at the horses' side, brushing and stroking the animals before they saddle up.
"The horse knows ... that there's a bit of sadness there," Terry says.
Casey Cowan, one of the rehab unit's success stories, is giving the boys some tips.
The former gang member spent half his life off and on in prison after a boyhood of abuse and beatings while in state care.
Out of prison for three years now, settled with a partner and lawnmowing business, he is on his seventh camp and helps each newcomer with his horse.
"You just be polite, talk to it, give it a scratch."
Terry fears the equine unit's days are numbered. It costs up to $4000 to run each camp as well as at least $10,000 each year for horse feed, transport and equipment.
He has had to dip into his pension to keep going because potential funders "like what we do but tell us we don't fit their profile".
About 10 men a year have benefited from the programme, which Terry likens to a "band of brothers" because they keep in touch even outside the camps.
As the trek pauses to look out over Peters Pass in the St James Conservation area in North Canterbury, Casey explains how he still has to deal with claustrophobia and panic attacks after being locked up.
"This is where I get my peace and quiet and freedom," he says.
He is getting professional psychological help as well to help him recover.
"I'm a changed man now. I don't fight anymore."
"Just being here, with the horses, I feel free."
Where to get help
If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
• If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the confidential crisis helpline Safe to Talk on 0800 044 334 or text 4334. (available 24/7)
• Male Survivors Aotearoa offers a range of confidential support at centres across New Zealand - find your closest one here.
• Mosaic - Tiaki Tangata: 0800 94 22 94 (available 11am-8pm)
• Alternatively contact your local police station - click here for a list.
If you have been abused, remember it's not your fault.