Posted by Outer Banks Blue

Memory Monday 2/4/13

Wild Horse Encounter

This Week's Memory Monday Photo submission comes to us from Kim Porter of Woodbridge, Virginia who stayed with Outer Banks Blue this past August in the property "Letting Go II" in Corolla.

On her family's stay this past year Kim and her family took a trip to the Four Wheel Drive access area north of Corolla and encountered the famous Outer Banks Wild Horses walking along the beach.

This is a safe distance to view the Corolla Wild Horses

The Corolla "wild ponies" are a great attraction for the Outer Banks.   The Corolla Wild Horse Fund is the local charitable foundation that focuses on the horses well being.   Their website informs us that these horses are descendants from the Colonial Spanish Mustangs that have been indigenous to this area for nearly 500 years.   Thought to have arrived here off of a shipwreck these horses roam the northernmost Outer Banks and graze on the native grasses that are found in the area.   On certain days however the horses roam down to the ocean and that is what Kim captured in these pictures.

In the 1920's there were thought to be in excess of 5,000 of these wild horses all up and down the Outer Banks.  Today there are less than 130 north of Corolla.  Another herd of a bit more than 100 are found on Shackleford Banks on the southernmost Outer Banks.

Long time visitors to the Outer Banks may remember these horses roamed freely as far south as Duck in the 1980's as they grazed on the manicured lawns of the new houses constructed there.  However once the Rt. 12 was paved and extended north into Corolla the horses began to get hit by cars and some visitors would even feed these magnificent creatures all sorts of food.   Between vehicle accidents and other incidents involving their close proximity to humans tragically the herd thinned to as few as 20 horses at one time.

For their own protection the horses were all relocated north of Corolla and two sound-to-sea fences were erected to allow them an 11 mile sanctuary that provides more than 7,000 acres for them to roam.   Unfortunately this area is not a dedicated horse sanctuary as much of the land is eligible for future development so the protection and propagation of the herd is of a constant focus for many Outer Bankers.

Visitors are reminded that there is a local ordinance that prohibits anyone from getting closer than 50 feet from these magnificent animals.

It is Outer Banks Blue's recommendation that any visitor that wants to view the horses go to one of the "Wild Horse Tour Operators" that run daily to the Four Wheel Drive area for viewing.

Thanks to Kim for providing these great shots of the Corolla Wild Horses!

All the best from the beach!

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