One of the things the Outer Banks are known for is our population of wild horses. They roam freely on our plot of land and tourists often come just to see them.
They will often make their way up and down the beach but rarely get into the water. Recently, spectators got to witness just that very occurrence. The good people at the New Observer recently shared a story and photo of this event. We are including the image in this article and all credit for the image goes to them.
So why do our equine friends dip in the ocean? Well, besides the obvious reason of cooling themselves down, it turns out that taking a dip in the salt water can help the horses get rid of insects which are clinging to them. Often times the hanger-ons can be washed away in the ocean current.
Many people often wonder where the horses came from. In fact, these horses are descendants of Spanish war horses. They arrived to this continent via boat all the way back in the 1500’s!
The horses were jettisoned from their ship during a shipwreck. They swam to shore and have lived here ever since. They are a calm and docile breed which do not spook easily. This is because they were bred this way centuries ago. War horses are notoriously easy around people and noises.
There are several herds of horses all of which are dark in color. This means that no white horse will ever be born to the groups unless the horse is a true albino. About 400 Outer Banks wild horses exist in totality.
The horses are carefully managed by professionals and are funded by the Wild Horse Fund. We hope that you enjoy seeing them as much as we do.