Shackleford Horses

21 Nov

Across from the waterfront of Beaufort feral horses graze. What an unexpected treat! These horses have roamed free for hundreds of years. They are descendents of diminutive horses brought by early explorers to explore the marshy coastline. They became known as “marsh tackies” and were common along the coastal islands as far south as Florida. As their environment became increasingly built on and their habitat diminished, these coastal feral horses were gathered and brought to the Shackleford Banks to roam wild. Part of the Banks are known as the Rachel Carson Reserve named after Rachel Carson remembered as the “mother of the environmental movement” in part for her work to stop the use of DDT. DDT was linked to the near extinction of several species including the Bald Eagle.

(We dinked along Taylor Creek to find these horses and then I trotted along behind them until I was almost opposite our boat! They were nonplussed by our presence and paddled about eating the marsh grass. What a day – first porpoises and then wild horses!!!)

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