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Where to stay in outer banks to see wild horses

where to stay in outer banks to see wild horses

The first is Absolutely Wild – The Corolla Wild Horses Tour. It's Wild squared! While it's wild, it's also perfectly safe – for a view of the Outer Banks wild. You will find more subdued oceanfront hotels and resorts versus lavish luxury high-rises. The communities are family-oriented, which is why so. Discover the differences and similarities of each of the Outer Banks Towns. See wild horses in their natural habitat and enjoy the secluded atmosphere.
where to stay in outer banks to see wild horses

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Wild Horses NC Outer Banks - Wild Photo Adventures

Where to stay in outer banks to see wild horses -

wild horses in the outer banks

Seeing wild horses in North Carolina’s Outer Banks is a treat! Ever since watching Nights in Rodanthe (after reading the book) while living on the other side of the country, I’ve wanted to see the gorgeous manes of these wild horses along the beaches and islands of the Outer Banks! (I also wanted to spend a weekend in a house on the beach with Richard Gere, but that is a whole different blog post!) One of the first things Mr. Misadventures and I did when we moved to North Carolina in February of 2020 was head for a weekend at the beach to seek out these beasts.

Wild horses have been roaming North Carolina’s Outer Banks ever since European settlers arrived there centuries ago. The history of these beautiful animals in North Carolina is a fascinating one. The earliest records date back to the early 1700s when explorers had brought horses with them on their journey across the New World. These Colonial Spanish mustangs are likely the survivors of shipwrecks and were stranded in the Outer Banks centuries ago. Or they could have also been left behind by the first explorers. No one knows for sure.

With their long, flowing manes and wild eyes the wild horses are truly a sight to behold. Though it is illegal for people to approach them closely (they are protected by law from harm and harassment) many visitors come every year just for an opportunity to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience to see them.

2 Wild horses on Shackleford Banks North Carolina

My own experiences have been exceptional. I have seen horses on every visit and I have truly enjoyed observing the area’s oldest and most beloved residents. I am so glad that I live close enough that I can see them year-round. Most people that come to visit this beautiful stretch of coastline want to see wild horses at least once! And you should definitely make it part of your itinerary.

So where do wild horses live, where are the best places to see them and how can you find them? I’ve got you covered! Here are the 3 places where you can see wild horses: Corolla, Shackleford Banks, and Carrot Island. P.S. you’ll notice that Rodanthe is not on this list 😉

Shackleford Banks

In a world of endless asphalt and concrete, Shackleford Banks is an oasis for those looking to escape (I would highly recommend Cape Lookout for the same, but alas, no horses there). The warm sun contrasts with cool (yet wild!) waves and there are miles upon miles of sand where you can clear your mind. One of the reasons I put this location first is that it is my favorite and a much quieter part of the Southern Outer Banks off the North Carolina coast. I also put this spot first because it is my favorite, but none of them are “perfect” they all have pros and cons. 

Wild horses in Shackleford Banks North Carolina

There are 140 horses on the island is several herds, however, visitors can only access them via boat or kayak, which means that you have to plan ahead for this one! It takes approximately 30 minutes to get to the island via ferry which you can take from either Beaufort or Harker’s Island. There are no cars allowed and you are limited to what you can take on the ferry, so this is best for a day trip or half-day depending on what you are doing. It is possible to see horses from the beach. Mr. Misadventures and I saw horses on the beach, in the marshes, and in the interior of the island.

Read my entire post on Shackleford Banks to get all of the details and information you need!

How many wild horses are in Shackleford Banks: 140

Carrot Island

Carrot Island – The horses on Carrot Island are a little different from the herds on Shackleford Banks and in Corolla. They are not wild, but rather feral, and are descendants of livestock that was brought to the island in the 1940s. Carrot Island is part of the Rachel Carson reserve was designated as a part of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve in 1985. The only way to get there is from Beaufort and there is only 1 tour operator that can take you. The boat ride is literally five minutes! 

2 Horses on Carrot island Near Beaufort North Carolina

There are fewer horses on the island but we did see them on both the beaches and the marshes.

Read all the details about seeing horses on Carrot Island in my Beaufort post.

How many wild horses are in Carrot Island: 40

If you are checking out horses in Shackleford Banks and Carrot Island I highly recommend checking out Beaufort and staying at the Inn on Turner.


The wild horses in Corolla in the Northern Outer Banks are the most popular likely because they are the most accessible. The upside is that if you have a 4×4 capable of driving on the beach, you can get to them whenever you like. Meaning you don’t have to rely on a ferry schedule.

Wild horses in Corolla

If you don’t have a 4×4 or aren’t comfortable with driving in the sand, the good news is that there are a few tour companies like Wild Horse Adventures Tours and Corolla Outback Adventures (which my friend Tanya did) that can take you out there. This area is popular as it is close to all the other Outer Bank attractions and towns where hotels and home/condo rentals are. The downside is that it is crowded.

Corolla Beach in the Outer Banks

The loose band of horses in this area is a herd called the “Corolla wild horses” that roam freely along the northern beaches of the Carova all the way up to the Virginia border. With long, flowing manes and gentle eyes, it’s hard to believe that these beautiful animals thrive in this sandy terrain! The one cool thing about the location of these horses is that you can rent a home along the beaches they roam. You can rent to home or condo and if you are lucky you could be drinking your morning coffee or pre-sunset cocktail and see them write from your window or deck. That is not something you can experience at the other 2 locations.

How many wild horses are in Corolla: 100

If you aren’t renting a house or condo and prefer RVing or camping, check out the new Outer Banks West/Currituck KOA in Coinjock, my friend Tanya stayed there recently and I am checking it out soon!

Important things to Note

  • These horses are WILD and are protected. You may not approach within 50-feet (a school bus) of them. You will need a telephoto or zoom lens to capture them.
  • The horses are under the protection of federal and state law depending on where you are.
    • The Shackleford Banks horses live on federal land as Shackleford Banks is part of Cape Lookout National Seashore. These horses are co-managed by CALO and the non-profit organization: Foundation for Shackleford Horses.
    • Carrot Island is part of the Rachel Carson Reserve and those horses live on state government land which is part of the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management Coastal Reserve program. These horses are managed by the Coastal Reserve.
  • Management means they have a breeding program to the extent that they track manage contraception (via a dart) to manage herd size/growth.
  • The horses in Corolla are managed by a non-profit called the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and (they also have a museum) who assist with emergencies regarding the horses in this area, DNA testing, soil, and plant studies, maintain the fencing, and public education.
  • Do NOT feed the horses ANYTHING. Humans and their food are a danger to the herd’s survival.
  • Horses and hurricanes. These horses have lived in these areas for hundreds of years and have adapted to the weather including hurricanes. Drone footage taken of a herd on Shackleford Banks when the eye of a hurricane was passing by showed that the horses were standing in a circle shoulder to shoulder with the young and elderly horses protected in the middle. These are resilient creatures!
Horse on Shackleford Banks North Carolina

The Outer Banks is a dream destination for many people, but not everyone knows how to find these wild horses. Luckily, there are these 3 places where you’ll be able to see them. Each has its own uniqueness and all of them are special. Be sure to explore them all! The wild horses are an iconic symbol of the area, and it is worth seeing for yourself.

How about you? Have you seen the wild horses in the Outer Banks? What was your experience like? If you haven’t, is it on your bucket list? Do share!

If you are out west and are looking to see wild horses in Arizona, take a day trip from Phoenix to see the Heber horses!

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wild horses in the outer bankswild horses in the outer bankswild horses in the outer banks

Wild Horses on the Outer Banks

Wild, Free & Beautiful 

You’ve seen pictures of them on Facebook, represented in books and on the big screen in “Nights in Rodanthe”, on T-shirts and coffee mugs—now see them in person.

Few creatures evoke such a mystique and conjure a sense of independence and freedom like the wild horses of the Outer Banks. Officially North Carolina's state horse, these mustang ponies are descended from equines brought here by Spanish explorers of the New World more than 500 years ago. Take an off-road safari tour in a caravan with other visitors to see them in the 4x4 areas north of where NC 12’s pavement runs out, or try to find them on your own. Either way, it's an awe-inspiring adventure.



Wild horses roam the beaches of the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast. Take a guided tour to see them at Corolla and Shackleford Banks. For 500 years, the most enduring – and endearing – residents of the Outer Banks, the wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs, have called this sliver of land between sound and sea home.Wild horses roam the beaches of

the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks (frequently abbreviated OBX) are a 200-mile (320 km) string of barrier islands and spits off the coast of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, on the east coast of the United States.

Where can I see wild horses on the beach?

Best Places to See Wild Horses in America

  1. Theodore Roosevelt National Park – North Dakota. …
  2. Assateague and Chincoteague Islands – Virginia & Maryland. …
  3. Virginia Range – Nevada. …
  4. Tonto National Forest – Arizona. …
  5. Dugway – Utah. …
  6. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area – Montana & Wyoming. …
  7. Outer Banks – North Carolina.

Where are the wild horses in the Outer Banks?

Where to Look

  • The Corolla Wild Horses can be found on the northern beaches of Corolla and Carova. This area is only accessible by four wheel drive vehicles because you must drive on the beach itself. …
  • Whether you are in the PVA or on the roads of Corolla, watch for horses crossing the road, especially at night.

Where is the best place to see wild horses?

10 great places to see wild horses

  • Cumberland Island, Ga. …
  • Tonto National Forest, Ariz. …
  • Chincoteague, Va. …
  • Virginia Range, Nev. …
  • Onaqui herd. …
  • Gower Peninsula, Wales. …
  • Camargue, France. …
  • Sable Island, Canada.

Where are the Salt River wild horses today?

Tonto National Forest
So close to being gone forever, the Salt River wild horses now roam peacefully along the banks of the lower Salt River, enjoyed by the thousands of visitors to the Tonto National Forest.

Can you walk to see wild horses in Corolla?

Yes, you may walk around Corolla to see the wild horses. However, it is important to always respect the horses and remember to keep a distance of at least 50 feet.

What state can you see wild horses?

Wild horses are found in California, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Arizona and Texas. Nevada is home to more than half of the wild horse populations in North America.

Are there wild horses on the beach in North Carolina?

Wild horses roam the beaches of the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast. Corolla, to the north, and Shackleford Banks, the southernmost of the barrier-island chain, have herds of about 100 stallions, mares, and foals that call their beaches and dunes home. …

Where did the wild horses on the Outer Banks come from?

They were brought over by Spanish explorers during the Colonial era, which is the case for the horses in the Outer Banks as well. And while the herds are technically wild now, they’re descendants of domesticated horses that were brought to the area sometime in the 1500s and left behind—either by choice or by accident.

Do wild horses drink salt water?

They do not drink brackish or salt water. The average horse will intake 5 to 10 gallons of fresh water per day.

Where do wild mustangs run free?

More than half of all free-roaming mustangs in North America are found in Nevada (which features the horses on its State Quarter), with other significant populations in California, Oregon, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Another 45,000 horses are in holding facilities.

Can you catch a wild horse and keep it?

In most cases, it is not legal to catch a wild horse. Doing so requires specific permission from the landowner on which the wild horses roam. For mustangs on Federal land, the Bureau of Land Management typically handles the gathering and removal of excess wild horses. Wild horses do exist on other lands as well.

Are there wild horses in Florida?

Nowhere else in Florida can visitors experience wild-roaming bison and horses. Nearly 300 species of birds also frequent the park along with alligators, deer and many other animals.

Are there still wild mustangs in the United States?

Today, 86,000 free-roaming horses live on nearly 28 million acres of public lands across 10 western U.S. states, and 55,000 taken off the land now live in government-run quarters. With no natural predators, their numbers are growing by 15 to 20 percent each year, according to the bureau.

Are there wild horses at the Grand Canyon?

Grand Canyon National Park spokesperson Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski said the horses’ owner was unidentified, and stressed that the horses were feral, not wild. “These aren’t wild horses, they belonged to someone,” she said. “As a national park, it’s our policy to find the animals’ owner and return them if possible.”

Are there still wild horses in Arizona?

Today, it is estimated by the BLM, that we have less than 500 wild horses left in the entire State of Arizona. This includes the Heber wild horse Territory and two BLM Herd Management Area’s (Bureau of Land Management) of the Cerbat Mountains and Yuma.

What do beach horses eat?

Why is it dangerous to feed them? Wild horses eat a very specialized diet of sea oats, coarse grasses, acorns, persimmons, and other native vegetation. When they ingest apples, carrots, or other non-native foods, they are at great risk for painful colic at best and death at the worst.

Can you see wild horses in Corolla without a tour?

You can not see wild horses without going on the tour. – Review of Wild Horse Adventure Tours, Corolla, NC – Tripadvisor.

How much are the wild horse tours in Corolla?

The cost for a Corolla wild horse tour will be about $50 for adults and $20 for children (12 and under). As stated above, there are quite a few companies that offer wild horse tours…. so how do you decide which one to choose? We recommend checking the availability with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund first!

Are there wild horses in USA?

By its most recent figures, the BLM estimates the total American wild horse population to be about 33,000 animals (of which about half can be found in Nevada). Today, some 36,000 wild horses are awaiting their fate in holding facilities such as Palomino Valley in Nevada, and Susanville in northern California.

Are there still feral horses?

The only truly wild horses in existence today are Przewalski’s horse native to the steppes of central Asia. The best-known examples of feral horses are the “wild” horses of the American West. … These animals, which descend from horses set free by their owners in the 1950s, enjoy a protected status since 2010.

Are there wild horses in Hawaii?

The Breathtaking Place In Hawaii Where You Can Watch Wild Horses Roam. Located on Hawaii Island’s Hamakua Coast – away from all the tourists hanging out in Kona, or at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – is Waipio Valley, the southernmost and largest of the seven valleys of Kohala Mountain.

What NC island has wild horses?

The Outer Banks, barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, are home to some unlikely animals. Horses descended from Spanish mustangs have been living wild here for hundreds of years. To survive on these islands, the horses dig for freshwater and swim from island to island in search of fresh grazing areas.

Does Emerald Isle have wild horses?

One of the allures of the southern Outer Banks are the wild horses of Shackleford Banks. These majestic creatures are truly a sight to see as they roam the shoreline and take shelter in the maritime forests of this remote island.

Where are the horses on Cumberland Island?

They’re as wild and rugged as the island they inhabit. Abandoned by Spanish settlers more than 500 years ago, according to local lore, about 160 feral horses today roam freely on Cumberland Island, part of Georgia’s Golden Isles, just north of Amelia Island, Florida, and south of Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Can you drink beer on the beach in the Outer Banks?

It is perfectly legal to enjoy alcoholic beverages on the beaches on the Outer Banks, but it is certainly no free-for-all. For one, glass containers are a real big no-no on the beaches. That’s because they can break, get lost in the sand, and become a real danger to the people using the beach including yourself.

Does Hilton Head have wild horses?

Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head, SC

Come and visit Marsh Tacky horses, wild horses of the island left by the Spaniards many centuries ago.

What is Corolla NC known for?

Corolla is known for its miles of beaches, as well as its array of restaurants, shops, and historic attractions. Corolla is also the home of several popular Outer Banks attractions, including the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, the Whalehead Club, the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, and the Wild Horse Museum.

Do wild horses eat carrots?

Wild horses cannot eat any food that is not from their natural habitat of beach grasses,” says the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, which is behind the campaign. … Apples and Carrots Kill Wild Horses.”

How do wild horses survive?

Wild horses survive by grazing for food as they are herbivores, eating grasses and shrubs on their lands. In winter, wild horses paw through the snow to find edible vegetation. They also usually stay reasonably close to water, as it is essential for survival.

Do wild horses swim?

During the brief 3 minute pony swim event, the wild horses swim across the Assateague Channel when the tide is “slack calm” so the young ponies, which are born during spring or early summer, are safe from any strong currents.

What does the BLM do with wild horses?

The BLM gathers and removes wild horses and burros from public lands to protect the health of the animals and health of our nation’s public rangelands. In some locations, the BLM also uses birth control to slow the growth of wild horse herds.

Do wild horses have hoof problems?

A study of the hooves of New Zealand’s Kaimanawa wild horses has found wide variation between horses, with foot abnormalities being surprisingly common. A study of the feet of 20 Kaimanawa wild horses found there was no consistent foot type.

Do wild horses have predators?

Predators of the horse include humans, mountain lions, wolves, coyotes and even bears. The fact that horses are prey animals helps to explain some of their behaviors. When horses encounter danger, their fight-or-flight response is almost always flight.

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Visiting the Wild Spanish Mustangs of North Carolina

Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures and experiences and makes the world a more tolerant place.

There are few experiences quite as thrilling as seeing the wild Spanish Mustangs roaming freely on the beautiful sandy beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Known as the Spanish Mustangs of Corolla, these stunning horses have roamed this harsh and unforgiving land for almost 500 years. Yet, despite the obvious obstacles they face and the seemingly sparse supply of food, they have thrived here since they first arrived with the Spanish explorers of the early 16th century.

How did they get here?

Early Spanish explorers brought with them hardy mustangs to be used for the obvious reasons of transportation and work. When colonies failed or explorers moved on or returned to Europe often times the horses were left behind. Sailing ships of the 16th century were not ideal to transport horses so if they were no longer needed they were left to fend for themselves. Also, ships that were in distress or sank off the treacherous North Carolina coast would oftentimes release the horses into the Atlantic knowing that they had a good chance of swimming to shore and surviving. Although we may never know the exact circumstances of how they got here these are the most feasible and generally accepted explanations for how the wild mustangs of Corolla came to be.

How do they survive?

The Spanish Mustangs that were brought to the coast of North Carolina were a sturdy breed. When you see them up close it is obvious even to the unknowing observer that this is a stout and well-built horse. Surprisingly, at least to me, is the fact that there is plenty of food available for the horses in their habitat. They eat a very limited diet of coarse seagrasses, sea oats, acorns, and other native vegetation. It is actually very dangerous for them to eat foods that we normally associate with horses such as apples and carrots. Ingesting these foods would put the horses at great risk for colic and could even result in death. This is why it is illegal to get within fifty feet of the horses. You will receive a very hefty fine if you are caught getting too close to the horses or trying to feed them.

As for the weather, the horses seem to have developed an instinct as to where to go when storms come ashore. There are many homes in the area where the horses roam and they use the homes for protection from the harsh weather. Somehow they have managed to survive all these years on their own without direct human intervention.

How to see them?

Seeing the Spanish Mustangs of Corolla can be done either on your own or as part of a tour offered by a few local outfitters. We chose to take a tour with Wild Horse Adventure Tours based in Corolla. They are very highly rated on Tripadvisor and have a fleet of modified Humvee’s that can accommodate 13 passengers. Their staff is highly professional and very knowledgeable on the history of the mustangs and the tour we took with them was certainly one of the highlights of our stay in the Outer Banks.

If you wish to see the wild horses on your own you will need a four-wheel drive vehicle. The horses are confined to a 7,544 acre section on the northern end of the island where there are no roads and they have been confined here since 1995. The land is part private (4,213 acres) and part public (3,331 acres), and includes the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge. At one time the horses roamed the entire island but with the completion of route 12 from Duck to Corolla and the development that followed it became a safety issue for the horses. To protect them there is now a fence that stretches from the ocean to the sound to keep them confined to their home area. If you do venture out to see them on your own please remember that it is illegal to get within 50 feet of the horses. Also, even though there are no roads on this part of the island there are still many houses here and four-wheel drive vehicles on the beach so drive with caution.

Read More from WanderWisdom

How many horses are here?

At the present time the herd of Corolla Spanish Mustangs numbers only about 100 horses. Experts feel that the ideal herd size should be 120 to 130 horses but the US Fish & Wildlife Service feels differently and has made efforts to block the plan for a larger herd. Legislation to mandate a larger herd passed the US House of Representatives but was never acted upon by the US Senate so it remains in limbo. The larger herd size is critical to the long-term survival of the horses as inbreeding has resulted in deformities in newborn foals. A recent decision to allow wild Spanish Mustangs from the southern Outer Banks into the Corolla herd should help infuse some genetic diversity into this group. Hopefully this move along with strong local support for the horses will convince the US Congress and the Fish and Wildlife Service to mandate a larger herd size to ensure the long-term survival of the Corolla Mustangs.

The one hundred or so horses that make up the Corolla herd include a number of harems and bachelor groups. A harem will include a dominant stallion along with a number of mares and their colts. The bachelor groups consist of the older stallions or those that are too young to be dominant yet. As with any wildlife the inevitable clashes will occur between stallions as they try to project their dominance and take over harems. Yet one more reason to maintain a safe distance from the horses.

There are three groups of wild Spanish Mustangs left on North Carolina’s Outer banks. One is the Corolla Wild Mustangs of this article. The others are the Wild Shackleford Ponies and the Ocracoke Ponies, both found further south along the Outer Banks.

Who cares for the horses?

Until fairly recently there really was no management or oversight of the Corolla Mustangs. That changed when the Corolla Wild Horse Fund (founded in 1989) was incorporated in 2001 as a non-profit charity. Today the Fund has a staff of three full time employees who are on call 24 hours a day. The mission of the Fund includes herd management, rescue and rehabilitation, DNA testing, adoption, education, and of course patrolling the wild horse sanctuary.

With the Fund now managing the herd, they will attend to horses that get sick or injured and require attention. For minor injuries the horses are treated in the field but if a horse is removed from their habitat for treatment they cannot be returned. In these cases the horses are put up for adoption or sent to farms to live out the remainder of their lives. It’s a harsh reality, but once exposed to humans and other horses they cannot be returned to the wild.

As you watch these majestic creatures parade the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks it is hard to comprehend how they have survived here for so long. DNA testing has indeed confirmed that these horses are of Colonial Spanish origin, making them one of the oldest and most endangered breeds left in the world. No matter the exact circumstances of how they got here, or when they actually arrived, their mere presence certainly adds a fascinating and mysterious allure to any visit to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Questions & Answers

Question: Are wild mustangs safe from becoming extinct?

Answer: No, they are not, at least as far as their existence on the Outer Banks. The herd size is at a critical point for sustainability. The problem is that there is not sufficient genetic variability in the herd. This is why they have introduced stallions from herds further south of the Banks to expand the gene pool. The herds from other parts of the Outer Banks are also descendants of the Colonial Spanish Mustangs. The Corolla herd size is currently at about 100 horses. If you have not been to the Outer Banks to see these magnificent creatures, it is well worth the trip.

Question: Is there still a fight in regards to wanting a larger heard of wild Mustangs in North Carolina?

Answer: The fight continues to this day with North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis pushing legislation to protect the horses. Experts still feel it is critical to maintain a herd size of 120 to 130 for the long term survival of the herd. The Corolla herd is currently still at about 100, which is not sufficient for genetic variability.

© 2016 Bill De Giulio


Background Information

Where did the horses come from?

Like the Western mustangs, Eastern horses were reintroduced to North America by European explorers and colonists. Records show horses living on the Outer Banks for centuries. Genetic research shows evidence of Spanish ancestry in the Shackleford Banks herd.

What else do the genetic studies tell us?

Although the population has been isolated for some time, there is ample genetic variation within the Shackleford herd. Because they are not inbred, no additions of horses from other herds are needed.

DNA analysis shows the Shacklefords to be Colonial Spanish horses, but that doesn't necessarily mean they were brought to this area directly from Spain. Spanish horses were traded to other countries in Europe and to other parts of North America during the Spanish Colonial Period.

They group with (are closely related to) the domestic-bred Venezuelan Criollo, Puerto Rican Paso Fino, and Marsh Tacky horses into a cluster that contains primarily South American breeds of Iberian origin. These horses can be traced back to the Iberian Peninsula--an area which includes Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Gibraltar, and part of France.

Further, the Shacklefords are similar, along with the Marsh Tacky and Florida Cracker populations, to other New World Iberian horse populations. All three are considered a Critical conservation priority by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and as such are of interest for both preservation and historic value.

Horse grazing

How did the horses get here?

There are many stories about the origin of the Shackleford horses. Perhaps the most interesting is that these horses are descendants of animals which swam ashore from ships that ran aground in the shallow waters surrounding the park (or that were thrown overboard to lighten the ship and prevent a wreck).

Overland traders may have played a part in distributing horses through this area. More recently, mainland and island residents let their horses (and cattle, sheep & goats) roam free on the islands.

So, as historians, we see that the answer of the horses' origin is not clear. For an in-depth discussion of the horses' possible origins and their relationships with people through the ages, see The Wild Horses of Shackleford Banks by Carmine Prioli with photos by Scott Taylor (2007).

Are they "feral" or "wild" and what's the difference?

Feral means that the horse or its ancestors were once domesticated, which is the case with all free-roaming horses in North America. Wild implies that the horse lives its life in nature without being tame or domesticated. Either term can be used.

Are they ponies or horses?

Ponies are smaller, and while the Shackleford horses fall in the pony height range, they are genetically closer to horses. Their small stature is likely related to their diet.

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Horses drinking from digs

Survival: Food, Water, & Storms

Do the horses drink salt water?

No. There is a freshwater lens or aquifer under the island (and other barrier islands). Shackleford Banks has one sizeable pond and many pools, seeps and digs where the horses can access the fresh water. Sometimes the horses dig with their hooves to access water below ground level.

If you see a horse drinking from what appears to be salt water, consider whether a fresh water seep might be flowing out on top of the more dense salt water. The horses routinely eat marsh grasses under the water's surface, so watch to see if the horse is chewing instead of drinking.

What do the horses eat?

Horses evolved to be grassland animals so they spend relatively long periods of time--both day and night--grazing on low quality forages. (This doesn't mean the grasses are bad, it just means that their nutrient content is not high.) Wild horses must eat a lot of feed to obtain the nutrients they need. Their diets are predominantly made up of the native grasses: centipede grass, smooth cordgrass, saltmeadow cordgrass, and sea oats were the four most commonly found during a dietary study of the horses' dung. But, they also sample a variety of forages (even poison ivy!) and they browse one shrub.

Their digestive systems are geared to digest the food they eat. They won't eat any foods that we might think to give them, and if they did they could develop potentially fatal colic.

Horse grazing in sandy area

With all the sand, do horses die of sand colic (sand pooling in their digestive systems)?

Domestic horses are known to die of an ailment called "sand colic" when sand pools in their digestive tract and interrupts the flow of ingestia (food in the process of being digested) or causes a stricture in the tract. Eastern barrier island soil is predominantly sand; wild horses use their upper lips and paw with their forefeet to move sand out of the way in order to bite off low-growing grasses. So, they often eat right down in the sand.

While we don't know the cause of death in most cases of wild horse mortality, we do know that the cause of death for a number of horses was something other than sand colic. In fact, necropsies--autopsies of animals--have shown only a few signs of sand pooling in the intestines of the horses examined. The ingestia had sand mixed in with it, however, so we concluded that because the wild horses are eating in a very natural way, around the clock, they are less susceptible to this illness. This method of eating must keep the food flowing through their gut tube, pushing the sand through, and not allowing it to separate out and pool in their intestines.

What do the horses do during storms?

While we are not certain what the horses do during storms--since people typically leave the island when a storm is approaching--we expect that they seek shelter in the maritime forest in the northwest or the groves of myrtle and cedar along the northern edge of the island. The low areas between the taller dunes also provide protection from wind and blowing rain.

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Herd Management: Basics

How many horses are on Shackleford Banks?

Management strategies keep the population between 110 and 130 horses.

Who manages the horses?

The horse population is preserved and managed in partnership between the National Park Service and the Foundation for Shackleford Horses.

Ranger prepares to contracept a mare

Why is the herd size controlled?

The horses have no natural predators on the island. An uncontrolled growth in population could cause undesired impacts to the park's natural resources and processes. Depleted forage and a more dense population would increase competition between horses; younger horses and old horses would face the most difficulty. A significant reduction in the vegetation could also heighten erosion from wind and wave action and would deplete the marshes of the grasses vital to the protection of so many species which spend their early years in these sound-side nurseries.

How is the herd size controlled?

The herd size is controlled in two ways: immunocontraception (birth control) and removal. Horses to be removed and mares to be contracepted are chosen each year with their contribution to the herd in mind and with the help of scientists in horse genetics, horse behavior, and horse contraception.

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Herd Management: Contraceptives

How do you give birth control to a wild animal?

Selected mares are given an immunocontraceptive (birth control) serum called Porcine Zonae Pellucidae (PZP). PZP is given in the spring to prevent conception that summer and, subsequently, foaling the next summer. PZP keeps a mare's eggs from being fertilized, but does not harm an unborn foal nor change breeding behavior.

PZP is administered in the field with a CO2 powered dart projector. The dart's front chamber is loaded with PZP via a syringe. The impact of the dart on the recipient's hind quarter muscle fires the dart, injecting the contents. The dart pops back out almost instantaneously; it falls to the ground and is recovered.

Are there other benefits to giving a mare PZP?

Instead of possibly conceiving again after foaling, PZP will give a mare a break from pregnancy and allow her energy to go to herself and to nursing her foal. Research has shown that mares who receive birth control-induced rest periods live longer than those who produce foals at every opportunity. When a mare does subsequently foal, she is in better condition and so is better able to support her foal during lactation.

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Horse round-up

Herd Management: Removal & Adoption

When is the next horse roundup?

Historically, roundups were held in the summer and owners branded, sold or traded their horses. As recently as the late 1990s, they were held nearly every year. They gave managers a chance to remove a number of horses. Now, with contraception slowing the birth rate and individual removal possible, no roundups are scheduled.

Is it traumatic for a horse to be removed from its home?

Actually, horses naturally move from their home in their mother's harem to another location between 1 and 3 years of age (females typically move to other harems while males become bachelors until they are strong enough to fight for their own harem). Older horses are only removed if they can go to another wild herd. Youngsters adapt well to domestic life.

What happens to the horses once they leave the island?

These horses are placed in the care of the Foundation for Shackleford Horses, Inc.--a partner organization with the NPS which cares for the horses removed from the island while working to place them in appropriate permanent homes.

How can I adopt a Shackleford horse?

If you want your very own piece of history, and have the time and resources, you can apply to adopt a removed horse. There is an adoption fee and housing requirements. For information and an appointment to visit horses awaiting adoption, contact the Foundation for Shackleford Horses, Inc. by visiting their website or calling Anita Kimball at (252) 241-5222 or Carolyn Mason at (252) 728-6308.

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Dam and Foal

Herd Management: Names & IDs

How do you name and assign IDs to the horses?

Each year is assigned both a letter and a theme. The letter for 2006 was "S" and the theme was Native Americans.

Each foal receives a name which starts with the same letter as its dam's (mother's) name. The filly (female foal) in the picture to the right was born in 2006 and named Sawathu; her dam's name is Sydney.

This is an example of a mare from a less well-represented line of horses not receiving contraception in order to produce a foal to carry on the line.

This filly received the ID "1S" because she was the first foal born in the "S" year (2006). The second foal received the ID "2S" and the third received the ID "3S" and so on.

Why do you give the horses names and IDs?

Horses are named for convenience and because their personalities become known to observers during their lifetimes. The lettering system helps researchers track the maternal lines. Names do not imply that the horses are pets, know their names, or interact with people. Always remember that the horses are wild animals and should be given their space.

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Horse behind shrub

Horse Watching

How can I find horses on Shackleford Banks?

The 110 – 130 animals range over the entire island (Shackleford Banks). Sometimes they are easy to locate and other times it is necessary to walk to find them. While it is possible to drive on the beach or sand roads on other islands in the park, this is not true on Shackleford.

The horses may be found alone, but mostly roam in small groups called harems (stallion, his mares and their offspring) or bachelor bands (males of varying ages). Sometimes they graze alone. They have home ranges that extend the width of the island and overlap others' home ranges at essential resources like water and good grazing.

May I bring my dog?

Dogs are welcome on Shackleford when held by a six foot leash. This regulation is for the protection of the dog as well as the protection of the wildlife: dogs can harm horses (and birds) and horses can hurt or kill dogs. In addition to hurting the wildlife, violators can be fined as much as $5000 and spend up to 6 months in jail.

How close can I get to the horses?

They may look placid, and they see visitors often so they don't usually run away, so, it is tempting to try to touch them, or to get closer for a photo. But, they are easily startled and can (and do) charge, whirl, and kick in a heartbeat. Mares will defend their foals and stallions will defend their mares. They can seriously injure or kill people or dogs with their hooves and teeth.

Watch from a distance, using binoculars and/or the zoom on your camera, to avoid interfering with the horses' grazing, drinking, and resting time.

Do not try to approach a wild horse.

More horse watching tips can be found in the newspaper articles on the Wild Horses page.

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Banker horse

Breed of feral horse living on barrier islands in North Carolina's Outer Banks

For the individual racehorse named Banker, see Banker (horse).

The Banker horse is a breed of feral horse (Equus ferus caballus) living on barrier islands in North Carolina's Outer Banks. It is small, hardy, and has a docile temperament. Descended from domesticated Spanish horses and possibly brought to the Americas in the 16th century, the ancestral foundation bloodstock may have become feral after surviving shipwrecks or being abandoned on the islands by one of the exploratory expeditions led by Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón or Sir Richard Grenville. Populations are found on Ocracoke Island, Shackleford Banks, Currituck Banks, Cedar Island,[1] and in the Rachel Carson Estuarine Sanctuary.

Bankers are allowed to remain on the islands due to their historical significance even though they can trample plants and ground-nesting animals and are not considered to be indigenous. They survive by grazing on marsh grasses, which supply them with water as well as food, supplemented by temporary freshwater pools.

To prevent overpopulation and inbreeding, and to protect their habitat from being overgrazed, the horses are managed by the National Park Service, the state of North Carolina, and several private organizations. The horses are monitored for diseases, such as equine infectious anemia, an outbreak of which was discovered and subsequently eliminated on Shackleford in 1996. They are safeguarded from traffic on North Carolina Highway 12. Island populations are limited by adoptions and by birth control. Bankers taken from the wild and trained have been used for trail riding, driving, and occasionally for mounted patrols.


A map showing herd locations

The typical Banker is relatively small, standing between 13.0 and 14.3 hands (52 and 59 inches, 132 and 150 cm) high at the withers and weighing 800 to 1,000 pounds (360 to 450 kg).[3] The forehead is broad and the facial profile tends to be straight or slightly convex. The chest is deep and narrow and the back is short with a sloped croup and low-set tail. Legs have an oval-shaped cannon bone,[4] a trait considered indicative of "strong bone" or soundness.[5] Callouses known as chestnuts are small, on some so tiny that they are barely detectable. Most Bankers have no chestnuts on the hind legs.[6] The coat can be any color but is most often brown, bay, dun, or chestnut.[7] Bankers have long-strided gaits and many are able to pace and amble.[4] They are easy keepers[6] and are hardy, friendly, and docile.

Several of the Bankers' characteristics indicate that they share ancestry with other Colonial Spanish horse breeds. The presence of the genetic marker "Q-ac" suggests that the horses share common ancestry with two other breeds of Spanish descent, the Pryor Mountain Mustang and Paso Fino. These breeds diverged from one another 400 years ago.[9] The breed shares skeletal traits of other Colonial Spanish horses: the wings of the atlas are lobed, rather than semicircular; and they are short-backed, with some individuals possessing five instead of six lumbar vertebrae. No changes in function result from these spinal differences. The convex facial profile common to the breed also indicates Spanish ancestry.[4]

Breed history[edit]

Since they are free-roaming, Bankers are often referred to as "wild" horses; however, because they descend from domesticated ancestors, they are feral horses. It is thought that the Bankers arrived on the barrier islands during the 16th century. Several hypotheses have been advanced to explain the horses' origins, but none have yet been fully verified.

Aerial view of a barrier island in the North Carolina Outer Banks

One theory is that ancestors of the Banker swam ashore from wrecked Spanish galleons. Ships returning to Spain from the Americas often took advantage of both the Gulf Stream and continental trade winds, on a route that brought them within 20 miles (32 km) of the Outer Banks. Hidden shoals claimed many victims, and earned this region the name of "Graveyard of the Atlantic". At least eight shipwrecks discovered in the area are of Spanish origin, dating between 1528 and 1564. These ships sank close enough to land for the horses to have made the shores. Alternatively, during hazardous weather, ships may have taken refuge close to shore, where the horses may have been turned loose. However, the presence of horses on Spanish treasure ships has not been confirmed—cargo space was primarily intended for transporting riches such as gold and silver.

Another conjecture is that the breed is descended from the 89 horses brought to the islands in 1526 by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón. His attempted colonization of San Miguel de Gualdape (near the Santee River in South Carolina) failed, forcing the colonists to move, possibly to North Carolina. Vázquez de Ayllón and about 450 of the original 600 colonists subsequently died as a result of desertion, disease, and an early frost. Lacking effective leadership, the new settlement lasted for only two months; the survivors abandoned the colony and fled to Hispaniola, leaving their horses behind.

A similar theory is that Sir Richard Grenville brought horses to the islands in 1585 during an attempt to establish an English naval base. All five of the expedition's vessels ran aground at Wococon (present-day Ocracoke). Documents indicate that the ships carried various types of livestock obtained through trade in Hispaniola, including "mares, kyne [cattle], buls, goates, swine [and] sheep." While the smaller vessels were easily refloated, one of Grenville's larger ships, the Tiger, was nearly destroyed. Scholars believe that as the crew attempted to lighten the ship, they either unloaded the horses or forced them overboard, letting them swim to shore. In a letter to Sir Francis Walsingham that same year, Grenville suggested that livestock survived on the island after the grounding of his ships.

Life on the barrier islands[edit]

Drinking from a horse-dug water hole on Shackleford Banks

About 400 Bankers inhabit the long, narrow barrier islands of North Carolina's Outer Banks.[3] These islands are offshore sediment deposits separated from the mainland by a body of water such as an estuary[15] or sound. The islands can be up to 30 miles (48 km) from the shore; most are less than one mile (1.6 km) wide. Vegetation is sparse and consists mainly of coarse grasses and a few stunted trees. Each island in the chain is separated from the next by a tidal inlet.[15]

The Bankers' small stature can be attributed, in part, to limited nutrients in their diet. They graze mostly on Spartina grasses but will feed on other plants such as bulrush (Typha latifolia), sea oats, and even poison ivy. Horses living closer to human habitation, such as those on Currituck Banks, have sometimes grazed on residential lawns and landscaping. Domesticated Bankers raised on manufactured horse feed from an early age tend to exhibit slightly larger frames.

Fresh water is a limiting resource for Bankers, as the islands are surrounded by salt water and have no freshwater springs or permanent ponds. The horses are dependent on ephemeral pools of rainwater and moisture in the vegetation they consume. Bankers will dig shallow holes, ranging from 2.5 to 4 feet (0.76 to 1.22 m) in depth, to reach fresh groundwater. Occasionally, they may resort to drinking seawater. This gives them a bloated appearance, a consequence of water retention caused by the body's effort to maintain osmotic balance.

Land use controversies[edit]

The National Park Service (NPS) is concerned about the impact of Bankers on the environmental health of North Carolina's barrier islands. Initially, the NPS believed that the non-native Bankers would completely consume the Spartina alterniflora grasses and the maritime forests, as both were thought to be essential to their survival. Research in 1987 provided information on the horses' diet that suggested otherwise. Half of their diet consisted of Spartina, while only 4% of their nutrients came from the maritime forest. The study concluded that sufficient nutrients were replenished with each ocean tide to prevent a decline in vegetative growth from overgrazing. A 2004 study declared that the greatest impact on plant life was not from grazing but from the damage plants sustained when trampled by the horses' hooves. Bankers pose a threat to ground-nesting animals such as sea turtles and shorebirds. Feral horses interrupt nesting activities[22] and can crush the young.

Management and adoption[edit]

As the Bankers are seen as a part of North Carolina's coastal heritage, they have been allowed to remain on the barrier islands. To cope with the expanding population, prevent inbreeding and attempt to minimize environmental damage, several organizations partner in managing the herds.


Since 1959, Bankers on Ocracoke Island have been confined to fenced areas of approximately 180 acres (0.73 km2; 0.28 sq mi). The areas protect the horses from the traffic of North Carolina Highway 12, as well as safeguarding the island from overgrazing. The NPS, the authority managing the Ocracoke herd, supplements the horses' diet with additional hay and grain.[24] In 2006, as a precaution against inbreeding, two fillies from the Shackleford herd were transported to Ocracoke.


Public Law 105-229, commonly referred to as the Shackleford Banks Wild Horses Protection Act, states that the Bankers on Shackleford Island are to be jointly managed by the National Park Service and another qualified nonprofit entity (currently the Foundation for Shackleford Horses). The herd is limited to 120–130 horses. Population management is achieved through adoption and by administering the contraceptive vaccine Porcine zona pellucida (PZP) to individual mares via dart. The island's horse population is monitored by freeze branding numbers onto each animal's left hindquarter. The identification of individuals allows the National Park Service to ensure correct gender ratios and to select which mares to inject with PZP.

Since 2000, adoptions of Bankers from Shackleford have been managed by the Foundation for Shackleford Horses. As of 2007, 56 horses had found new homes, 10 resided with another herd on Cedar Island, and two had been moved to the Ocracoke herd.

A freeze branded mare on Shackleford

On November 12, 1996, the Shackleford horses were rounded up by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Division and tested for equine infectious anemia (EIA). EIA is a potentially lethal disease, a lentivirus transmitted by bodily fluids and insects. Seventy-six of the 184 captured horses tested positive. Those that tested negative were allowed to remain on the island and those with the disease were transported to a temporary quarantine facility. Finding a permanent, isolated area for such a large number of Bankers was a challenging task for the Foundation; eight days later the state declared all proposed locations for the herd unsuitable. It ordered the euthanization of the 76 infected horses. Two more horses died in the process—one that was fatally injured during the roundup, and an uninfected foal that slipped into the quarantined herd to be with its mother.

Currituck Banks[edit]

As a consequence of development in Corolla and Sandbridge during the 1980s, horses on Currituck Banks came into contact with humans more frequently.[28] This proved to be dangerous and sometimes fatal for the horses. By 1989, eleven Bankers had been killed by cars on the newly constructed Highway 12,[29] and several others in Sandbridge.[30] That same year, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, a nonprofit organization, was created to protect the horses from human interference. As a result of its efforts, the remainder of the herd was moved to a more remote part of Currituck Banks,[31] where they were fenced into 1,800 acres (7.28 km2; 2.81 sq mi) of combined federal and privately donated land between Corolla and the Virginia/North Carolina line. Corolla commissioners declared the site a horse sanctuary. The population is now managed by adopting out yearlings, both fillies and gelded colts.[32] Conflicts over the preservation of the horses continued into 2012.[33] In 2013, legislation was introduced to help preserve the herd on Currituck.[34]

Rachel Carson Site, North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve[edit]

A herd lives on the Rachel Carson component of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve, a series of five small islands and several salt marshes.[35] There were no horses at the Sanctuary until the 1940s. It is unclear whether the Bankers swam over from nearby Shackleford or were left by residents who had used the islands to graze livestock. They are owned and managed by the state of North Carolina and regarded as a cultural resource.

No management action was taken until the late 1980s and early 1990s, when after years of flourishing population, the island's carrying capacity was exceeded. Malnourishment caused by overcrowding resulted in the deaths of several horses; the reserve's staff instituted a birth control program to restrict the herd to about 40 animals.[37]


Adopted Bankers are often used for pleasure riding and driving. As they have a calm disposition, they are used as children's mounts. The breed has also been used in several mounted patrols.

Before 1915, the United States Lifesaving Service used horses for beach watches and rescues. In addition to carrying park rangers on patrols, the horses hauled equipment to and from shipwreck sites.[24] During World War II, the Coast Guard used them for patrols.[24] In the 1980s Bankers were used for beach duty at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

In 1955, ten horses were taken from the Ocracoke herd as a project for Mounted Boy Scout Troop 290. After taming and branding the horses, the scouts trained them for public service activities. The Bankers were ridden in parades and used as mounts during programs to spray mosquito-ridden salt marshes.

See also[edit]



  1. ^Mark Price (24 september 2019): 28 wild horses drowned...The Charlotte Observer
  2. ^ abCampbell Smith, Donna. "Breed Profile: Banker Horses". The Gaited Horse Magazine. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  3. ^ abcSponenberg, D. Phillip (August 2005). "North American Colonial Spanish Horse Update". Heritage Breeds Southwest. Archived from the original on May 6, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  4. ^"Breeding Objectives for the American Haflinger Registry"(PDF). American Haflinger Registry. Archived from the original(PDF) on 8 September 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
  5. ^ abIves, Vickie; Tom Norush; Gretchen Patterson (February 2007). "Corolla and Shackleford Horse of the Americas Inspection"(PDF). Horse of the Americas. Archived from the original(PDF) on 2009-03-18. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  6. ^"Colonial Spanish Horse". American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
  7. ^Mason, Carolyn (November 17, 1997). "Shackleford Horses Timeline- History on Hooves: The Horses of Shackleford Banks". The Foundation for Shackleford Horses. Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  8. ^ ab"Barrier Islands: Formation and Evolution". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on August 8, 2010. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  9. ^Laliberté, Jennifer. "Natural Resource Assessment"(PDF). National Parks Conservation Association. Duke University. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
  10. ^ abc"Ocracoke Ponies: The Wild Bankers of Ocracoke Island". National Park Service: Cape Hatteras National Seashore. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. November 7, 2003. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved November 11, 2008.
  11. ^"Sandbridge Fences, Daily Press January 2003".
  12. ^"Wild Horses of North Carolina". NC Beaches. 2007. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  13. ^"Back Bay False Cape Horses".
  14. ^"What is the Corolla Wild Horse Fund". Corolla Wild Horse Fund. Archived from the original on 2012-02-28. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  15. ^"Adoption Program". Corolla Wild Horse Fund. December 23, 2008. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  16. ^Beil, Laura (May 7, 2012). "Wild Horses' Fate in Outer Banks Lies in Preservation Clash". The New York Times. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  17. ^Raia, Pat. "Corolla Wild Horse Bill Gets House Nod". Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  18. ^"Rachel Carson". North Carolina Coastal Reserve. 2007. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2009.
  19. ^Fear, John (2008). "Rachel Carson Component"(PDF). North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve. North Carolina Coastal Reserve. Archived from the original(PDF) on 19 December 2008. Retrieved November 15, 2008.


  • Blythe, William B.; Egeblad, K. (1983). "The banker ponies of North Carolina and the Ghyben-Herzberg principle". Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association. 94 (6): 63–72. PMC 2279567. PMID 7186237.
  • Dohner, Janet Vorwald (2001). "Equines: Banker". Historic and Endangered Livestock and Poultry Breeds. Topeka, Kansas: Yale University Press. pp. 400–401. ISBN .
  • Dutson, Judith (2005). Storey's Illustrated Guide to 96 Horse Breeds of North America. Storey Publishing. pp. 323–325. ISBN .
  • Harrison, Molly (August 1, 2003). Exploring Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores. Globe Pequot. pp. 211–213. ISBN .
  • Hendricks, Bonnie Lou (1995). International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 63–65. ISBN .
  • Prioli, Carmine (2007). The Wild Horses of Shackleford Banks. Winston-Salem, N.C.: John F. Blair. pp. 15–27. ISBN .
  • Quinn, David, ed. (1955). The Roanoke Voyages: 1584–1590. London: Hakluyt Society. p. 187. ISBN .
  • Rheinhardt, Richard; Rheinhardt, Martha (May 2004). "Feral Horse Seasonal Habitat Use on a Coastal Barrier Spit". Journal of Range Management. 57 (3): 253–258. doi:10.2111/1551-5028(2004)057[0253:FHSHUO]2.0.CO;2. hdl:10150/643533. ISSN 1551-5028.
  • Wood, Gene W.; Mengak, Michael T.; Murphy, Mark (2004). "Ecological Importance of Feral Ungulates at Shackleford Banks, North Carolina". American Midland Naturalist. 118 (2): 236–244. doi:10.2307/2425780. JSTOR 2425780.
where to stay in outer banks to see wild horses


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