the Shackleford Horses during your stay ...
Local Yokel Ferry will drop you off on Shackleford
to see and photograph the horses. The service also
includes that they pick you up at a specific time
and at a specific loation (usually the old "horse
pen" site). It is just a short walk from the
soundside over to the ocean. Standing atop the dunes,
you may be able to spot nearby small herds.
of Shackleford ...
always been there, they were here when our people
came; they swam ashore off sinking ships"
~ the elders of coastal North Carolina
On an uninhabited barrier island, just off the coast
of North Carolina, live wild horses. They roam the
dunes and marshes and swim in the small channels
between the island and the nearby tidal flats, which
ebb-out on the low tides and disappear again with
the next high tide. For generation after generation
of the coastal people, there have been stories handed-down
about the wild horses that roamed these sand banks
we now call the Outer Banks. Hardy and tough, they
have survived where man could not. They have endured
... through hurricanes, droughts, north-easters,
so'westers, and centuries. Now they need protection
Foundation for Shackleford Horses, Inc.
of the Shackleford ponies ...
Shackleford horses are what some people call a banker
pony. They are really a horse but are called ponies
because they are smaller than some horses, standing
only about 14 hands high (a hand is about 4 inches
and the measurement is made from where the neck
meets the back to the ground). Years ago, the folks
on the Outer Banks started calling them Banker ponies
and the name stuck.
In the 16th century, the ponies' ancestors came
from Spain via Hispaniola (located between Cuba
and Puerto Rico) to live on one of the islands off
the coast of North Carolina that make up the Outer
Banks. This island is called Shackleford Banks and
it is only nine miles long. It is located just east
of Morehead City and Beaufort (we pronounce it Bow-fert).
you ask the old folks on Harkers Island about the
ponies, they will tell you that the horses have
always been here. That they swam ashore from sinking
ships long before the English people came.