Evening Graze #15347

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The Story

A single wild horse grazes the short grass growing on the sand dunes above the beach at Corolla, North Carolina. This wild pony mare is protected living inside the Currituck Wildlife Refuge along with the rest of the wild horse herd that lives there.

A single observation tower rises behind her against the evening sky. A short rain has come through, and the mare swishes her wet and wind-matted tail as she nibbles the grass. The wind has also made ripples in the flat sand below her hillside perch.

One can only imagine how many moons have gone by with this repeated evening scene of wild horses on the beach repeated. They’ve been here a long time; it’s a recurring life cycle through time for these animals. The wild horses along the East Coast are thought to be descended from shipwrecked Spanish horses in the 1500s. They may also be descended from runaway farming horses, or both ways. Who knows? The question of where these “banker ponies” came from will likely never be resolved; it’s a mystery no one has the answer for.

Today, these wild horses are protected by the state of North Carolina and they live inside the Currituck Wildlife Refuge. They are fenced in at both ends of the reserve but the wild ponies can roam freely within, even down the sand streets of Corolla amongst the houses.

Location: the sand dunes near the ocean beach at Corolla, North Carolina, in the Outer Banks. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks

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