Outer Banks, NC Tour – All About The Wild Horses
In NC, It Starts With and Stays Untamed Beaches, Natural Habitats, and Unbroken Horses…
BNT is going where the wild things are—The Outer Banks (OBX)! OBX extends about 175 miles long from the Virginia line to beyond Cape Lookout. Imagine roaming three eco-systems in search of the wild—horses and nature. “North Carolina’s Outer Banks barrier islands contain over 300 square miles (777 sq. kilometers) of uninhabited nature preservation areas set aside for the conservation, management and (in some cases) the restoration of specific designated fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats,” according to Outer Banks CVB.
Day 3 of BNT’s 2023 Outer Banks Tour – Wild Horse Adventures
Wild Horse Adventures has been in operation for over 14 years offering guided tours in search of OBX’s famous wild horses. Wild Horse Adventures knows to see the wild horses in their natural OBX habitat, then we must roam where they do. What are the horses looking for? Opportunities to munch on new growth and drink from fresh water puddles. And, so we’ll traverse the beach along the Atlantic, drive behind dunes, and through private, protected land.
Interested in our “ride” details? It’s a 13-seat, forward-facing, open-air Hummer with an extended wheelbase!
The Wild Horse Adventure – Legends, Lore, and Ecology
About 105 wild horses inhabit OBX. We’ll enjoy the search from the open-air Hummer while our guide recants about OBX history and the maritime forest, how the herd came to OBX, and what’s being done to preserve this pristine habitat. We’ll watch for dolphins, offspray, and pelicans, too.
[Click on any photo to start slide show. Click gray “x” in upper right corner to return to blog.]
Giving Back and Lessening the Carbon Footprint…
The minute we climb aboard the Hummer, we’re giving back to the area. Wild Horse Adventures is a primary donor for Corolla Wild Horse Fund, the nonprofit that protects and manages the herd. The Wild Horse Adventure also has purchased property where these horses winter and set it aside as habitat that will stay undeveloped.
The herd is descended from the Spanish mustang “livestock” brought to the Americas during Richard Greenville’s expeditions from 1584 to 1590. The Corolla Wild Horse Fund controls the reproducing of these horses. Each year they manage the “closed herds,” occasionally introducing new stallions and mares, so they don’t inbreed.” The fund works with North Carolina universities to establish and ensure a healthy herd.
In addition, for every tour, Wild Horse Adventures pays to plant a tree somewhere in the world “to limit our carbon footprint.”
“We have a lot of sightings of newborns. It’s a real highlight. [As is] mating season when stallions fight each other,” says Trish, from Wild Horse Adventures. “It scares me, but it’s quite a wildlife spectacle [seeing] stallions go after each other.” There’s a unique dynamic of to the harems with dominant mares. Your guide knows where the latest sightings are and will elaborate throughout this informative tour. “The herd itself is quite amazing…they adapt to all the people and the change. It’s amazing.”
Naming Wild Horses
They name the wild horses with an alphabet system! About four years ago, they started with A. Just like the hurricanes, I asked? “Well, sort of!” All the young horses are given an A name, then last year, B names, and this year…is C.” So, I checked. There’s a Billie and a Bramble and a Brio and Charlie and Cricket and Cádiz! When you visit, ask what this year’s foals are named!
When It Rains in the OBX…
The Hummers have canvas covers, even though they are open-air vehicles. “We give everyone a plastic poncho. The horses love it in the summer. [The rain] gets flies and dust off, cools them down, and provides fresh water puddles. Rain is part of the eco-system….”
OBX purposefully protects their wild things and eco-systems, while embracing visitors and locals. Once you’ve experienced OBX, you’ll want to return again and again.
2023 Outer Banks, NC Tour Highlights:
Day 1…Barker House Welcome Center & Lighthouse
Day 2…Walking Tour of historic Edenton, NC & Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor’s Center
Day 3…The Lost Colony Production & Wild Horse Sanctuary
Day 4…Body Island Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras Light
Day 5…Two-hour Cruise on the Elizabeth River
A little history…
Need a quick getaway? Head to the Outer Banks June 12-16, 2023!
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