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

When you think of vacationing on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the first things that typically come to mind are amazing beaches, perfect waves for surfing, incredible fishing, and endless nature trails and sight-seeing destinations. However, one thing many visitors are not familiar with is the wild horses on the Outer Banks. While Chincoteague Island, VA is famous for its annual pony swim tradition, the Outer Banks have a similar attraction that is just as impressive!

Why You Should Visit the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks of North Carolina has a lot to offer to visitors. This is an area that is renowned for being one of the most beautiful places in the country, and it is no surprise with its azure waters and endless sandy beaches.

However, it is not just the beauty of the area that makes it worth visiting, it is also the history. While you can experience it by visiting some of the many historical sites, another great way to get the most out of your trip to the area is to visit the wild horses!

You will not only be able to experience the wild horses in all their glory, you will also be able to immerse yourself in the rich history of this part of the country. The Outer Banks is definitely a place worth visiting.

history wild horses outer banks

Where can you see the wild horses on the Outer Banks NC?

The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a popular tourist destination and the beaches are a big draw. The wild horses on the Outer Banks are a unique part of this area’s history and culture.

The wild horses on the Outer Banks are descendants of Spanish mustangs brought to America by Christopher Columbus in 1493. They were originally used as work animals by settlers, but some escaped or were set free and became feral. They have roamed the area for centuries, living in small herds on beaches, marshes, and islands.

The horses are found mainly in Dare County, which is where they got their name from. They have been protected by law since 1973 and there is an annual roundup to keep their numbers from getting too large or moving into other areas where they might be harmful to agriculture or human

Where did the wild horses come from?

The Outer Banks are a group of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina that are home to a number of wild horses. The Outer Banks is also home to an indigenous species of pony, which is believed to have descended from Spanish horses brought over by settlers in the 17th century.

The wild horse population on the Outer Banks is estimated at about 500 animals. They live in herds and roam freely across the beaches, sand dunes, and maritime forests. In addition to the wild horses, there are also feral ponies that reside on the Outer Banks. These ponies descend from domesticated Spanish horses brought over by settlers in the 17th century.

The Best Way to Get to the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks are located in the southeastern region of North Carolina, which is a relatively far distance from most large cities. This means that most people will have to take a flight to get there unless they have a vehicle that can travel the distance easily. Thankfully, flying to the Outer Banks is very feasible. This is an area that is very well known for its beauty, and many people will want to visit the area.

Whether you choose to fly or drive, getting to the Outer Banks is quite simple. Once on the islands, a few roads cross from north to south, making it nearly impossible to get lost. From Norfolk International Airport (82 miles north), Raleigh Durham International Airport (192 miles west), or Coastal Carolina Airport, the Outer Banks are conveniently reachable by plane (138 miles southwest).

If accessing the islands from the south, take one of the auto ferries. Even though the journey takes a little longer, it will be memorable.


The wild horses that live on the Outer Banks are descended from domesticated animals that were abandoned during the Revolutionary War. Each year, thousands of visitors flock to this region to capture of glimpse of these magnificent beauties in their natural element.

Shackleford Banks, the southern-most barrier island in Cape Lookout National Seashore, is home to more than 100 wild horses. Travel by boat or passenger ferry to partake in this amazing sightseeing adventure of watching horses that live without the help of man.

Photo credits – Featured image by Bonnie Kittle 

Leave a Comment