Friday night, we went hunting for the wild horses of Corolla. Five hundred years ago, Spaniards deposited a small herd of hardy horses bred to thrive in the North Carolina shores. Their plan was to return with people to colonize the area, but they never returned. Without humans, the horses thrived, wild for centuries.
In 1938, the authorities decided the horses had become a nuisance and placed a bounty on their heads and hundreds were killed. They then continued roaming throughout the Outer Banks, occasionally being killed by cars. In the late 80s, a fence was erected and the horses were penned at the Northern end of the Outer Banks to roam free in over a hundred acres of unpaved beach and dunes. The herd still roams there today, a little less than two hundred horses.
We boarded some jeeps and headed out to watch them in the wild. We didn’t get to see any horses running on the beach but we had a blast rough riding on the sand. There are a few hundred rental houses in this isolated stretch of the Outer Banks, only accessible by a four-wheel drive on the beach. We spotted some horses foraging in the backyards of these rental homes.
We set out hunting for the unforgettable site of wild horses running on the beach. The blood orange sunset behind the sandy dunes is the memory that we’ll take away from our all-terrain jeep adventure.