Beach time is a favorite way to spend summer vacation. As we make plans to get away, here is an idea for those who’d like to reconnect with the power of nature. If you're feeling the need to reclaim your wild inner child… add wild horses to your beach escape.
5 Wild Spanish Mustangs—Corolla, NC—June 28, 2007 by Kevincollins123
Nothing quite captures the essence of freedom and sparks joy deep within us like the vision of wild horses racing down an otherwise deserted beach. These free spirits inspire us to tap into our own wild, free core. Be ready for a soul-stirring and awe-inspiring experience.
Historical and modern romance authors--especially those who write Western romances--often write about horses. A horse has starred in many famous novels for children and teens of all ages.
Wikipedia states that in 1971, US Congress recognized the mustang as ‘…living symbols of the historic and pioneering spirit of the West…”. Today, they are entrusted to the Bureau of Land Management and protected by US law.
Wild horses are more commonly known as feral horses. More than half the mustang population is found in Nevada, with large numbers also in Wyoming, Montana and Oregon. The Atlantic coast is the other most likely area to find them. Here are some (but not all) of the best places to see these pillars of strength and freedom.
The CBS Sunday Morning News recently presented a segment about Cumberland Island, an enchanting island just off the coast of Georgia, where wild horses roam and outnumber the human population. The original horses arrived along with the Spaniards in the 1500s. Historically, Cumberland Island was a cotton plantation prior to the Civil War. Later, it became the private retreat of the famous Carnegie family. In 1972 they sold and gave most of their land to the National Park Service, creating Cumberland Island National Sea Shore. This is where John F Kennedy Jr. married Carolyn Bessette, in a small shack of a church built by freed slaves.
Another place you can find herds of wild horses is the seashore where Maryland and Virginia meet at Assateague Island and Chincoteaque. The two herds found here – one in each state – are probably the best known to tourists. On the Virginia side, there is an annual salt water round up and pony swim that takes place every July before the auction where most of the foals are sold to manage the herd size. The Maryland herd roams free and their population is kept under control by selected mares being shot with a dart vaccine that keeps them from getting pregnant.
Wild Pony at Assateague Island National Seashore, MD, June 27, 2007 by dbking
In North Carolina, there are four parks where you can watch wild horses:
~Corolla on the Currituck Outer Banks, where wild horses roam free and you can drive along the beach to view them.
~Ocracoke Island, where the herd has dwindled to less than two dozen horses. These 'ponies' are far from wild anymore. They are fed twice daily and receive veterinary treatments. A visit to the Pony Pen can be fun.
~Shackleford Banks, Cape Lookout, is an island three miles offshore. It is cut off from the mainland and accessible only by ferry. Over 100 wild horses roam here and a visit to this island is said to be highly satisfying for wild horse watchers.
~Rachel Carson Coastal Reserve is a series of islands where you can see wild horses galloping along the beach. You can get to the island by ferry, or enjoy a boat tour around the island.
Nevada has a number of locations where you can enjoy wild horses. A very informative website with tips and locations is animaltourism.com/animals/horse.php.
Who knows, the wild horses may inspire you with a plot involving horses while you are there. Enjoy your summer and keep these safety tips in mind no matter what sort of vacation you plan: stay hydrated, don’t get sunburned, and be safe in the water.
GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity. You can buy Gemma’s books on Amazon.
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