I don’t remember when I first fell in love with horses. My grandparents bought my first horse before I was 12 but I know I loved them before then. I think the life long love affair began with books. Maybe it was Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry or Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Either way, the saying is true little girls never grow out of the “horse phase.” Recently, I had been reading Nicholas Sparks and fell in love with his stories of charming towns set in the Carolina’s. The towns are small and neighborly, with quiet tree lines streets and small festivals. He painted a picture so beautiful I wanted to be visit but when I read a passage involving wild spanish mustangs on the shores of a small Carolina beach town I couldn’t help but laugh – leave it to me to fall in love with an author who can appreciate the beauty of a horse.
Of course the crazy horse woman in me had to know what this scene was inspired from. After some research it turns out that the wild horses of North Carolina‘s outer banks are descended from spanish mustangs brought by early European explorers from as long ago as the 1500’s. For 400 years they roamed the coast but by the early 20th century tourist began to flock to the outer banks. Now there are three groups of horses left. But the most famous are the Spanish Mustangs. Admirers come from around the US to enjoy their beauty. But the best sightings, the kind that seem to be straight out of a Nicholas Sparks book, are when the horses stand atop the dunes over looking the beach wind blowing through their mane. Or when they travel along the beach, frolicking in the ocean waves.
To see true wild Spanish Mustangs in their natural habitat must be breath taking. I would love to visit the Crystal Coast some day. These majestic creatures are just one of many family friendly activities in North Carolina during the summer. I read that they also boast the number one diving destination in North America and if you’re into seafood you can get it “fresh from the docks” every day. The list of activities was seemingly endless.