One of North America’s First Successful European Settlers

The first Europeans to successfully settle the East Coast of what is now the United States weren’t humans, but the horses left behind during early explorations. Both the Spanish and English brought Spanish bred horses to the east coast during their initial visits. In fact Columbus brought the first horses to Hispanola and started a breeding program in the 1400’s! A failed Spanish attempt to colonize the mid-Atlantic coast included 90 to 100 horses. The famed “Lost Colony” included not only English settlers but Spanish horses as well! For early explorers it was only logical to leave the animals behind rather than having to deal with them on the return trip to Europe. While the first colonization attempts by both the Spanish and English failed the horses included in those early settlements not only survived but thrived. While the horses living within the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve aren’t purely of those bloodlines, they are heavily related to those colonists.

So what does all this have to do with photography? Well I went paddling this morning and found about half of the Rachel Carson herd grazing on the semi-flooded tidal flats this morning. The kayak provides a low point of view, a rarely used perspective for wild horse photography. Add the mystique of sharing the flats with an animal that has made the barrier islands of the East Coast home for nearly 500 years and you just can’t have much more fun!

Horses were the first successful European settlers on the North American continent.

Wild Spanish Mustangs have made a home on the East Coast of the United States for nearly 500 years! The Rachecl Carson horses have a healthy dose of the the orignal Spanish Mustang bloodlines mixed with the domestic Quarter Horse.

The horses living in the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve are the decendents of a domestic herd kept there in teh 1940's.

wild horse photos

This entry was posted in Banker Horses, Kayaking, Natural History in the Carolinas, Nature Photography, Wildlife Photography.

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