Horses are not native to North America. But for more than 400 years, the small, swift and sturdy horses whose forebears once roamed the sands of Arabia have had free run of the beaches of the Currituck Outer Banks. Spanish conquistadors explored what is now coastal North Carolina in the early 1500s, bringing with them livestock including cattle, sheep, and pigs and horses bred in Puerto Rico. Much of the livestock made the final leg of their long journey by swimming ashore. Other Spanish-bred horses made their way to the Outer Banks aboard English ships and were used for a variety of tasks, including hauling fishing nets and serving on Life-Saving Service Beach patrols. Scientific studies have linked today’s Corolla herd to clear Spanish origins. Further studies show that the horses, due to their isolation over the past centuries, have become a breed unto themselves. Corolla’s wild Spanish mustangs have been recognized by the State of North Carolina as a significant historical and cultural resource. Today, the Corolla wild horses are managed by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, Inc. (CWHF). For more information on the Corolla wild horses, visit the CWHF website: www.corollawildhorses.com.