At Ciniva we consider ourselves free spirits, so when we get to work on-site for one of our amazing clients we are THRILLED – particularly when that client is VisitCurrituck, and the assignment is to go in search of wild horses. High fives were exchanged, tickets were booked and snacks were packed.
More than just fun, this sort of excursion gives us the insight we need to capture and speak to the hearts and minds of consumers, and convert them into customers for our clients.
We buckled up, grabbed our notebooks and camera gear and set off on our adventure; a wild horse tour which took our team deep into the sandy dunes of Currituck and Corolla. We chose to tour with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, as it is the only tour company in the Outer Banks which operates as a non-profit, public charity, with a mission of protecting the herd.
Cruising along the 4×4 beach, our tour guide explained that the wild horses were originally brought to the area in the 1500s on Spanish ships. The shallow nature of the coast off of Corolla and the unpredictable sandbars have caused the area to be known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, and caused many a shipwreck in centuries past. It is believed that the horses survived such occasions to swim to shore, making a new home for themselves, and they’ve been here ever since.
Because of the heavy gear and armor that the Spanish soldiers wore, their horses were bred to be shorter, with stocky bodies and strong legs capable of carrying such weight. Their appearance isn’t the only difference between wild and domesticated horses.
The Corolla wild Spanish mustangs are unique to this area of the outer banks. You won’t see them further down the Outer Banks, and you won’t spot them in Virginia. These horses are the only remaining examples of their herd, stranded an ocean from their origins. There are no more Spanish mustangs in the world, not even in Spain.
Wild horses are a beautiful, spiritual phenomenon, and one that the folks of Currituck and Corolla will do anything to protect. Locals and visitors alike are frequently reminded to never get nearer to the horses than 50 feet, and to never feed them. With very sensitive and specific needs, these horses are almost constantly at risk. One pat from a human could expose the entire herd to an unfamiliar germ, one bite of foreign food could be lethal. We are able to appreciate their beauty, majesty and grace just as well from a distance, without doing any harm.
If you’ve never seen the wild horses of Currituck and Corolla, then you’re missing out on something amazing. Take a drive down the 4×4 beaches during the off-season when it’s less crowded, and you just might get lucky; or take a tour with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund to see for yourself, while helping fund the preservation of these one-of-a-kind creatures.
We love learning more about our clients and what makes them truly special and unique. Check out VisitCurrituck.com for more info on the Spanish mustangs and how you can get to know them from the locals’ perspective.
Where will we go next? We don’t know yet, but we can’t wait to find out!
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