About This Spot
The Ocracoke Ponies, are Banker horses thought to have escaped or been abandoned when Spanish ships sailing along the Outer Banks became stranded on sand bars. These horses survived and ultimately learned to thrive in the harsh coastal environment. At one time they numbered in the thousands, now their number is only a few hundred. The horses at the Ocracoke Pony Pen are not strictly considered to be wild. These horses receive veterinary care and are fed. Some of the ponies were taken from Shackleford Banks when the herd became over crowded. Other horses were brought in when they became ill and could no longer survive in the wild. The charm of this location is that you may view the ponies without all the hassle of roaming over miles of meadow on the Shackleford Banks or tracing down the herd at Currituck National Wildlife Refuge. The ponies at Ocracoke are the same breed, just a little healthier and fatter. The down side is the lack of normal behavior that can be viewed in the wild. Another advantage of making a stop here is the excellent boardwalk to the beach located across the road from the pens.
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