Cumberland Island horse

Cumberland Island horse: The Beloved Wild Horses of Georgia

Cumberland Island is a national treasure located off the coast of Georgia in the southeastern United States. The island is recognized for its stunning beaches, lush maritime forest, and its wildlife, especially for its majestic wild horses that roam the island’s beaches and forests. The Cumberland Island horse is an ancient breed, closely related to the Spanish horses brought to the Americas by the Conquistadors in the 16th century and is an integral part of Southern culture- with their resilience and beauty.

Cumberland Island horse History

Cumberland Island is the ancestral home of the Cumberland Island horse, and it is believed that the Spanish explorers introduced them to the island. The horses have roamed the island freely since the 16th century. Cumberland Island is also home to some of the most significant herd migrations on the East Coast. Before the island was established as a national park in 1972, the horses were privately managed. In the late 1970s, a team from the National Park Service was assigned to care for the managed herd of wild horses.

Cumberland Island horse Temperament

The temperament of the Cumberland Island horse is wild, but they are generally regarded as gentle and easy to manage. Visitors can view the herd from a distance, but they are not allowed to get too close. The horses have a strong sense of community and often travel in groups. Visitors are urged not to feed, pet, or interact with the horses to maintain their independence and wildness.

Cumberland Island horse Height

Cumberland Island horses are known for their strength and endurance. The breed is usually between 13 and 15 hands high, and both male and female horses are similar in height and overall size. They are lightweight and agile, making them ideal for rough terrains.

Cumberland Island horse Characteristics

Cumberland Island horses are distinguishable from other breeds because of their long and flowing mane and tail. Their coat is of varying shades of brown and is minimally groomed by the National Park Service to maintain their wild character. The horses are known for their long legs, unique hoof, and highly expressive eyes, which contribute to their natural beauty.

Cumberland Island horse Lifespan

Cumberland Island horses have a lifespan of about 20 – 25 years. They have a high tolerance for rough terrains, and they can travel long distances on limited food. The horses are incredibly resilient, and they have adapted to the island’s harsh climatic conditions of hurricanes, flooding, and fires.

Cumberland Island horse Colors

The Cumberland Island horse is mainly bay-colored with varying shades of light brown to dark brown. They may also have black or white markings on their face, legs, and body. The color of their coat may change depending on the season, habitat, or age, but the shades of brown are consistent.

Cumberland Island horse Health

The Cumberland Island horse is typically a hardy breed, but they are susceptible to parasitic infections such as stomach worms and sand colic. The National Park Service provides medical care for the horses when necessary to maintain their health and prevent the spread of disease.

In conclusion, the Cumberland Island horse is a heritage breed that represents the wild and untamed beauty of Georgia’s natural resources. Visitors to the park observe the horses as they roam the beaches and tree tunnels, free from human interference. The Cumberland Island horse is a remarkable survivor that has adapted to the harsh conditions and survived despite the changing times. The horses are one of the principal tourist attractions that have helped put Cumberland Island on the national stage. They are living proof of the importance of preserving natural resources and allowing wildlife to flourish without human intervention.