The Winter of Our Discontent…

And it’s only January! During the first couple weeks of 2018 we experienced record breaking cold temperatures that led into one of the most significant snow and ice storms that any of us can remember. Luckily, horses and humans weathered the conditions just fine in the grand scheme of things, but the brutal cold has really done a number on our resources. To add to the strain, we are in the process of moving our retail location so our store and Trip of a Lifetime are shut down for the month of January. 

When temperatures drop below freezing (well below freezing in our case – into the single digits!) horses must consume more forage in order to keep warm. Horses are able to warm themselves from the inside out by constantly digesting food. For the horses at the farm, this means they need access to hay 24/7. Over the past few weeks our horses have been burning through a lot more hay than usual and we expect this to be the case for the majority of the winter. Consider our “Hay for a Day” program if you’d like to help us keep the horses fed and warm. A donation of just $24 will feed all 12 horses for one day. 

During this latest cold snap we unfortunately lost two of our water pumps. Despite our best efforts to keep them insulated and warm, the sub-freezing overnight temperatures cracked the pumps. Luckily we still have one that’s operating and we have hoses that can be linked together to reach all of the pastures, but replacing the two broken pumps will be costly. We would also like to have the pump houses, spigots, and pipes winterized a little better, and we are going to run electricity out to all of the pastures so that we can add additional heat sources (and fans in the summer!) if needed. If you’d like to help us out with the plumping and electrical work that needs to be done around the farm, you can make a one time donation via our website. Every little bit helps – give what you can and it will be most appreciated! 

Another thing that would really help us out right now are gift cards to Tractor Supply, Ace Hardware, or Lowes. Now that we know where our “weak” areas are on the farm we have some work to do, including adding additional insulation, purchasing extension cords, heaters, and lamps, and also additional tank heaters for the water, hay nets, and we really need a drag harrow for the pastures to help with manure maintenance when it’s cold like this. Gift cards to Valley Vet Supply would also be greatly appreciated! 

Donations and gift cards can be sent to us at: 

Corolla Wild Horse Fund

PO Box 361

Corolla, NC 27927



Giving Tuesday – Meet the Dews Island Mares

For the past twenty years there’s been a small but mighty group of Banker horses living on Dews Island, a strip of land situation just off the mainland and adjacent to the Wright family’s Cotton Gin and Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg. Early on in the Fund’s history there was no rehab farm, so horses that had to be removed from the wild were placed on the island and allowed to continue living a wild, but solitary and relatively confined life. The island is also home to a historic hunting lodge, and is a destination for waterfowl hunters visiting northeastern North Carolina.

Last spring CWHF was approached by the landowners and asked to consider removing the eight remaining horses due to a variety of reasons. We knew we had our work cut out for us, but we were excited to welcome the mares to the farm and embark on a new – and challenging! – adventure. Our herd manager and trainer spent some time with the horses on the island, getting to know them and talking with the caretakers about their personalities, lineage, and history. They learned which ones were more personable, which ones were most likely to be a little cranky or flighty, who was related to whom, and who might give us a run for our money. 

One of the challenges we faced is that there is only one way on and off the island – a foot bridge. Our truck and trailer would not fit across the bridge so we had to figure out a way to move the horses over the water while still keeping them contained. A week before the big move we set up a corral at the bottom of the bridge on the mainland side and their long-time caretaker Billy walked them over every day and fed them hay inside the corral. The last thing we wanted to do was stress the horses out, and this helped acclimate them to going into the corral so that the day of the move it wouldn’t be a shock to their routine. 

With the help of some WONDERFUL volunteers (including the same super cowboys who helped round up Roamer) the move went pretty flawlessly. Six of the eight horses quietly followed Billy over the bridge that Saturday morning and Mike, Steve, and Wayne easily herded them onto the trailer. The trip over to the farm was quick, and the horses unloaded just as easily as they loaded. We were so relieved. There were two stragglers that we had to go back for, and who gave us a bit of a chase but in the end they were pretty cooperative and quickly reunited with their friends. 

Over the last couple of weeks the girls have settled into life on the farm. They are all in great shape and they’re getting used to having us humans around (they are very food driven, which helps!). We’ve gotten halters on everyone except Bella and Betty, which didn’t surprise us given their antics on the day of the roundup. But that’s ok! We’ve got all the time in the world to work on gaining their trust and cooperation. 

Right now we’re focused on feeding all these new faces. They are out on pasture but since we’re going into the winter there’s not much grass which means our hay costs have increased exponentially. This Giving Tuesday, we’re asking for your help to make caring for the mares a little easier not just on our pocketbook, but our farm caretakers as well. We have an amazing hay dealer who provides us with high quality forage in the form of round bales, but at this time we’re not really set up to leave the big bales out in the pasture for the horses. We want them to have access to hay at all times, and to assure that happens we need to invest in some new equipment. That’s where you come in!

This #GivingTuesday, consider a donation to CWHF that will help us support the eight Dews Island mares. You contribution will make it possible for us to purchase large hay nets that fit over the round bales, as well as some new, smaller hay nets that will make it easier for us to feed all the horses every day. You can make a donation directly to the Fund by going here, or if you’re so inclined you can purchase an item and have it sent directly to us. Just click on the image to go to the corresponding Amazon page. 


We’ll be bringing you much more about Brownie, Cupcake, Little Star, Luna, Moxie, Jasmine, Betty, and Bella! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to our wonderful staff and volunteers who made this move safe and stress-free for the horses. Huge thanks to Beth Fleishaker for photographing the move, and to Wayne and Steve Mizelle and Mike Cowan for letting us use their trailer and driving up from Windsor to help get the horses moved. We couldn’t have done it without them! And of course our gratitude goes out to Billy and the Wright family for loving and taking care of the Dews Island horses for two decades, and for their help and support over the last few months. 


Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by the devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. Hurricanes are a part of life for us here on the Outer Banks and we know how exhausting and scary even a little bit of flooding can be, but the damage caused in Texas and Louisiana is on a scale that is barely comprehensible to those of us not living through it. We’ve put together a list of reputable organizations that are working to save horses on the ground in the affected areas, and we encourage you to donate what you can and share this list with others too. If you’d like to add to this list, please shoot us an email and we’ll update with links as we receive them. 

You can download a PDF containing all of this information HERE







Stolen Horse International (Net Posse)

PO Box 1341, Shelby, NC 28151









                2)   SEARCH FOR A MISSING HORSE:

                3)   DONATE:

Flyers are posted as Lost/Found.  They are then distributed across the internet to a large following of equestrians. 

These equestrians will then be on the lookout, as well as watch auction pipelines for stolen equines.



Equestrians networking to assist horses in need, across North America.




  1. B) HOW TO:

                1)  REQUEST ASSISTANCE:

                2)  OFFER ASSISTANCE:


  1. C) DIRECTORY (Quarantine Facilities, Shipping, Emergency Foster, etc.)








Hurricane Harvey Horse Helpers Directory:  

Being set up now.  Register on this form:

Will provide searchable tabs that include Trailering, Horse Housing and Care, Feed and Supply Banks, Rescuers with Boats, and more.

East Texas Evacuation/ Disaster Relief Network:


Please provide your name, phone number, location and type of hay or feed to be donated and whether you have transportation.

Please note there is no Fire Ant restriction to bring hay into the affected Counties.  However, please read the page!

Texas Department of Agriculture:  Has a “Hay Hot Line”  for equines in need.  Working with Texas A&M.




                CONTACT:    Jessica Escobar  (512) 803-7847

                CONTACT:    Patrick Dudley, Coordinator for Agriculture Commodity Boards and Producer Relations
                                       (512) 787-9966


Texas A&M Horseman’s Association

                Fund Raising on “Go Fund Me” to purchase hay for evacuated horses.



Animal Shelter List:  By County, sent out from the State of Texas:


A message about the above list of animal shelters:


1)   CALL FIRST:   This is not a comprehensive list.  The availability and capacity of shelters and holding facilities can change often.   Call the facility at the contact number listed below, to check availability.

2)   EQUINE:   If you are seeking shelter for horses only, contact Texas Equine Veterinary Association at 254-449-1974.

3)   CALL 2-1-1:  If you are seeking a large or small animal shelter or holding facility, in an area that is not listed.

                             Or contact the emergency management department in the area



American Veterinary Medical Association:  Veterinarians are stepping up to help.

Hot Line (such as seeing animals running loose):  512-719-0799

Trying to create comprehensive contact lists of facilities accepting livestock etc.

Providing disaster reimbursement grants. 

Give at using the AVMF Code “Disaster Relief” to designate your money for this fund.

Animal disaster plans and resources by State:

American Equine Practitioners:  Sending Veterinarians and Assistants to provide support:

1)  Equine Disaster Relief Fund, AAEP Foundation, 4033 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511; (800) 443-0177 (U.S. only) or (859) 233-0147.

2)  If you wish to offer assistance with supplies or other resources, please email Keith Kleine at and you will be contacted with further instructions.

3)  To send financial support:

Texas Equine Veterinary Association (TEVA):  Collecting donations to assist.


 United States Equestrian Federation:

Vicki Lowell:

List from Eventing Nation:

Habitat For

Requesting Hay Donations for feeding horses being rescued from floods.  

Jerry Finch 

P.O. Box 3767, Houston, TX 77253-3767


Houston SPCA:  Hurricane Harvey Horse Response Fund

900 Portway Dr., Houston, TX 77024


Animal Emergency Response Hotline  713-861-3010

Humane Society of North Texas

(Partnered with Equine Rescue Network).  Setting up mobile shelters.

Has a horse and livestock fund.

Livestock Coordinator:

(817) 332-4768

Equine Rescue Network:

(Partnered with Humane Society of North Texas).  Setting up mobile shelters.

370 Middleton Road, Boxford, MA, 01921   978-273-8469

Virginian Quarantine Barn, Louisa, VA    540-207-8540

Texas Quarintine Barn, Kauffman, TX     978-273-8469

Cross Fire Equine Rescue:

Dayton, TX

Needs funds to cover:  Sand, shavings, feed.  Can direct funds to their feed store.

Best Friends:

5001 Angel Canyon Road
Kanab, UT 84741



On the ground in Texas.


Make a gift to the Disaster Relief Fund:;jsessionid=00000000.app293a?df_id=1820&1820.donation=form1&mfc_pref=T&NONCE_TOKEN=8A59448CAB4A28357452BE5B6637858B&_ga=2.90760409.250927362.1504128779-1758403829.1504128779


Please email   Best Friends volunteers, especially those with animal handling experience, will be notified in the coming days of specific needs and how to support our work or that of our partners as soon as the situation on the ground warrants.

Disaster Response Team:

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
424 E. 92nd St
New York, NY 10128-6804

(212) 876-7700

American Humane:
1400 16th Street NW, Suite 360
Washington, DC 20036


Has Animal Rescue Team, working in Texas and Louisiana.  Taking 50’ emergency truck and other equipment.  Delivering 100,000 pounds of emergency food to pets and owners.

Code 3 Associates:
1530 Skyway Drive
Longmont, CO 80504
(303) 772-7724


On the ground in Texas; does Swiftwater Rescue etc.
Code 3 Associates is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to providing professional technical animal rescue and recovery to communities affected by man-made or natural disasters. We respond upon an official request for assistance from local Emergency Managers or jurisdictional authorities in charge of the animal rescue operations during a disaster.

Code 3′s Riders on the Storm Animal Rescue Team and BART (Big Animal Rescue Truck) are ready to assist and support agencies during those incidents or events that exceed or severely challenge the agencies’ ability to provide basic response services.

TLAER (Technical Large Animal Emergency Response)

Dr. Rebecca Gimenez, Georgia.



Authoritative discussion regarding self-deployment, if you are trying to go to Texas and assist.



Coast Guard:  

Emergency phone line for assistance in rescuing animals.


Texas Animal Health: 

Government organization    512-719-0700. 

Command Center for Hurricane Harvey:  512-719-0799

Quarter Horse News: 

Is listing those in need.

If you or someone you know is in need of help with horses or livestock, please email:






(AP image via)

Mateo - corolla wild horses tours

New Foal Named Mateo

Mateo - corolla wild horses tours

Drum roll please…the new foal’s name is Mateo! We love it. Finn was a close second. Thanks to everyone who participated in the naming contest. Several people submitted Mateo so we drew names out of a hat and the grand prize winner has been notified. (Photo credit: Coastal Extreme Photography)

Special Mustang Fun Festival At Scarborough Faire in Duck

It’s like a special, miniature Faire Days Festival Event this Wednesday, September 9th from 2-5pm at the Wild Horse Museum Store in Scarborough Faire Shopping Village in Duck NC.

“Meet A Mustang!” and make a donation to preserve and protect the wild horses

“Paint A Mustang” wooden cutout in sizes $5-$15

“Glitter Tattoos” that last for days $3.50

“Wine Tastings” locally made Wild Pony White and Shipwreck and Plank Reds from Sanctuary Vineyards, plus Wild Horse Chardonnay and Merlot from California’s Central Coast.

ALL proceeds from your purchase of these wines and all merchandise at the store benefit the wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs!

Join us for a Wine Tasting on Wednesday September 10th 1-4:30

Join us for a wine tasting on Wednesday September 10 from 1-4:30 at our locations in Scarborough Faire in Duck  or the Museum store in Corolla. You can sample local NC wine Wild Pony White and Wild Horse Merlot or Chardonnay from California.

It’s a great event for the mid-week and best of all… any purchase you make at either location will directly benefit the critically endangered Colonial Spanish Mustangs on the northern beaches of Currituck county. Hope to see you there!wine-glass-pour-1

Doing the Right Thing – Part II

Black StallionToday is my birthday. Let’s just say I’m old enough to be getting membership requests from AARP. It is said that with age comes wisdom but the older I get, the less I understand why it is so hard and sometimes impossible for some people to do the right thing.

The Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act mandates that the Corolla Wild Horse Fund can manage the wild herd that has lived on the Outer Banks for nearly 500 years, at the SCIENTIFICALLY recommended minimum of 120 to 130, with periodic introductions of mares from Shackleford Banks to try and reverse the Corolla herd’s current spiral into genetic oblivion. The only other remaining wild herd of Banker strain Colonial Spanish Mustangs left has been managed successfully at 120 to 130 since 1998 on Cape Lookout National Seashore/Shackleford Banks. Those horses live on 3,000 acres and the Corolla Horses have access to approximately 7,544. The Currituck Wildlife Refuge comprises 3,000 of the 7,544 acres available to the horses and our most recent aerial count documented only 8 horses on USFWS property.)

At issue is the United States Fish & Wildlife Service’s continued insistence that the herd size be managed at a maximum of 60. According to one of the nation’s leading equine geneticists and expert on feral horses, 150 is the number needed to maintain genetic diversity (once you have attained it) in a wild herd. Peer reviewed science has shown that the Corolla horses are not only highly inbred with extremely low genetic diversity, they are down to one maternal line. In contrast, the Shackleford Banks herd has three maternal lines.

On February 6, 2012, the United States House of Representatives did the right thing. They passed the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act unanimously. The bill’s sponsor, Walter Jones, (R, NC) did the right thing by also ensuring that the bill had a good balance of bipartisan cosponsors as it moved to the Senate. Senator Kay Hagan (D, NC) sponsored the bill in the Senate. Governor Bev Perdue supported the bill. Our hopes were high, however, the bill languished in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee while USFWS and Ducks Unlimited worked behind the scenes to kill it, sending letters to committee members and the public containing false information. Congressman Jones, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Welfare Institute, and others, all did the right thing and tried fervently to have Senator Hagan garner support for the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act. The bill that is the only hope for the very horse that the state of North Carolina designated as one of their state symbols, was allowed to die in committee.

Begin Part II. Again, Congressman Jones did the right thing again and reintroduced the bill in the House of Representatives on January 3, 2013. It has since passed through the Natural Resources Committee and is awaiting a vote on the House Floor. The Senate will have another chance to do the right thing. It is the right thing to do to protect and conserve a rare and ancient breed that is already listed as critically endangered. It is the right thing to do to protect and conserve an animal whose centuries old ancestors’ bones are mingled with the sand all along the coast of the Outer Banks. It is the right thing to do to conserve and protect an animal that has peacefully and successfully co-existed with all other wildlife for nearly 500 years. Why is it so hard for our legislators in the Senate to do the right thing?

Donate on Facebook!

Donate on Facebook and today’s hay is from YOU. You can help feed and house a Corolla Spanish Mustang awaiting adoption for only $5.00! If all our Facebook Friends donated $5.00 each,  that would cover the cost of the best of care for up to 8 rescued Mustangs for a year! 

Until the Last Wild Horse is Gone

This has been a devastating year for the American wild horse. In the west, as if the cruel helicopter roundups , confinement of nearly forty seven thousand wild horses in government holding pens, and their sale to kill buyers for slaughter in Canada and Mexico is not horrific enough, other insidious ways to rid the land of wild horses and the advocates trying to save them are beginning to surface. For example:

In the east, advocates for the wild horses north of Corolla, NC have been working with federal legislators to pass the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act. The Act mandates that the herd be managed at a range of 120 – 130 with never less than 110 and that mares from Shackleford Banks can be introduced periodically to address the Corolla’s dying gene pool. Similar legislation was passed in 1998 to protect the Shackleford horses that live on half the habitat available to the Corollas.

Presently, an expired management plan calls for a maximum herd size of 60 and United States Fish & Wildlife Service has refused to allow the number to change. Two thirds of the land available to the wild horses of Corolla is privately owned and the other one third is owned by USFWS. This year’s aerial count showed 121 horses on 7,544 acres with only 8 horses on USFWS land. The current herd size is 119.

The Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act, sponsored by Congressman Walter Jones (R), passed the United States House of Representatives unanimously, on February 6, 2012. It was introduced into the Senate by NC Senator Kay Hagan (D) and co-sponsored by NC Senator Richard Burr (R) in March and referred to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee where it has remained ever since.

Time is running out for the bill (S 3448) and for the Corolla wild horses. It will not take helicopter roundups, sales to kill buyers, or poisoned water to kill them. Without the ability to be managed at a genetically and physically healthy level, nature – in the form of genetic collapse and physical abnormalities due to inbreeding – will do the trick within a few generations.  Once they are gone – they are gone forever.

You can help to save them. Please e mail Senator Barbara Boxer, Chairperson of the Environment and Public Works Committee:  and Senator James Inhofe: . Tell them that you strongly support S 3448 and you want to see it passed before the end of this year.  Tell them that these horses have coexisted with all other wildlife for nearly 500 years and have had no unacceptable impact on the environment. The Shackleford horses have been managed at the same number as defined in S 3448 for 14 years, on half the land available to the Corollas, with no unacceptable impact.

Only the voting public can stop the eradication of wild horses from our country. Do it today.

Awesome Volunteers!

During their Thanksgiving break, this group decided to give thanks by giving back!  While planning their recent trip to Corolla, Jena and Anthony Mazzio, Jon, Erica, Cindy and Rocco Parise, and Gina and Valerie Philippi contacted the Corolla Wild Horse Fund for a volunteer project that would benefit the wild horses. As frequent visitors to the area, this group understands involvement in protecting the horses’ habitat is necessary for their continued survival.   They showed up in force on Friday, November 23 to tackle the day’s work.  Supplied with trash bags and gloves, they combed several miles of the four wheel drive beach for hours collecting an impressive pile of trash that would otherwise become a hazard to the wild horses, visitors and vehicles.  Our dedicated Corolla Ocean Rescue came through with a plan to pick up all the trash that was collected that same afternoon.  A huge thank you goes out to this awesome group of volunteers!  Way to go!