Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Carolina Marsh Tacky

 The Carolina Marshy Tacky came to North America with the Spaniards, who were hoping to colonize parts of it. One man, Luis Vazquez de Ayllon, was hoping to colonize the coast of North and South Carolina, as well Virginia, in 1526. He brought with him approximately 500 people and 89 horses. However, the idea of creating a colony flopped, and the people who had not died there left within the year, leaving behind their horses.

 One herd had swam to the Shackleford islands, while the other remained in what is now South Carolina. The latter had to adapt to the harsh marshlands of the area, but once they did, they became a prized horse among local Native American tribes–Choctaws, Chickasaws, Cherokees, and Seminoles. When Europeans began settling North American, the sure-footed horse was used by them too. Francis Marion and his troops, who fought in the swamplands of South Carolina, used these horses during the Revolutionary War. The breed had become so popular by them that the British referred to them as "tacky," meaning "common."

Marsh Tackies are sturdy, sure-footed horses, able run effortlessly through
wetlands due to their flat, dish-like hooves. source
 However, the breed is not so common today. As cars arrived in South Carolina, the horses went out the back door, their numbers dwindling down to 300 in South Carolina alone. In 2006, the American Livestock Breed Conservancy got involved after having travelled to South Carolina to determine whether the breed still existed. After confirming their find using DNA testing, they created a studbook. By June of 2007, owners decided to form the Carolina Marsh Tacky Association. Today, the biggest herd is owned by the Carolina Marsh Tacky Association, consisting of 100 horses. In further attempts to preserve the breed, the Marsh Tacky became South Carolina's state heritage horse.

Breed Description and Uses:
Standing under 14.3 hands high, the Marsh Tacky is well-muscled, yet also refined with large, pan-like feet and the ability to be ridden all day without tiring, even over rough terrain. Consequently, it is commonly used as a trail horse. Most often, the Tacky is dun colored.

 As for the temperament, the Tacky is calm and unafraid of guns, which is why it is favored among hunters. Should it get stuck in a bog, it would calmly climb out, whereas most other breeds would likely panic.

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