Banker Horse

Banker Horse photo
Banker Horses - wild Mustangs in Corolla, North Carolina
Photograph by Kevincollins123. Some rights reserved.


Banker Horses are generally can be found living on North Carolina’s Outer Bank islands. This breed falls under the category of feral domestic horses. Large herds of the Banker horses can be found on Currituck Banks, Shakleford Banks, Rachel Carson Estuarian Sanctuary and Ocracoke Islands.

Though these animals are not natives of this place, they are allowed to live here freely because of the historical significance they carry. They live by grazing on marsh grasses and drinking water from temporary freshwater pools.

The Bankers are relatively small horses and their height ranges between 13-14.3 hands. They weigh between 800-1000 lbs. The head of the Banker horse has either a straight or a slightly convex profile. These horses have a wide forehead. They have a narrow chest that is deep. They have a tail that is set low on a sloped croup. They have a short back. They have an oval shaped “cannon bone” on their legs which signify their strong bone structure. These horses have long gaits.

Though these horses are considered to be feral, they are gentle and docile creatures. They are also friendly by nature. These creatures that are eager to learn are easy to train.

13 - 14.3 hands

Though any coat color is permitted for these horses, the most common ones are chestnut, dun, bay, buckskin, pinto, black and brown.

Suitable for
The Banker horses have found themselves to be useful in a number of areas. This breed has been used for mounted patrols. A few years ago, these horses were also used for beach rescue operations and to carry equipments from shipwreck sites. In the 1980s, these horses were used for beach duty. They also played a role in World War II because the Coast Guards used them for patrol.

These animals carry a calm and gentle disposition which finds them use as children mounts. They are also good for pleasure riding. They are also used for driving and trail riding.

The Banker horses are believed to have descended from the Spanish horses. There are many theories in existence about how these horses reached the shores of America. One widely accepted theory is that these animals managed to escape and reach the lands of America when Spanish ships were wrecked. The other theory states that these horses may have descended from the 89 horses brought to the American soil by the Spanish explorer, Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon in the 16th century.

Certain English horses might have influenced the initial bloodlines of these horses. However, since then these horses have been able to maintain the purity of their bloodlines, thanks to their isolated lives.

Many private organizations in conjunction with the National Park Service manage these horses in order to prevent overpopulation and to also preserve their grazing grounds. Adoptions and birth control help in keeping their population under control.