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#14480 Ist Der Kommen

These five wild horses walking down the beach at the surf line live in Currituck National Wildlife Refuge just above the end of the road in the Outer Banks at Corolla, North Carolina. From that point, only four wheel drive can take you where these animals roam the dunes as there are no paved roads. You can drive along the beach another 12 miles to the Virginia line, in addition to a few very sandy inroads into the dunes. At both ends there are fences and a cattle guard at the end of the Corolla hard road, to keep them from wandering on the highways to the south and into heavily developed areas.<br />
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How long have the “banker ponies” been here and where did they come from? No one knows, but the two best guesses have the horses as Spanish shipwreck descendants or escaped farming horses and the actual answer may be both and more. They have cousins in groups to the north and south through the Outer Banks region, and all the horses at both locations are noticeably short which makes them more accurately classed as ponies.<br />
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In this image taken in blue dusk light, a stallion is leading his harem string of four mares along the wet edge of the waves and threads between the tidal pools left by the low tide. He looks back to see if the mares are forming up their natural string after it was disrupted; if the string is broken up, it isn't long until they reform as they are here. Hierarchy is very important to all horses and the pecking order never changes unless there is some squabbling that rearranges it. Most people don't know that in the horse world, all remains very orderly and predictable between hierarchy spats. I've always enjoyed watching herd behavior sitting on a pasture fence overlooking domestic herds, but here it was very interesting chance to watch these feral horses in their natural setting.<br />
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The title Ist Der Kommen is Pennsylvania Dutch for “Are you coming?” and I've heard the Amish use the phrase. It is not German or actual Dutch, however.