Horse Sense

Debra Keirce


Horse Sense is an original oil painting by  Debra Keirce.  The art measures 10″ x 10″ with the  frame measuring  11 1/2″ x  11 1/2″,  frame included.


Wild horses grace the dunes in the northern wilderness of The Outer Banks in North Carolina. These horses are descendants of Spanish Mustangs who were left behind over four centuries ago. They have had to adapt in order to survive. Arguably, they are the horses with the MOST horse sense of any in their species. Among other things, their digestive systems have adjusted to eating only sea oats, coarse grasses, acorns, persimmons, and other vegetation native to the beach. This means when well meaning tourists, who do NOT have much horse sense, feed them apples, carrots and other foods that are not native to the area, they die within hours. (The horses, not the tourists.) It is illegal to get within 50 feet of a wild horse in North Carolina. It can also be very dangerous. Horse sense stands to reason - These are strong, extremely large wild, undomesticated animals.

These wild horses are a national treasure and a miracle. Through the heroic efforts of local volunteers and four full time and 19 seasonal employees, the herd is now between 60 to 110 horses. When the National Park Service began to buy up the land for Cape Hatteras National Seashore, they put a bounty on wild horses. This decreased their number from about 6,000 in 1938.

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