South Carolina breeders try to save marsh tacky horses

Breeders try to save marsh tackies, gentle horses made tough by centuries on Carolina islands
By BRUCE SMITH | Associated Press | April 15, 2008 (AP)
(AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)

During centuries of isolation on the Carolina sea islands, the short-legged, sway-backed marsh tacky horses became perfectly suited for toiling long hours in the swamps and oppressive humidity.

But their wild looks and workhorse reputation — their name comes from the old English word meaning “common” — didn’t exactly make them prized among horse lovers. Today, only about 150 of them remain.

Now, breeders are coming together to save the tacky, whose ancestors were left by colonial Spanish explorers.

“You have to acquire a taste for these horses,” said David Grant, who has almost two dozen tackies on his Darlington County farm. “They are not as attractive as an Arabian, a quarterhorse or a thoroughbred, but now that I breed them and use them, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Those who know the tackies say there’s plenty to love about them.

Read the full article: South Carolina breeders try to save marsh tacky horses