In the days of high sea adventures – pirates and colonial sea trade – shipwrecks were not unusual. The horses you see here are a band or harem we saw December 2016 on Shackleford Banks, a small barrier island near the historic sea town of Beaufort, N.C. They are thought to be descendants of 16th or 17th Century Spanish mustangs that swam to shore after a shipwreck or were abandoned by early Spanish explorers. The Shackleford Banks herd (Banker Horses) number about 120, and they roam in small harems or band, each group led by a dominating stallion. Shackleford Banks, a barrier island in the Cape Lookout National Seashore, is managed by the National Park Service. During our visit we watched the horses roll around in the shallow tide and dig for fresh water. Keep your distance. Read more about these wild horses and how to see them and other historic sites in Beaufort and Fort Macon.