Marsh Tacky: The Carolina Marsh Tacky is a rare breed of horse, native to South Carolina. They were found from as far north as Myrtle Beach and as far south as St. Simon’s Island, Georgia.
Thought to have become extinct during the 1980’s, this ancient breed has managed to hold on in the hands of a few dedicated people. Although the exact origin of the Tacky is unclear, it is believed to have developed from Spanish horses brought to the South Carolina coast by Spanish explorers, settlers and traders as early as the 16th century. A number of Spanish horse populations along the Southeast coast ultimately thrived and became feral herds.
The breed derives the "tacky" part of its name from the English word meaning "common" or "cheap", as these horses were the most common breed in their area of the country for most of their history. The tackies were used during World War II by members of the beach patrols, tasked with the surveillance of South Carolina beaches against Nazi u-boats attacks and enemy troop landings.
The Marsh Tacky generally stands between 14 and 14.2 hands high, and today the breed can be found in a wide variety of colors, including dun, bay, roan, chestnut, black and grullo.
The breed is considered to be critically endangered by both the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and the Equus Survival Trust, and there are thought to be less than 150 Marsh Tackies in existence today.
Return from MarshTacky to Horse Riding Connection