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Wild Horses of Sable Island

Sable Island is an island off the coast of Nova Scotia, approximately the length of Manhattan and the width of central park, the island is a designated National Park and serves as home to many unique species of flora and fauna, including the unique Sable Island Horse. There are only 5 permanent residents on the island, and all visitors must be pre-approved by Parks Canada.

Historically, the island was famous for it’s large number of shipwrecks, the coastline is surrounded by sandbars that can be notoriously difficult to navigate, thick fogs and treacherous currents mean that few survivors are even recovered from the wrecks.

The wild horses that inhabit the island have always been a source of great interest, photos of these mystical equines were first published in 1898 by Arthur Williams McCurdy for National Geographic. Originally, they likely descended from horses confiscated from the Acadian population during the Great Expulsion, left on the island in order to be contained. In the past, excess horses were rounded up and shipped off the island, sold, and mostly utilized in the coal mines on Cape Breton Island. In 1960 the Canadian Government gave the horse species full protection from human interference. Today they are one of the only communities of wild horses left on earth.

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