Remember THE CAROLINA MARSH TACKY HORSE? Let’s dream together… there is one for sale! So rare!

Do you remember when I wrote about the incredible Carolina Marsh Tacky Horses?  Sadly, they are becoming extinct…

However, there is a very noble group, the Carolina Marsh Tacky Association, who is passionate to save the breed.



There is one for sale!  A colt!  (ALL HIS INFO IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST!)

I WANT HIM!  However, he is all the way across the country and I have enormous vet bills right now… so I have to sit on my hands.

But, would one of you like this opportunity to own one of these fabulous and rare horses?

I have attached my previous post below this one – just for reference to remind you.

PLUS, I’ve added a link to a sweet book “Beach Race Champion“, their FB page, their newsletter and their new website links.

Go ahead, scroll down… aren’t they gorgeous?!  Small, durable, game, adventurous, sure footed, great in swampy conditions and have lots of go!

Here is the official website.

Here is the previous post so you can remember all about the breed:

 THE CAROLINA MARSH TACKY HORSE.  Will he become extinct in our lifetime?  Hope not.

I had never heard of this horse:  The Carolina Marsh Tacky Horse.  Have you?

Today, through a series of interesting emails, the Marsh Tacky Horse – out of nowhere –  appeared on my radar.  What did I just read out of the corner of my eye on my computer screen?  A what kind of horse?  A Marsh what?  Marsh Tacky horse?  ?

So I did some research and let me tell you…

Of all the breeds I’d like to own, rescue, house, care for, feed, ride, race, jump, love and bury my face in their mane, THIS BREED is now at the top of my list.  Why?  Why indeed…


They seem like my kinda horse.  Sturdy, Small, Durable, Smart, Sure-Footed, Strong Feet and they come in a variety of colors that I particularly prefer.  Grulla, Dun, Creme, Roan and all those mixed up genetic colors that fascinate me.

They are described as having unique abilities to navigate in marshy, wet and mucky conditions.  I’m told they are “forest wise” with the sense to consider situations and not just flee.  Oh, and they can go and go and go and go…  They aren’t super fast like an Arab endurance horse, but they have stamina enough to work in the hot, humid, sloppy Carolina marshes and swamps all day long.

And, all of the owners absolutely LOVE THEM.  You can go to the extensive website and read story after story – pure joy.

Wow.  Kinda perfect for a person (like me) who wants a small, sensible, solid trail horse who can maneuver in tough terrain.  Too bad they are almost extinct… Unbelievable that such a cherished breed for its owners – is barely sustained.

Carolina Marsh Tacky Horse


OK, ready…?  There are less than 300 of these horses alive.  And, right now, there are only 2 available for sale in the entire US.  Can any other breed say that?  When most breeds are in surplus here, there are not enough Carolina Marsh Tacky Horses.

One of the last herds…


There are pages of lengthy history on these horses which I will link here.  But, in my own words the history goes something like this.

Carolina Marsh Tacky horses are descendants of the Colonial Spanish horse which settled in the South Carolina swamp marshes.  They ate swamp grasses and roamed in that wet, sloppy terrain which helped develop their sure footed and unusual, comfortable gait.

How can we not save this breed?!

During the American Revolution, some were gathered and used to mount the soldiers.  Quickly these horses became a favorite because of their agility and size.  During the Civil War, these horses were again front and center.  Because the Marsh Tacky was such a quality worker, he was seen in every yard in those days.  They delivered the mail, plowed fields, brought people to visit and functioned in every way required of a horse in a community.  During WWll, the Tacky horse patrolled the beaches of South Carolina looking for U-boats.

Such an interesting color on this vital foal

“Tackies were largely managed on islands in the lowland or “lowcountry” region and on coastal
islands including Hilton Head. These herds were occasionally rounded up by local inhabitants
whenever there was a need for horses.”

Then came technology.  And, this specialized horse who lived in a small area was squeezed out of its natural habitat.  People stopped owning and breeding them.  So, the small colony became smaller and smaller and…

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) estimates through
extensive field investigation that there are fewer than 300 pure Marsh Tackies left.

Easy to ride…


I took this excerpt from the website:

Today, a majority of the Marsh Tacky horses lie in the hands of hunters and long time fanciers who have had these horses in
their families for generations. The remaining horses retain their ability to thrive in the challenging environments of coastal
South Carolina and have stamina in the field that is second to none. Owners often comment on the built-in “woods sense” of
the breed and how the horses have a natural way of traversing water obstacles and swamps without panicking or getting stuck
in the mud. “If a horse panics in the water, then it is not a Marsh Tacky,” boasts one breeder. Another claims that these
horses “know how to wear their feet,” attesting to their sure footedness, smooth ride and almost thoughtful approach to
traveling in the field.


Can the new generation continue?



It’s been nearly fifteen years since ALBC first found out about the breed and two years since we succeeded in finding and
working with the breeders, and in that time the future has begun to look brighter for these rare horses. All the efforts of
documenting and networking are now serving to support the breed’s recovery. In October of 2006, Marsh Tacky breeder David
Grant, with the assistance of Equus Survival Trust, held an open house at his farm to introduce the public to Marsh Tackies.
Following the event, ALBC conducted an informational workshop on Hilton Head in February 2007 to discuss the formation of a
breed association. ALBC met once again with Marsh Tacky owners and supporters in June 2007 at the Mullet Hall Equestrian
Center on Johns Island, S.C., to discuss the formalization of a Marsh Tacky Horse Association. During the meeting the owners
formed a Board of Governance that will pave the way for the creation of a Carolina Marsh Tacky Association (CMTA) whose
mission will be to support and promote the Marsh Tacky horse.

I don’t recommend this but they say this horse is very comfy in water…

Following the formation of the breed association, ALBC received a grant from the Thorne Foundation to continue fieldwork and
create a studbook for the Marsh Tacky. The studbook was completed in 2009 and is managed using the Breeders Assistant
studbook program. This software was chosen for its versatility and for its proven record in management of other rare breeds. It
also gives ALBC the ability to make the studbook available to owners through the ALBC website.

Look at the colors of this mane!

As part of the recovery project, DNA samples were collected for analysis by Dr. Gus Cothran of Texas A&M University. Results
of this information are being used to enhance the strategy for population management and help maintain the remaining genetic
diversity within the population.


Additional scientific study on the Marsh Tacky has been undertaken through the Gaited Locomotive Research Program at
Mississippi State University. This program studied the gait of the breed to get a better understanding as to why these horses
can work or be ridden all day without the horse or its rider tiring. Video for the study was compiled by ALBC staff of a collection
of Tackies from several bloodlines within the breed. The study found that every horse in the videos did gait, and that the Marsh
Tacky breed can be considered a gaited horse that has very unique movement specific to the breed. The breed having the
most similar gait to the Marsh Tacky is another horse with Spanish roots – the Mangalarga Marchador, the National horse of
Brazil. Because there is enough difference between the two gaits, the breed association was given the honor to give the Marsh
Tacky’s gait a name of its own. The name “Swamp Fox Trot” was voted on and accepted as the name of the gait by the CMTA
membership at their 2010 annual meeting.


The Marsh Tacky remains a living piece of history in its native region and in 2010 was honored by being named the official
State Heritage Horse of South Carolina. The Marsh Tacky has endured for over 400 years and has the potential to survive far
beyond that, as long as enthusiasts and conservationist work together to preserve what remains of this historic treasure.”

I want to be with them!


First of all, why are they called “Tacky”?  Because they were so common long ago… imagine that.

There are breed standards, characteristics and traits.  You can read about them here and here.  Also, there is an official website here where you can read all about them as well as join the group and help preserve the breed.

Quick facts


I have to mention this website because the photos were spectacular and the stories/blogs even better.  I think this person is the biggest breeder of the Marsh Tacky, but I’m not sure.  He has a very nice stallion and several horses to drool over…

OMGosh I love these horses!


Moses.  Wow! Whatta cool, trained, rare horse.


I hate the idea that this versatile and ‘so much loved by their owners’ breed is almost extinct.  I want to help in any way I can.  So, I joined the Society.  You can too.  (link here)  Why not?  Just knowing about them helps spread the word.  You can help by signing their guestbook and letting them know you are available for cheerleading services.


I’m sure they need dedicated, knowledgeable, ethical, honest and true breeder options across the country that are willing to adhere to the standards, not vary and persevere to maintain and grow the breed.

Too Cute

With so many unwanted and abandoned horses in the US, I am surprising myself that I want to create more horses. But, for me, this is history and a lovely reminder of Mother Nature and Nurture at work.  I would love to see them stay with us.


The Marsh Tacky Races have resumed!

I was sent this book a while back and it is very charming.

I totally want a Marsh Tacky Horse.

I have this book - so sweet and great pics!  Click to go to Amazon

I have this book – so sweet and great pics! Click to go to Amazon


Click on the image or this link to read the newsletter!

Click image to go to the newsletter

Click image to go to the newsletter


Here is the link or click in the image to get to their FB page and LIKE them!

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 9.19.57 PM

Click image to go to their FB page!


COLT FOR SALE RIGHT NOW!!!  (no affiliation)

Actually, right now, there are a few young ones for sale!   Here is the sale page!!!)

I so want this particular little boy…  if there was a way to get him to me, I’d bundle him up and bring him home!

Would you like him?  The contact info is below!

Look at his build!  What a cutie!  I want!

Look at his build! What a cutie! I want!

Here is his information:

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 8.48.26 PM


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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

27 comments have been posted...

  1. Breanna Robinson

    I have a registered marsh tacky. He is a beautiful bay roan. He is for sale but I’ve been so very picky. This really is a special breed with a special mind.

  2. Carolyn Graham

    We have six Marsh Tackys at our farm in Montmorenci S.C. in Aiken County and they are beautiful – smart – loving horses – we love them dearly and anyone that loves horses will fall in love with this very special horse.

  3. Caroline Knight

    Glad to report that the Marsh Tacky numbers have exceeded 400 but we still have a ways to go to get them off the critically endangered list. Today, March 25, 2017, 15 Marsh Tackies participated in the races hosted by Kiawah Cares on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. For pictures, please visit the Marsh Tacky Fans page on Facebook.

  4. Kelly White

    I discovered the breed about 6 years ago when my dear friend, Patricia Stafford wouldn’t stop talking about them and eventually wrote a book about the races. I now own my first Marsh Tacky! He’s a 17 month old stud colt who has the best demeanor I’ve ever seen in any horse. He’s smart, patient and even-tempered. This breed is amazing! I’ve started a fan page for the Marsh Tackies. Check it out!

  5. Caroline Knight

    Hello from South Carolina. I just discovered your blog and your great article about our special horses. I first became a Marsh Tacky owner in 1977 at the age of 11. Apache, my little dun gelding, was my best friend for nearly 23 years. I can tell you story after story about our adventures and how special he was. After almost 16 years of living without horses, I purchased my 2nd Marsh Tacky, a 4.5 yr old mare named Alejandra, “Allie”, last year in October. I know that people, especially horse people, think that I am exaggerating when I say that they are NOT like any other breed. You have to experience them first hand and be willing to listen to them. A Marsh Tacky will steal your heart, and you’ll be glad you did.

    The numbers have grown to 367 with more on the way. Owning a Marsh Tacky is a privilege and a choice you will never regret.

  6. Dale Swofford

    I am working on a project to breed and train Marsh Tacky’s as cart horses and breed and train Suffolk Punch Draft horses as work horses. I expect to have about 20 of each. I will be working with the breeders assoc. and the Livestock Conservancy. look for it on the web in about a year. Keep up the good work. Peace, Dale

  7. Patricia Stafford

    Thank you so much for featuring the Marsh Tacky Horses on your blog again. I am glad you like the the children’s book, we are working on another one in the future. Currently we are working on “The Natural History of the Marsh Tacky” and hope it will be released next year by History Press.
    thank you again for your support and interest in the Marsh Tacky Horse!

  8. KD Huff

    My daughter got to ride a Florida Cracker Horse when we participated the the Florida Cracker Trail Ride this past February. She loved trying out the small, hardy and very comfortable gelding. We’ve always believed that they are similar or related genetically to the Marsh Tackies.

  9. Susan Day

    Marsh Tacky Colt for sale
    Own a piece of SC history. The Marsh Tacky is critically endangered with a little over 300 alive. Absolute Daufuskie (aka Pistol). Born 5-7-2013 His Sire – Cowboy Reg No. 122 his Dam – Barrier Island Beach Music (Red Rocket) Reg. No. 142. He is registered with CMTA – Reg. No. 414. Leading and picking up feet now. Also working on ground manners with him. Go to to see a picture.
    Price: $2,500.00 email. Call or email me for more information. Susan Day

  10. Mary Sue Geiger

    Thank you for writing this. I own a Marsh Tacky mare who is in foal. Hope to have a new addition in March 2013.

  11. Robin Gibson

    Beautiful horses! I pray that it does not become extinct. Thanks to you all for this info and thanks to those that are seeking to preserve th eTacky!

  12. Patricia Teel

    I would love to see what the results would be if their DNA was compared to the DNA of the Florida Cracker Horse.I have a feeling that they would be very close.

  13. Mary

    My gosh, what an incredibly beautiful animal. Sounds like my perfect horse in every way.
    I had never heard of this bred, thank you for bringing these lovelies into the forefront. I hope dearly that they make a come back.

    Keep fighting the good fight, love your blog!

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  15. stephanie mcqueen

    All the desirable traiits iscussed… the smooth gait, intellgence, steadiness and confirmation are characteristic of iberian horses… paso Fiji, peruvian…you should check out cracker horse I. fl… I’mthrilled to hear the marsh tackies gait..p.s. paso Fiji stallions are very manageable with correct training no one should ever ever geld a tacky…god bless the folks working to support tackles!!!!

  16. Patricia Kennedy

    As a British equestrian, I am thrilled to have discovered the Marsh Tacky!

  17. Rebecca

    I have never heard of them! beautiful animals… and I think, one of my favorite breeds now as well!!! Thanks for sharing.

    I have a question. Who did you get some of these pictures from? the one of the buckskin mane (that you said, “Look at the colors of this mane!”), and the one of the two horses with dark background… I would love to contact these photographers to get permission to paint them if I can…..

    Thanks… and is there an organization to help save this breed? If there is, I would like to donate a portion of any horse painting sales to them…


  18. J matheson

    Thanks for sharing this info! I look forward to learning more about them and hope to meet a few Marsh Tackys soon:)

  19. Collada

    So glad to hear that there are people trying to keep the breed going! I just hope it is those same people who keep it up. I’d hate to see everyone and their brother breeding this great horse because next thing you know they’re being starved, sent to slaughter, etc.

    I love your blog, by the way. :-)

  20. Linda Horn

    I don’t know what I was expecting, but I sure wasn’t ready for these spectacular animals! I think a new “screen saver” is in order!

    Have you ever written an article on “American Cream Draft Horses”? They’re the only “drafties” that originated in the U.S. and are also one world’s most endangered breeds.

    I’ve personally known two ACD mares. Beautiful, very “people friendly”, and with enough “get up and go” to make them not only great driving horses, but riding horses as well.

  21. MJ Goodwin

    Hello! And thank you for your wonderful write up on the Marsh Tacky. I have a herd of 6 Marsh Tackies in Upstate SC. The horses you have pictures of are from David Grant’s herd. There is a larger breeder in Ridgeland, SC, belonging to DP Lowther. He is the gentleman largely credited with saving the Marsh Tacky from extinction. My farm has switched from raising American Paints (great horses, don’t get me wrong) to raising Marsh Tackies. Our first foal, Jefferson, was born on June 11, 2010, the day that the Marsh Tacky was named the SC State Heritage Horse.

  22. Jeannie

    Beautiful and amzing horses with wonderful qualities. I hope you won’t mind if I ask how you feel with what is going on with the Wild Horses being gathered by the thousands and also how you are feeling about Slaughtering of so many healthy horses. Important topic for anyone that loves horses and realizes how each is individually special. Thank you

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