Marsh Tacky Frequently Asked Questions

1) I would like to own a Marsh Tacky. Where can I purchase one?
There are very few Marsh Tackies available at this time because the current population is so small.  If you are interested in buying a Marsh Tacky, check our Horses for Sale page under the Horses tab or contact the breeders on our Marsh Tacky Breeders page.
2) I don’t have a Marsh Tacky but I want to help.  What can I do?
Become a member of CMTA. The membership form can be found on our Membership Page.  Print a copy of the membership form and mail to the address on the form. We can always use volunteers and would be glad to have your assistance.  There are events, publicity items, newsletters, lectures, etc. where we need extra hands.  Please Contact Us if you would like to volunteer.
3) I would like to have a Marsh Tacky appear at my event.  Who do I contact?
Contact Us from our Contact page or send an email to
4) Are Marsh Tackies smaller than other horses?
Yes, Marsh Tackies are smaller than other riding breeds. They generally stand 13.2 to 15 hands (54-60″) at the withers and weigh 700-900 pounds.
5) Are Marsh Tackies short-legged, squat, sway-backed, or big headed?
No!  Marsh Tacky bodies are very proportional and well-balanced.   The head is noble and in proportion to the rest of the body.  The distance between the poll and the withers and the distance between the withers and the tail are equal.  Leg muscling is long and tapered and the legs are very flexible.  They are slightly smaller than other horse breeds at 13 – 15 hands but they are well proportioned all around. Oh, and they don’t have wide or “pan” feet. Their hooves are normal sized.  They just know how to use them.

6) Are Marsh Tackies good with children?
As a breed, Marsh Tackies are calm and sure-footed.  In the past, they were used to take children to school and families to church.  However, even the most docile horse can be dangerous due to its size.  Safety precautions should always be taken when children are present.
7) Where did all the Marsh Tackies go?
Marsh Tackies were once plentiful in the Lowcountry.  Almost every family had one or two in their yards or fields.  When the bridges were built and machine power became available, the need for Marsh Tackies was reduced and much of their habitat was converted into urban areas as a result, their numbers dwindled.

 8) Are they working horses or just riding horses?
Marsh Tackies are hearty little horses that have been used for almost any purpose for hundreds of years.  They are just as good on the trail as they are rounding up cattle or pulling a plow.

 9) Are Marsh Tackies gaited?
Yes.  Marsh Tackies have a unique gait called the Swamp Fox Trot. A Mississippi State University study revealed that Marsh Tackies are gaited.  You can find a link to the full article at the bottom of our History page.

10) How easy is it to train a Marsh Tacky?
Owners have said that Marsh Tackies are one of the easiest horses to train.  They are smart, good-natured, and respond quickly to training.  Foals that have been handled since birth are the easiest to train.  Feral horses living in herds take more time to train.

11) Do Marsh Tackies only eat marsh grass?
Marsh Tackies once survived solely on marsh grass and forage but there is no need for them to do that today.   Like any horse, you should check with your breeder and veterinarian to create the best diet for your particular horse.

12) Do Marsh Tackies have any specific health problems?
None that have been identified as of yet.

13) Do Marsh Tackies get along with other types of horses?
Marsh Tackies, like other horse breeds enjoy living in a herd and generally get along with most types of animals.

14) Where can I see Marsh Tackies in the wild?
Marsh Tackies no longer live in the wild but you can visit the farms of Marsh Tacky breeders and see Marsh Tackies at special events and in the permanent displays at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, SC, and at Coastal Discovery Museum’s Honey Horn Plantation on Hilton Head Island.  Technically Marsh Tackies were not “wild” but feral horses.

15) Since Marsh Tackies are small horses, do they tire easily?
No, Marsh Tackies have an amazing ability to keep going when other larger horses may tire over the same terrain.  This may be due to their gait and conformation.  The Gaited Locomotive Research Program at Mississippi State University is currently studying 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 rider tiring.

16) Can Marsh Tackies jump?
Yes, they can jump however each individual horse tends to enjoy certain activities more than others.

17) Is it true that Marsh Tackies can go through swamps without getting stuck?
When Marsh Tackies were feral, they needed to learn how to maneuver swamps and boggy terrain, without this ability they would not have survived long on the Sea Islands and Lowcountry. Most  Marsh Tackies have “woods-sense” or a natural ability to get themselves out of bogs and tight places.  If mired in mud, a Marsh Tacky will lie on its side and pull its legs out and crawl out of danger while other horses may thrash about and get themselves stuck deeper in the mud.
18) How many Marsh Tackies are there?
Currently, there are just over 4oo living Marsh Tackies.  We are trying to raise their numbers to 1,000. In order to do that, there must be a continued interest in the Marsh Tacky.

19) How long do Marsh Tackies live?
With the changes in veterinary care Marsh Tackies have a longevity comparable to other breeds which is currently in the mid-thirties.

20) Are there rules for naming registered Marsh Tackies?
Yes, please see our Naming Rules under the Horses tab before naming your Marsh Tacky.  Once registered, the name cannot be changed.  However, “barn” or “pet” names can be changed at any time.