“It’s not too often you see them go that deep out into it.”
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Corolla Wild Horses Ocean
Credit: Corolla Wild Horse Fund

A family of wild horses on the Outer Banks was spotted taking a rare dip in the ocean this week.

Corolla Wild Horse Fund, the nonprofit that oversees the herd of roughly 100 wild horses that roams barrier island, shared a video of the moment on Facebook Tuesday.

"One of the most common questions we get is 'do the horses get in the ocean?'" the fund wrote alongside the short clip. "When it's hot and buggy, they do! Today was both of those things.

The video shows a stallion named Surfer keeping watch while his mares Cora and Peaches, and yearling colt Bravo wade into the surf.

Herd manager Meg Puckett added that this type of behavior isn't commonly witnessed by tourists. The wild horses tend to prefer the safety of the dunes. But occasionally they will use the ocean to cool off and escape the bugs.

"You'll see them standing right by the water but it's not too often you see them go that deep out into it," Puckett explained in the comments.

The horses are smart enough to know ocean water is not drinkable, though they will stick their noses in it for fun.

"They don't stay in the water for long periods at a time and to be honest, horses are much better at taking care of themselves than most people," Puckett wrote. "There is plenty of fresh water available to them behind the dunes."

With beach season ramping up, it's important to remember that wild horses are above all, wild. They rely on each other and their instincts to keep them safe, and most have limited interaction with people. Even their dedicated human caretakers know the best approach is a hands-off one, preferring to let them fend for themselves, just as they have for centuries.

For more information on the horses and how to visit the area responsibly, visit CorollaWildHorses.com.