"As we head into breeding season please remember to give the horses lots of extra space!"

By Meghan Overdeep
February 27, 2020
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Outer Banks Wild Horses
Credit: McIninch/Getty Images

It’s hard to imagine the seemingly peaceful wild horses that roam the Outer Banks posing a threat to visitors, but therein lies the problem.

“Wild horses are just that—wild,” the Corolla Wild Horse Fund reminded its Facebook followers this week. “They are unpredictable and can be dangerous. As we head into breeding season please remember to give the horses lots of extra space!”

This time of year, experts say that it's common for males to fight over both territory and mares. And their fights aren’t pretty. Stallions are known to rear and go at each other like boxers with their front legs.

For the safety of humans and horses, it’s against the law to get within 50 feet of the majestic creatures year-round, but experts warn that fighting stallions don’t always respect boundaries. These fights can ignite anywhere and without warning.

WATCH: Alert! The Pony Patrol is Looking for Volunteers to Work with Wild Horses on the Outer Banks

“When they are fighting for territory, they do not hold back,” Corolla herd manager Meg Puckett told McClatchy News last year. “It’s completely natural. ... Wounds from fighting are just part of a stallion’s life.”

Be careful out there y’all!