"Wild horses have been here 500 years and they get themselves tangled up all the time, but usually don’t need help from humans. This case was different."

By Meghan Overdeep
June 14, 2021
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The Corolla Wild Horse Fund (CWHF) thanked a pair of local tour guides after they freed a wild horse from a dangerous predicament Monday.

Craig Young and Paul Swisher were in the Swan Beach area near Corolla when they noticed a young horse stuck on a wooden fence. Witnesses told McClatchy News that the horse, a one-year-old female named Amelia, might have been trapped like that for hours.

"She was there long enough for her (family) to give up waiting and wander away," Young told the news service.

"Wild horses have been here 500 years and they get themselves tangled up all the time, but usually don't need help from humans. This case was different," he added. "She wasn't freeing herself."

With advice from CWHF, Young and Swisher devised a plan to free the horse safely.

"We started taking the rails out, and it took a while," Young told McClatchy News. "The horse stayed very calm through the whole thing. It acted like it knew what was going on and wasn't aggressive. It seemed to appreciate the help."

Amelia was reportedly uninjured and walked off with a flick of her tail.

CWHF praised Young and Swisher on Facebook along with another guide who took swift action when he spotted a group of wild horses eating watermelon left on the beach.

"We value and appreciate their support; There can never be too many eyes on the horses, especially this time of year!" herd manager Meg Puckett wrote.

CWHF conducts annual training workshops for the drivers, so, unlike the general public, they can assist in emergency situations such as these.  

It is illegal to approach and/or feed any of the wild horses that roam the Outer Banks. According to the Wild Horse Ordinance of Currituck County, feeding the wild horses or getting within 50 feet of them is punishable by law. Cruelty, enticing, harboring, luring, seizing, and failure to report injury are also illegal, among numerous other offences.

In this case, we're so glad the right people were there at the right time.