Meet Rico, our Resident Corolla Wild Horse

Rico was born wild along the edges of the ocean. The outer banks of North Carolina is home to a herd of Spanish Mustangs called Corolla Wild Horses. Though they are short, like ponies, they are built like horses. In fact, they are the official NC State Horse. One less vertebrae than most horses, these are decedents from horses arriving on ships in the 1500s. Talk about resiliency!

Rico lived to be a full grown stallion on the beaches of the outer banks, surviving on wetland grasses, just as his ancestors did for 500 years before. But sometimes even the strongest need our help.

Rico broke a bone in his foot and became three legged lame, an injury he could not survive in the wild. Thankfully he was rescued by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund (CWHF) and learned to trust humans, even allowing them to put a cast on his leg – almost unheard of for a domestic horse, much less a wild one. Rico healed completely, but he could not go back to his wild home. He was now tame – there are humans on his wild beaches – to go back would not be safe. (think ‘tame’ wild deer, not safe for the deer, not safe for Rico)

This is where I AM HERD came in, to offer Rico his forever home. Rico is now the leader of our ‘pony herd’ where he has become a father figure to our rescued ponies; Sahaja, Shanti and Karuna. Horses are social herd animals, rich with family dynamics. The lead stallion of a wild herd is the protector, offering a sense of safety by their strong, yet peaceful presence.

Rico is a master of this steadfast peace. He not only shares his peace with the pony herd, but he brings it with him everywhere we go – including the backyards of schools.

Burgaw Middle School student, Jasmine, especially loves Rico. She braids his mane and gives him hugs and kisses every time he visits.

I AM HERD is funded by public donations. Horse & pony sponsorships are the steady heartbeat of how we do what we do. When you sponsor Rico, you will receive a special message from him to you. (Click his picture to learn more)


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