The wild horses that freely roam the wetlands of the Rooisand Nature reserve just 5km outside of Kleinmond, in the Overstrand-area, decided to venture closer and closer to the town’s main beach and left many locals surprised this morning (21 May 2020) when they were spotted during the Covid-19 Level 4 exercise time period.
The horses who normally don’t come so close to the town looked very at ease when locals gathered around to take pictures of this surreal sighting.
These horses are very special and are the only herd of wild horses that occupy a wetland habitat in the country. Through time they have become well-adapted, and you can see that their coats have grown thicker and the fur will shield them against the frigid breeze and ice rain from the coming winter months. You can also see that their hooves have adapted to their habitat and the saucer-shaped hooves are tough enough to manage the soft, wet conditions that they live in surprisingly well.
It is still a mystery how these beautiful horses have found their way to the Rooisand wetlands, but they have been roaming the area freely for many years. Some of the theories and speculations include the story that the horses swam to shore after a ship they were on had begun to sink. Another theory is that the horses were brought here with the early Dutch settlers and survived a massive cull when the role of horses on farms became redundant. The breed was almost wiped out and a few “survivors” now roam a protected area and have over time become part of the Kleinmond history.
Many locals stated this morning that this is the first time in many years that the horses were spotted so close to the town, and it is advised that people do not approach or interact with these beauties, so they can remain wild and free.