The expression “rode hard and put away wet” took on new meaning in Summerland on Tuesday night, when a horse had to be rescued after it spooked on the beach and swam out to sea.
The animal was found about 2.5 miles off of Summerland Beach by Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol crews and water-rescue personnel from the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District, according to Harbor Patrol Officer Ryan Kelly.
State Beach lifeguards also assisted in the operation, he said.
The first report of the incident came in around 6:40 p.m.
“The horse was part of a photo shoot on the beach. It threw the rider off, panicked and went swimming out to sea,” Kelly said, adding that he’d never seen anything like this.
Once the animal was located, it was secured to a Harbor Patrol boat and brought slowly back to shore, a process that took about two hours, Kelly said.
A vet was standing by on the beach to attend to the horse, which was exhausted and likely very cold from the 58-degree water.
“They put it in a trailer and took it away, presumably to get some treatment,” Kelly said.
Details about the photo shoot were not available Tuesday night.