Wild stallions are some of the most intriguing and emotional creatures on the planet, and this story from the Salt River in the Tonto National Forest of Arizona is a perfect example of how true that is. The story is about a wild horse named Champ who lives in the protected forest with his family and many other packs of wild horses. Champ and his family were grazing near the bank of the river when a second group of wild stallions approached the other side of the wide river.
In no time at all, the new arrivals draw the attention of Champ and his family, and several of the horses start to cross the river so they can get a better look. The same is true for the new arrivals, except they have two young foals with them who are both playing with much more energy that the older horses. One of the two young horses enters the river at the sight of Champ and his family, and that is when the problem arises.
The young filly doesn’t seem to realize the strength of the river’s current, and she is swept away by the river and separated from the group. She dips beneath the water’s surface several times, desperate to reach the bottom for some sort of control. Champ and several other horses from his family were already halfway across the river, and he immediately went after the startled filly.
The horses were able to slow the young filly’s movements, but Champ was unable to grab her by the neck in order to drag her to safety. The filly is swept away once again, and Champ is the only stallion to chase after her. The young horse is clearly terrified of the ordeal, but Champ remains cool and collected. He wades up behind the young horse and finally gets a good grip on the side of her neck. As gently as a mother with a newborn, Champ pushes the filly through the current and back upstream.
As the filly starts to regain her footing near the shore, Champ finally lets go of her when he sees she is totally safe. The young horse immediately runs to her mother for comfort, and Champ reaches the second shore to greet the family of the filly he just saved. The horses are clearly grateful for Champ’s help, and it seems as if Champ is thrilled he was able to save the young horse.
After the excitement from the event had waned, Champ decided to cross the river to return to his waiting family. They are all waiting patiently as he returns, and it is clear they understood the importance of what Champ just did for the second pack. The family of wild stallions then resumed their grazing and watering from the river, and three small white birds landed on the dip in Champ’s back as if to symbolize the incredible bravery and selflessness of the brave stallion.
Most people go their entire lives without understanding the true nature of horses. They are not the mere tools that many people say they are. Horses are deeply intuitive creatures with a wide sense of family, connection, and emotional support. They are amazing family units in the wild, and examples like Champ are starting to show the common people that horses are more than wild animals struggling to survive. They are members of a community that look out for one another. Who knows what may have happened to that filly if Champ hadn’t been exactly where he needed to be at that exact moment. The young horse may have drowned since her own parents wouldn’t have been able to reach her in time.