BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)

Belmont County Hoof and Paw is warning drivers to watch out for wild horses on State Route 7 between Pipe Creek Road and Powhatan.

They say a herd of wild horses that’s been in the area for years has several adventuresome members that are now straying out onto the highway.

They look just like any other horse, but they are reportedly mainly quarterhorses.

They’ve lived on their own for years.

There are 15 of them living in the area with no owner.

“The descendants came from a gentleman over 30 years ago who used to live up on this hill,” said Julie Larish, humane agent with Belmont County Hoof and Paw. “He has since passed away. The horses have multiplied and multiplied. We also have reports that people have dropped horses off here to join the herd.”

Larish says the four youngest horses have started venturing onto Route 7 at night, which is dangerous for everyone involved.

“Hitting a horse is not like a deer,” she added. “It is a lot bigger than a deer. You’re looking at probably 900-1,200 pounds, depending on the horse. So it could potentially kill somebody.”

At the urging of two state agencies, Larish put up a barricade to discourage them for venturing down to the road.

She has called in a wild horse expert to capture the four youngest and take them to a rescue.

She says this job is not for the average horse lover.

“Wild horses are completely different than domesticated,” she said. “They are a lot smarter, they are a lot more agile. They know how to get amongst these cliffs and these bluffs better than any human would know.”

She asks people to leave the barricade up, and when driving on this stretch of Route 7, watch out for horses.

“Slow down, watch and definitely do not feed the horses down here near the road,” she concluded.