One of my favorite hiking areas has been Assateague Island in Maryland. It is home to wild horses that locals believe originated with a Spanish ship that sank close to shore hundreds of years ago. I used to backpack to remote parts of the beach, which has extensive signage telling people to not pet the wild horses. One man however decided that such rules did not apply to him and petted a horse that wandered over to the popular beach. What he received was a memorable response.
I am always astonished how some people simply ignore signs at national parks even when they are there to protect the animals or themselves.
For some it was just punishment for either petting a wild animal or wearing a speedo after the age of 18. Either way, this could have been much much worse given the power of these horses.
It will be interesting if the man now sues the park for failing to keep the horses off the beach or preventing sunbathing. The draw of the park is the horses and signage is all about with the warnings. This would seem a good case for assumption of the risk or comparative negligence. Nevertheless, the people ignoring these signs but both the horses and continued access to them at risk.
Even lifeguards at the park have fallen victim to horse kicks. Notably the guard never touches the horse but was trying to move him away from some tourists:
So people please obey the signs and leave these magnificent animals alone. This is their home and we are allowed to enjoy it. So don’t be a horse’s . . . well . . . just don’t pet the horses.