Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol Officer Ryan Kelly said William, a 7-year-old Arabian horse, was spooked by the water Tuesday evening and ran into the water from the Summerland beach, CNN reported Thursday.
Rescuers including the nearby Carpenteria Fire Department and Santa Barbara County's search and rescue team took to the water in search of the equine, which was located swimming toward oil rigs more than two miles offshore in the Santa Barbara Channel.
"Firefighters were able to hook the animal's reins with a boat hook and bring it alongside a paddleboat," the report said.
The horse was escorted back to dry land with rescue workers taking turns holding the animal's head up over the water.
The horse was released back to its owner after being examined at a local animal clinic, officials said.