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Rescue mission: horse stuck in a stream

by Jil Wiedemann
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An uncommon rescue of a mare stuck in a creek required a lot of patience from the emergency services.

An unusual rescue operation took place in Montana. A mare was stuck in a stream and could not free herself. When rescuing large animals, one usually thinks of trailer accidents or difficult rescues. In this case, however, it was the everyday things that led to an accident.

Rebecca Husted PhD, President of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Inc. in Georgia says: “The thing most people deal with is horses down in stalls, muddy paddocks, slippery eroded spots in the back of a pasture. They are all the same: The horse slips down and just can’t get up. Sometimes it’s old age or arthritis, but honestly even perfectly healthy horses have it happen if they simply can’t get their feet under them.”

The scenario the mare found herself in looked unremarkable at first. The horse had run into a stream that was in the pasture. It was a shallow ditch and it looked as if the horse could jump out at any moment. However, there was a bridge right next to the accident site that prevented the horse from getting up. The horse was not really stuck, but due to the slippery ground, the mud and the bridge, the horse could not get up again. Due to the cold water and the wasted effort, the mare was so exhausted that she lay on her side.

Rescue operation

When the fire brigade arrived, it was unknown how long the mare had been lying in the ditch. However, the mare was already so exhausted and hypothermic that she could hardly move. Normally, horses trapped in a stream or ditch are motivated to get up and then led to a place where they can free themselves. In this case, however, the mare was so exhausted that this was not an option.

During the rescue, the bridge was first moved to make more space for the horse and the rescuers. Then a piece of plastic was placed under the horse’s body. This is to protect the horse from injury. After that, the horse was pulled out of the stream with straps and rescued. In the further course, the mare was examined by veterinarians. She recovered from the accident.

Source: the Horse

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