As the winter goes on, the stories keep coming in. No matter where you look, extreme weather is making news, from cyclones and floods in tropical Australia to freak snow and ice storms in the USA.
When the weather gets wild, the horse news gets wilder. It brings home the importance of trained horse rescue experts, and access to expertise when and where it is needed, on demand.
One story that has come in a couple of times this year is the plight of horses here, there, and everywhere who have fallen through swimming pool covers and need to be rescued from what the Beverly Hillbillies used to call their “cement pond”. There’s not a lot of time to waste, since the pool might be deep enough that a horse would be forced to tread water; hopefully most pools would be drained. But with snow and ice hitting southern states, you might hear any possible combination of factors.
And here in the North, the snow is deep enough that the lighter horses could walk right over some fences, especially if they are leaning under the weight of snow. Just as easily, they could walk right over a neighbor’s fence and into their backyard and splash! fall right into a pool. The same could happen to a steer or a deer or a whole flock of sheep.
I don’t know how this horse ended up in the pool in Essen, Germany. The owner went to feed his animals one morning and realized his lovely draft horse was missing–only to find him in the neighbor’s swimming pool.
The local fire department responded to the call; the horse was sedated and the pool was drained while they waited for a special crane to arrive. I think in the USA we would be likely to try to locate a sling to attach to the crane, but the Germans did something much more dramatic, as you will see. I have seen photos of a similar crane used in German zoos to lift animals like elephants so their feet can be trimmed
The horse was blanketed and taken to a stable nearby that had a solarium.
It is a wonderful thing when horse rescues are captured on video, because we can all learn a lot, and rescue experts and instructors can use these videos in their teaching. This video is from the television station in Essen, Germany, where the incident happened, so naturally it is in the German language, but you will get the idea of how this rescue was performed. This horse has definitely had his fifteen minutes of fame!
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The British newspaper Daily Mail had the original photos and story in English, including the one at the beginning of this story, if you’d like to read more.
If you are interested in horse rescue, The Jurga Report always recommends the textbook Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue by Rebecca Gimenez. It is also an excellent gift for any public library or a local fire or rescue squad. Your horse could be the beneficiary!
by Fran Jurga | ? The Jurga Report at Equisearch.com
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