Wow! A Virginia Range (Nevada) Wild horse stallion was rescued from falling through a newly designed cattle grate.
I was told by Willis Lamm from Least Resistance Training Concepts Large Animal Emergency Response Team that the Drop in the Bucket Fund had majorly contributed to this miraculous wild mustang rescue!
We have helped LRTC purchase emergency equipment, including an A-Frame earlier this year, and all of that equipment was used to help this stallion. Thank you, donors! Way to go! Look what you helped achieve for this wild horse!
And thank you to LRTC LARGE ANIMAL ER TEAM!!!
Note: This was all done without sedation… amazing. A wild horse. They kept him calm. Bravo!
A note from Willis Lamm, who posted about this Least Resistance Training Concepts Large Animal Emergency save:
We received two calls almost simultaneously. This one was by far the scariest and trickiest. NHP reported a wild horse stuck in a cattle guard on US-95A at Damon’s curve.
Cattle guard rescues are my worst nightmare. You have to work up close in a dangerous situation. One wrong move and someone gets hurt or the horse breaks a leg and has to be put down. NHP did a great job keeping the Lookie Lous away. Our crew was assisted by Brittany and Linda from LBL Equine Rescue, and some really great crews from North Lyon County Fire and Central Lyon County Fire.
Normally if a horse steps on one of these newer cattle guards and his toe slips through the grating, it’s because when his hoof rotates into a toe down position it’s narrower and slips through. His heel bulbs may compress a little in the process. Most times the horse lifts his leg back up, there’s a little squeeze against the heel bulb as it passes through the narrow slot, but he gets out OK.
Where this issue gets challenging is when the horse spins around, the hoof is no longer at an angle of practical extrication (the sides of the hoof won’t compress to pass through as the heel bulbs would) and the horse is basically stuck fast until everything can be repositioned correctly.
Add to that a 900 – 1000 Lb. animal that needs to be repositioned. Then end up dropping other legs through the grate making things exponentially more complicated.
In this case a combination of rescue harnesses, recovery straps, pulley systems and pry bars, applied calmly and deliberately so as not to overly agitate the horse, eventually got the job done.
The motor noise in the video is from a nearby fire engine. Its crew fired up its generator in the event we needed to cut some welds in the cattle guard since the Jaws of Life wouldn’t budge it. It turned out, however, that we were able to adjust our approach to achieve a successful extrication angle for one hind leg that was totally jammed.
WHY NO SEDATION?
A response from Willis:
After posting incidents such as the cattle guard rescue, some side discussions typically start regarding sedation. When should you or should you not sedate? The answer is, “It depends.”
The textbook answer is, of course, “if in doubt, sedate,” and that’s a good base line to follow. In rescues involving domestic horses. Particularly if a horse has to be “packaged” onto a Rescue Glide for transport, sedation is an important practice.
But conversely, we also have to consider whether a horse can be safely approached to be sedated before extrication and also how a given horse will likely respond to sedation. Feral (wild) range horses and some more excitable domestics can behave unpredictably under sedation unless it is constantly managed. Also a horse that requires heavy doses of sedation can become extremely dangerous to itself and everyone around it when it comes-to and staggers around in an environment that isn’t properly managed.
I’m not suggesting that anyone not consider sedation. Our reality is just that with these range horses we only chemically sedate if they are being packaged for transport to veterinary care. What we do is we manage the energy at the scene, constantly read the horse’s response to our activities, control the head when we can, provide hay (a good “natural” calming substance) and allow the horse to remain calm as best we can.
Whether you are going to sedate a horse or you’re in a situation where it isn’t practical to do so, keeping the scene orderly, calm, “hysteria free,” and constantly observing the horse’s reaction to what is taking place can do a great deal towards a safe and successful outcome.
And everyone please remember: Even a properly sedated horse can unexpectedly flail with its legs and bite, so it’s important to maintain safety awareness at all times!
THE HEARTWARMING VIDEO…
You can see here that the horse was very sensible. He was totally strapped, the straps came off one by one and then he was free. He looked around, got his bearings, was not fretful at all, stood and trotted off.
NOVEMBER BUCKET FUND HORSES: BONNIE AND CLYDE – Perfectly trained, sweet, polite – AND STARVED. Click here to read their story!
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