Splish Splash — Get that Horse Outta the Pool!


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Last time, I introduced the issue of horses falling into pools in suburban backyards and mentioned a few of the concerns (especially lack of preventative fencing) that we have noted along with this disturbing trend. In the ensuing weeks since that blog posted, there have been a rash of similar incidents–with varying results for rescue of the beasts. Here is an example of a successful rescue, along with photos: https://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/163034aaep-2006/firefighters-rescue-horse-from-swimming-pool 

Methods for removing horses from this situation are varied, but unfortunately only a few are successful at assisting the animal, as well as keeping the human responders safe. Hay bales for a ramp rarely work (the animal’s hooves go right through). In fact, pool ramps are rarely successful in rescuing swamped horses, because horses tend to slip on slick wet surfaces. Although, if you can dump five tons of dirt into the pool, that can make a great ramp (but may seriously distress the homeowner!)

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Written by:

Rebecca Gimenez Husted, BS, PhD, is the primary instructor and president of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. Her first book, Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, was published in 2008. She is an internationally sought instructor in technical rescue techniques, procedures, and methodologies, and she has published numerous critiques, articles and journal submissions on horse safety, technical large animal rescue and horse handling issues.

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