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!).
First: No person should ever enter a pool with a horse until he or she has a rescue buddy present–especially if a cover (shredded that it may be) is still in or on the pool. Pool covers can have the same effect as giving a human infant a plastic bag–it can wrap around you, add weight, prevent your ability to balance and breathe, and hold you under the water. A cover can do this to the animal as well by wrapping around the legs as it struggles. Entering the pool to “calm” the horse can result in you becoming hypothermic, stepped on, or crushed against the edge of the pool.&nbs