My Horses are Out On the Ice

Protect horses from icy ponds by using barriers such as fences.
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My Horses Are Out on the Ice
This is the recovery area of these three horses. | Photo: Eric Thompson

My heart is heavy as I type this tonight–one of my friends that is the coordinator for Code3 and Equine Emergency Rescue Unit in Kansas City (Eric Thompson) contacted me yesterday about three yearling horses that went out onto the ice of a pond this week on Tuesday evening.

The horses were not saved. Too far from the shore to be able to touch, they swam until they drowned, especially since they had blankets on which pulls them down from the weight even faster. Someone who came to check on the horses and feed noticed they were missing, then sighted part of a horse blanket sticking out of a hole in the ice.

Since their accident was not witnessed, it is not known if they drowned first or if hypothermia took over and caused them to slip quietly into the water. Even in large animals, hypothermia takes only minutes to start to cool the organism in the cold temperatures of the air and water that are present in
winter conditions

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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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