On June 13th we received a call for assistance with a 30-year-old female Mustang horse named Summer. She laid down in her stall during the night and was unable to get up on her own. Her owner stated she had arthritis in her hind end but was an otherwise healthy horse. A veterinarian was on site to evaluate and tend to Summer. While it is common for horses to lay down, being down for extended periods can be dangerous for them.
The technical rescue team arrived on scene with our equipment truck. We evaluated the barn environment and made a plan for the horse raise.
We assembled the tripod a short distance outside the barn and set up our haul lines and redirects. Once the equipment was set and the team was ready, the veterinarian sedated Summer for the move and raise.
We cushioned and packaged Summer on the glide for her safety during the move and lift. We attached the Becker sling to her so we could go directly to the lift once outside. Using a redirect anchor and haul line, we moved her from the stall to the main hall of the barn. Once there, the glide was attached to a small tractor and Summer was slowly moved outside the barn and under the nearby tripod. We then attached the spreader bar to the Becker sling and removed the glide. When everything was ready and safety checked, we raised her to a standing position using a second haul line attached to the spreader bar of the tripod.
We waited for some of the sedation to wear off to see if she could support her own weight. After about 30 minutes, she was able to bear weight on all four legs. Once the veterinarian determined Summer was able to fully support herself and the sedation had worn off, we released her from the tripod. She was walked out to the field by the veterinarian, her owner, and a few WASART members. In the field, Summer was walking around and eating grass.
The team then packed up, debriefed, and headed home.We are glad to have been able to assist Summer and her owner on this day.