INDIAN HILLS, Colo. (CBS4) – A horse wandered onto an icy pond overnight, fell through the ice and was stuck for hours.

The incident happened early Sunday morning on Parmalee Gulch Road in Indian Hills. Crews worked quickly to save the horse’s life.

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The ice-covered pond is in part of an enclosed horse pasture. Heavy snow Saturday made it difficult to tell the difference between solid ground and the thin ice. Karly Reece never imagined what would happen next.

“I almost puked. It was horrible, it was terrifying,” Reece said.

Reece had woken up to feed her horse Scarlett and pony Coco, but Scarlett never came. She looked out at the pond and realized Scarlett had fallen in.

“I walked over there and all I see is her head out of the water, so I called 911 and Animal Control and they called the vet and every fire department was out here.”

It took vets and firefighters about 45 minutes to pull Scarlett out of the water. They brought her into a barn to keep her warm until more help arrived to take her to a nearby animal hospital.

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“She was real scraped up from either the ice or the weeds out there, so she had cuts. She was bleeding, she was shivering, she could barely stand.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

CBS4 cameras were there as vets and Animal Control walked Scarlett from the barn to an awaiting trailer. They had to wrap tin foil and blankets around her to keep her warm. If they hadn’t gotten there when they did, the horse could have died.

“She’s significantly hypothermic, so her body temperature isn’t reading on our thermometer, so that’s a big concern,” veterinarian Ashleigh Olds said. “Sometimes even if we get them warmed up they won’t recover from that.”

Nobody knows exactly how long Scarlett was in the freezing water. Reece was just relieved to see her rescued and alive.

“We were all screaming ‘woo!’ All the firefighters, I was, my sister was,” Reece said.

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Reece said Scarlett is recovering but is at risk for frostbite and colic.