LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) — Firefighters and park rangers spent two hours late Saturday afternoon using wildland firefighting tools to remove a tired horse from a lakeside quagmire. The dig was successful and the horse was uninjured.
West Metro Fire District Chief Jay Jackson told CBS4 the horse was one of three being walked on a trail along the south side of Bear Creek Lake trail when it spooked and ran toward the lake. The owner was able to remove the horse’s saddle but the animal sank deeper as it struggled.
“He was tired when we got there,” Jackson said.
Firefighters, rangers, and Lakewood Animal Control officers laid down plywood to stand next to the animal, then began removing the mud from around its legs and torso in order to “break the suction,” Jackson said.
They used wildland firefighting tools such as shovels and hoes to do the job. “It was what we happened to have on the truck.”
A large backhoe was also ordered and en route, but by 5 p.m. it was not needed. A good yank on the rope around the horse’s neck encouraged it to work free of the muck on its own.
“Gave him some tugs and up he came,” Jackson said. “It was a good collaborative effort.”
The horse was examined by a veterinarian on the spot, gently cleaned using one of the fire hoses, and walked home.