Just after daybreak on 9 January, 2017, the Stagecoach TLAR team received a report of a range horse with a leg "hopelessly" stuck in a fence in an area of Carson City that borders the Pine Nut Range.
We responded with Rescue 3 and Transport 3. Road conditions were icy and we found that we had insufficient traction to pull the trailers up the steep residential street, so we had to park halfway up the hill and hike in.
Highway conditions leaving Stagecoach.
Observations on arrival. We still had a distance to hike from the road to the scene.
Upon arrival we found a feral range stallion with a foreleg wedged between two corner corral panels. He had apparently attempted to jump the fence. The residents had taken initial steps of protecting his head and covering his eyes.
Observations as we approached the horse.
Multiple challenges included the horse's leg jammed solid on top of the panels' connecting pin, thus precluding lifting and removal of the pin to open the panels. One panel was held fast by a railroad tie and the other had a trailer backed up to it, so we had no flexibility. It was difficult to get equipment to the scene so we needed to think through a strategy that required a minimum of gear.
Close-up views of the entanglement.
The residents were doing a good job keeping the horse calm, so we decided it was best for them to continue that task. Meanwhile we packed in the recovery strap box, flexible strap guide and a battery powered saber saw.
Keeping the horse calm and head down.
Rescue actions taken
The horse didn't appear to have any broken bones, however we were concerned that once the trapped leg was freed that he would scramble and get further entangled in the corral panels. Therefore our first order of business was to feed the flexible strap guide under the horse and get a recovery strap around him. This would allow the horse to be pulled clear of the panels as soon as his trapped leg was freed.
One of several advantages of this strap guide's design is that it can not only be used in the traditional fashion (push under the animal, attach a strap, and pull it back through,) but it can also be configured to be used in a straight push and pull through procedure.
Flexible strap guide inserted from the inside, now held from the outside.
Getting ready to feed the recovery strap under the horse.
Feeding the recovery strap under the horse.
Recovery strap in place. Ready to free the horse.