Tinker the mare had a bit of a fright on Wednesday afternoon, but she can thank members of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) for turning her day around.
The horse fell into a ditch at Matway Farms – located at 4674 Bates Road, east of Townshipline Road – at about 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday.
Fire crews who arrived at the scene found Tinker in a water-filled ditch with her back legs wedged into the muddy bottom.
As they determined the best way to try to move her, the mare occasionally became agitated and thrashed around.
A wool blanket was placed over her head as a temporary measure.
“If they can’t see, it calms them down,” said Assistant Fire Chief Craig Bird at the scene.
A veterinarian was also called to the scene, and she administered a sedative to calm down the horse.
Crews were then able to position a sling system around Tinker. This was a challenge due to the horse’s weight and the way that she was positioned in the ditch.
About an hour later, six firefighters were able to start slowly inching Tinker out of the ditch, using their strength and a rope system.
The horse was still sedated as she emerged fully from the ditch, and it was about another 20 minutes before she was alert.
A quick check from the veterinarian ensured that Tinker had no broken bones, and she was able to stand and be led away as if nothing untoward had taken place.
Bird said AFRS responds to one or two reports a year of fallen horses. In 2011, for example, they twice had to rescue the same horse after it lied down on sloped ground and couldn’t get back up.