BELLVUE, Colo. (KDVR) – A horse needed rescuing on Monday after falling into an ice-covered pond in northern Colorado.

According to personnel with the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, they were called to a pond in Bellvue on Dec. 26 after receiving reports that a horse had fallen into a pond and needed rescue.

“When we arrived, the horse was neck deep in frigid water with her head resting on the ice at the edge of the opening,” RCVFD Assistant Chief Carol Dollard said. “We do not know how long she had been there. The initial focus was to safely get her out of the pond.”

RCVFD said that the pond was mostly covered with ice, but the area where the horse had fallen in and was now stuck was not completely frozen over.

Communal rescue effort in Bellvue

After a chainsaw was used to cut some of the ice for the purpose of making it safe for the horse to get out, neighbors stepped up to help the firefighters and first responders get the animal strapped and ready for extraction from the icy waters.

Through the use of poles, straps and a tractor, the horse was freed from the pond, but it was extremely cold and unable to move.

It took veterinarians and technicians several hours of first-class care, but eventually, the female horse was able to get up on her own accord and return to her stall where she began eating.

“This is not the ending I expected when I saw her pulled from the ice stiff and cold,” adds Dollard. “Many thanks to everyone for their support and the dedicated, skilled personnel giving a happy ending to a potentially tragic situation.”

RCVFD is made up of 35 volunteers, and they were assisted during this effort by the following agencies:

  • Larimer County Sheriff’s Department
  • Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Team
  • Larimer County Emergency Services
  • CSU Veterinary Training Hospital: large animal
  • Poudre Fire Authority Rescue IV

Horse or not, you should always be sure to observe caution and avoid walking on water that looks frozen over as it may still pose a stability risk, leaving you submerged and, much like this lucky horse, in need of rescue from RCVFD.