It seems this season gives many horses a sinking feeling. Whether sinkholes or mud, early spring is always a busy time for large animal rescue teams.

Rescuers in Woodbine, Md., worked for more than five hours yesterday afternoon to extricate a 30-year-old Appaloosa from a 12-foot-deep sinkhole, WJLA reported. A public information officer told The Frederick News Post the horse landed under an unstable ledge of dirt but did not panic.

Two Advanced Technical Rescue teams worked with alongside firefighters to dig a ditch around the horse, supported by boards to prevent further collapse. A vet entered the sinkhole to administer IV fluids and offer the horse warm water. Days End Farm Horse Rescue and Animal Control were also on the scene.

The rescue team then put a glide under the horse and attached it to a harness. Firefighters anchored off a large tree and used a system of cables to pull the horse out by hand.

"We pulled him right on up," Independence Hose Co. Deputy Chief Dwayne Ausherman told the paper.

The vet concluded there was nothing seriously wrong with the horse.

Frederick County firefighters told NBC Washington a nearby quarry results in sinkholes in the area. Read more and see an aerial photo of the rescue.  


A rescue crew was also called in to save a blind 30-year-old Appaloosa who was sinking after stumbling into a swampy patch in her pasture in Larkin Valley, Calif.

The horse's owner told MercuryNews.com she was moments from putting the mare down when rescuers arrived.

A Cal Fire crew used the winch on their truck to pull the mare from the water. An area large animal rescue team arrived a few minutes later and used their sled to move her off the marshy ground.

The owner said the mare resisted violently when they recently tried to move her to another pasture. Another horse that normally serves as her guide was out of the pasture at the time of the accident.

Take-home message from this week's post: If you have a 30-year-old Appy, watch out!