One of two La Pine-area horses who wandered away from home fell into a hole while being returned to his pasture Monday evening and needed some help getting out, prompting a successful rescue effort, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.
A deputy was dispatched around 5:15 p.m. to the report of two horses at large in the area of Green Forest and Holtzclaw roads, sheriff’s Sgt. Aaron Harding said.
The arriving deputy was advised the horses’ owner, Frank Gorden, 73, had caught the horses and walked them home, Harding said.
The deputy arrived at the home and learned one of the horses — Bozeman, age 20 — fell into a hole while the owner was trying to return him to the pasture. The hole was about 6-by-4 feet and two feet deep, dug out to repair a well on the property, Harding said.
After about 20 minutes, it was obvious to the deputy and horse owner that more help would be needed to get the horse out of the hole and back on its feet, the sergeant said. Bozeman was showing signs of exhaustion, possibly due to his age.
A veterinarian, Dr. Kelley Jones, and members of Mustangs to the Rescue and Mustangs MEND were asked to help out and went to the scene, Harding said.
They utilized Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER) techniques to extricate the horse from the hole. Other deputies also arrived to assist.
Bozeman was able to stand with a little help a short time later, Harding said. The horse was down for about three hours, he said, but “appeared to be uninjured and is expected to fully recover.”