4 min read

Rescuers Dig For Hours To Get Trapped Horse Out Of Deep Hole

<p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/MasseyUniversityVeterinaryEmergencyResponseTeam/photos/pcb.1175313805864361/1175313642531044/?type=3&theater" target="_blank">Facebook/Massey University Veterinary Emergency Response Team</a></p>

On Monday night, a horse got more than he bargained for from a stroll around his owner's property when he suddenly found himself stuck - nearly 7 feet underground.

The 8-year-old horse, who lives in New Zealand, tumbled into a drainage ditch and remained trapped there until Tuesday morning, when he was found by his owner, Horse Talk reported.

That was when the real challenge began - figuring out how to get the horse out of the narrow ditch.

Pressure from both sides of the space pressing against the horse made it hard for him to breathe, let alone move.

The horse's owners contacted the Massey University Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT), whose volunteers worked with the Horowhenua Rural Fire Force and Palmerston North's Urban Search and Rescue to get the horse back above ground, The Dominion Post reported.

"All we could see was the horse's head," Hayley Squance, VERT team manager, told The Dominion Post. "As it was getting exhausted, its head was going into the mud."

Rescuers gave the horse a cushion underneath his head to prevent him from drowning in the mud and help make breathing easier.

Saving the horse took about four to five hours of extremely careful digging - one wrong move had the potential to make the drainage ditch collapse directly on the horse.

Once the ditch had been dug wide enough, the horse, who was sedated for most of the rescue, was given one last round of sedatives before he was finally lifted out.

Amazingly, he had no injuries and reportedly was back up on his feet in just 15 minutes, thanks to the dedication of his rescuers.

Still, the horse will be monitored for the next two days to make certain he's at 100 percent.

"A very challenging rescue," VERT wrote in a recent Facebook post. "A fantastic multi-agency response."

Want to help VERT continue doing good work for animals caught in emergency situations like this? Consider making a donation here.

Watch this video about a baby horse stuck who got stuck in a bridge and rescued at the perfect moment: