Why is there a horse in my basement?


    I read a lot of horse-related news here at Horse Illustrated HQ, and after a few years of doing this, I’ve noticed trends. For example, several times throughout the winter I will read stories about horses that have fallen through an iced-over pond in or near their pasture. Surprisingly, these tend to have happy endings after an edge-of-your-seat tale that usually involves volunteer fire departments. This trend helps me to appreciate the importance of secure fences and safe turnout areas.

    Here’s a mid-summer reminder. On Monday, a horse owner in Colorado went down into her basement to investigate a strange noise and found her horse looking back at her. The horse, named Summer, had apparently fallen down a window well and into the basement. Summer was unhurt other than a few scrapes, but the basement didn’t have a door to the outside, and the stairs were not sturdy enough to support a horse’s weight.

    The county road and bridge department brought in a backhoe to clear a space around one of the basement windows. With help from the local sheriff and fire departments and her owners, Summer was able to fit through the window to be a free horse once again. Check out this article for some photos of the rescue.

    Some reports of the incident state that the sheriff believed the horse didn’t see the window well because it was obscured by tall weeds. Another article quoted the horse’s owner as saying that she must have stepped on the plexiglass covering the well. I’m guessing this means that the horse didn’t escape her turnout area, but that the house is actually enclosed within the turnout area.

    It’s said so often it’s almost a cliché, but if a there is a way for a horse to hurt himself, he will find it. I think Summer supported that statement this week.

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    1. Wow, that sure would be a surprising way to start your day…finding your horse had become a house pet! I’m glad it worked out okay, and now the owner has fun story to tell.


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