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Amazing: These farmers managed to rescue eleven horses from icy water

While not all accidents can be prevented, horses die every winter after becoming trapped in icy bodies of water. But horses owners can reduce the risk by taking steps to protect horses from icy surfaces or frozen ponds. If you have water bodies on your horse property, there are some tips on how to keep horses safe.

Use cat litter or stall bedding to create traction on icy patches in barns or near paths to pastures. Both absorb moisture, so you’re going to have a huge moisture problem later, but you have to create that traction somehow.

Be mindful of areas where ice dams can form. Pay attention to drainage for areas where ice dams might form and clear ice as soon as possible. Those ice dams will never clear unless you stay ahead of them. And also, you can fence ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water to keep horses away.

If a horse does become stranded in frozen or icy water, call 911. Do not put a halter on the horse or get into the pond to help the horse yourself because if you get stuck, emergency crews are going to concentrate on saving you instead of the horse. After you call 911, assemble equipment such as chain saws that can be used to clear the area of trees and bushes.

Also, you need to keep the rescued horses warm. Hypothermia is a real concern, and these horses are colder than you think. When the temperature drops below 0°C, the horse keeps heat in by an increased metabolic rate. He will also seek shelter, his blood flow will decrease to let his limb temperature drop and, if it gets really cold, he’ll start shivering. So get blankets on them and have a veterinarian treat them so they can warm up from the inside out.