A sneaky horse managed to trap itself on the second story of a barn after finding the farm’s hayloft.
Holly is a horse. She’s not quite a miniature horse, but she’s relatively small. She’s not really for riding--she’s more of a pet. And she’s smart. After noticing that the door to the second story hayloft was left wide open on Sunday night, she put her cute little muzzle to the door, slid it open far enough for her to fit, and then trotted her way upstairs.
There, she hit the motherload: a ton of hay, all for her.
For a time, Holly was happy as a clam. She had all the hay she could ever hope to eat. But there was a problem: horses have very poor depth perception thanks to having eyes on either side of their head. That means they have a real tough time with stairs since they can’t see how far away each step is. Going up isn’t so much a problem, but a horse is smart enough to realize that one false move going down could mean a hell of a fall.
Holly was a little too careful to take the risk of going downstairs. She was stuck.
The next morning, Holly’s owner found her munching on hay on their Virginia farm’s hayloft. Thus began the great quest to get Holly to go downstairs.
To help out, Holly’s owner called the Little Fork Volunteer Technical Large Animal Rescue Team. They’ve got experience getting horses and other animals out of tight spots.
First, they tried to simply guide Holly downstairs, but she was having none of that. Punching a hole out of the wall was a little too expensive a solution, so they busted out the crane and called a vet to get Holly good and high so she can be brought back down low.
After giving Holly a mild sedative, they fitted her with a special helmet that kept her from seeing what was about to happen, which involved a harness and a crane. They hooked her up to a special horse harness and then brought in a crane to lift her off the second-floor balcony and gently lower her to the ground.
“Once we lifted her, she looked down and realized she was 20 feet off the ground,” Chief Doug Monaco told The Dodo. “Definitely a first for a horse. But she did just fine. We lowered her fully onto the ground and then she just looked at us like, ‘OK, what now?!’”
Since Holly was very full and still kinda drugged up, she went back to her stall for a good long nap.
Let this be a lesson to horse owners everywhere: make sure you either lock your doors or that all your horses are too big to go upstairs.