by Jodi Orens-Lante
One hot afternoon in August, 2002, a small van passed in front of my pasture, slowed down, backed up and then sped up my driveway. Alarmed, I ran out to meet two men at my gate. “You have a horse stuck in a tree,” they said. I thought, one of the babies stuck a halter in a tree — but those flimsy little foal figure-eight halters break and slip off if you breath on them, how could one be stuck?
I headed out the side gate to the tree way up the front pasture. I wasn’t terribly excited. Then I saw the men speed back down my drive and run into my pasture right through my VERY hot electric fence. I bolted to the tree.
My most lovely 3-month-old Cob/Arabian filly had her head wedged into the crook of a grand-daddy oak. She was down, hanging by her head. To get stuck she must’ve “climbed” the roots and sloped tree trunk. She was breathing but I wasn’t sure I was glad she was. I wanted a gun, or a needle full of euthanasia, because I could not stand to watch this filly die slowly like this.
Her head was so wedged it didn’t seem possible to get it out. The two men got behind her and lifted, but her head didn’t move. She even had a front leg in there, stuck just below her head. Then, the leg slipped out. Maybe there was some hope.
They lifted again, I took her head… then I just sort of blacked out, and somehow her head came out. She stumbled backward, unable to stand, weak, exhausted, and I’m sure, numb. I placed her down on the ground and gave her as long as she needed.
The two strangers asked if they could help get her up to the barn. She stood up. I just hung on her, kissing her and thankful she could stand. They asked again if I needed anything else. I told them we would be fine and I would let her take her time getting up to the barn. They made me swear to fix the tree, and left.
Her name is “Under The Son’s Victoria” and victorious she surely is; she has miraculously suffered no ill effects. We often worry about the horses eating the trees. Now we have our tree fenced off because it tried to eat my horse. The things you never even think of.
I don’t know who those two men are and truly wish I did. Because they were alert, and took the time out of their day my filly will be OK. They saw several other cars drive right past. Had they said, “Look at that,” and just gone on, I would have found that filly dead at evening feed when she didn’t come up with her dam. I am so grateful to them for taking action that day.