Two BHS Welfare Officers were called in to catch an escaped horse that had turned feral.
The young horse was trying on a saddle for the first time when she panicked and bolted, jumping over a fence into a huge neighbouring field. Attempts to catch her proved fruitless and, as she charged around evading capture, the saddle slipped backwards, ending up hanging upside down between her back legs. The horse remained like this for a week, despite the best efforts of her owner. Even sedation from a local vet failed to calm the terrified horse. Every time anyone got near, the flapping saddle spooked her again and off she went.
At the end of her tether and scared for her horse’s safety, the owner contacted the BHS and Welfare Officers Christene Allison and Delyth Roberts immediately swung into action. Faced with a rogue horse in an enormous field full of other animals, Christene and Delyth filled one car with volunteers and another with equipment ranging from buckets to electric fencing! Christene said: “It was clear the task ahead was not going to be easy, especially dealing with such a panicked horse. All those involved were experienced with horses; it was crucial that the situation remained calm and everyone was prepared for the unexpected!”
Over a period of hours, the patient team slowly enclosed the escapee with electric fencing, gradually making the space smaller and smaller. The frightened horse had to be treated as a wild animal, one false move could result in serious injury to her or the people involved. At the end of an extremely long day, the dedicated BHS Welfare Officers were eventually able to catch the horse and remove her saddle, ending a week of fear and worry for the horse and her owner.
The horse’s owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “I am very grateful and couldn’t have done this without them”.
Emmeline Hannelly, BHS Welfare Executive said: “The BHS has a network of Welfare representatives nationwide, all of whom are volunteers. Every year they help more than a thousand horses, but this was a particularly unusual case. Thanks to Christene and Delyth’s patience and expertise, a terrified horse is now calm and safely munching hay in her stable and nobody was hurt in what was potentially an extremely dangerous situation”.