Save Your Horse – A Horse Owner’s Guide to Large Animal Rescue


saveyourhorseIt is a dark and stormy night. You are driving home late from a show when you happen upon an accident. A gust of wind has blown a horsefloat over and it is lying on its side half on the road. What do you do? How can the horses be removed from the trailer safely?

Instead of standing there dumbstruck like everyone else at the scene and waiting until the emergency services arrive, there are steps that can be taken to ensure safety for all parties and survival of the horses. Save Your Horse gives you the steps to work through in many emergency situations, not just transportation disasters.

For example, when a horse is unable to be removed from a float or trailer in the normal way, someone needs to know the right way to put on a strap to pull him out and what sort of a mat will need to be placed under him. Chances are the rescue personnel (fire, police) know next to nothing about horses and other large animals. There is a picture in the book of a horse who was pulled out of a float, by the tail with a tractor. The tail was pulled out of its body, and the horse later died.

This book contains information that may save lives – rescuers and animals. If you, the horse owner, know what to expect of rescue personnel in an emergency you will be able to ensure the safety of your horse and the people around him. Nobody wants to see a horse injured badly (for example a broken leg) during a rescue operation.

Save Your Horse – A Horse Owner’s Guide to Large Animal Rescue
by Michelle Staples
Red Jeans Ink; Soft Cover, 160pp, RRP $US24.95
ISBN: 0978568508. Available from Red Jeans Ink.

Horses (and cattle) are large, heavy animals. When they are in an unfamiliar or scary situation they can panic, and flailing hooves (and the head) are extremely dangerous. Again, there are steps to take to ensure safety for all parties.

There are drawings and photographs throughout (the filly pictured on the cover, Aerial, takes part in rescue training demonstrations and allows herself to be floated in water, laid down, rolled over, and lifted with a crane – all without sedation.)

As well as covering floating accidents, extrication from holes, swamps, and steep slopes are also covered. You may be interested to know there are really only two styles of slings that can be used with a helicopter.

An extremely useful section is the horse trailer safety section; pros and cons of ramps and step-ups, straight and slant loaders, and more; how to tow safely, and essential items to have with you.

Can you make an emergency rope halter? What about making a decent knot?

There’s also a comprehensive section on horse handling – leading, tying up, communication, catching, how to get a downed horse on its feet, and how to keep one on the ground. Some basic first aid is covered – how to spot head injuries and shock, treating hypothermia and heatstroke, and the signs of dehydration.

This is an absolute must-read both for those involved in the rescue services, and for horse owners.

Latest research and information from the horse world.

2 thoughts on “Save Your Horse – A Horse Owner’s Guide to Large Animal Rescue

  • October 4, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Thanks for reviewing my book again. A heads up: the fifth edition of this book is in to the printer and should be available from Amazon this month. (Hopefully) Also, I’m now living near Niagara Falls, sadly without Jet, Suki, chickens, and the horses. You guys have been great support since this book was first published in 2006.

  • October 30, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I was wondering if there would be a discount on ordering 6 or more books. My friend and I would like to donate at least 6 books to our local fire departments that are close to us in order to educate the rescue units and better prepare them for rescues.

    As you mentioned some have never been close to a horse or seen the inside of a living quarters/horse trailer. We are planning on inviting each of the departments to the barn to see first hand how to handle horses and see inside of trailers. We believe this will be beneficial to us, the rescuers and the community of horse people.


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