Horse People - Article on a horse drowning

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Buff Hooligans, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    I've been riding with horses in the water before, and never realized possible danger associated with it. So take heed...

    Horse drowns off Sandy Neck Beach

    July 08, 2008
    WEST BARNSTABLE — A horse drowned off Sandy Neck Beach near trail No. 2 yesterday.

    "Three people were riding horses down the beach and they were also swimming with them," West Barnstable Fire Chief Joseph Maruca said. "For some reason one of the horses got into trouble, and they weren't able to get it out of the water."

    The woman riding the horse was not injured, Maruca said, adding that he had never seen a horse drown before.

    "It's a unique incident for us to respond to," Maruca said.

    The fire department was called to the beach at 2:18 p.m., he said.

    The horse's owner was a 17-year-old woman from Acushnet, said Barnstable police Sgt. Sean Sweeney. The water, at the time, was not rough, he said.

    The horse had a saddle on, which is unusual when people take their horses into the water, Sweeney said.

    Horseback riding on Sandy Neck is common, but more so during the off-season, Sandy Neck Beach park manager Nina Coleman said. The rider of the horse that drowned did not violate any rules or regulations, she said.

    "It's very unfortunate, and it was such a fluke accident," Coleman said. "We're just really happy that nobody was hurt."

    The horse threw its rider and got its leg tangled in the reins, Coleman said. Its head was then held under water by the reins and it took in a lot of water very quickly, she said. "He did eventually break his bridle but then it was too late."

    The 4½-year-old gray horse was removed from the water by some bystanders, said West Barnstable veterinarian Marina Cesar, who examined the body.

    Foam coming from the horse's nose and the bluish purple color of its skin indicated pulmonary edema, which is one result of drowning, Cesar said. "It was definitely a drowning."

    The accident highlights the fact that even a 1,000-pound animal is at risk of drowning in the right circumstances, she said.

    The owners of the horse were from off-Cape and had taken the animals to the beach in a trailer, she said.

    Riders who take their horses into the water should not use tack that could get the animal tangled up, she said. The rider had owned the horse since the animal was born and was very upset, Cesar said.

    Maruca and Cesar said they did not know the names of the people who owned the horses. Barnstable police said they did not have the names of the owners, either.

    The horse was removed from the beach with the assistance of park rangers from Sandy Neck Beach and Barnstable Department of Public Works staff. The horse was transferred from a front end loader to a flat bed pick up to be taken back to Acushnet, Sweeney said.
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Oh my - that's very unfortunate; I cannot imagine watching one of my horses drown, right before my eyes. She must have been heartbroken. Thanks for the reminder; my trainer rides in tack through water quite often. I'll warn her.
  3. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Thank you very much for that info. My daughter has been teaching her horse to enjoy the water, with saddles off but now to think of the bridle too. Wow, will pass along.
    How unfortunate, terrible, terrible incident to experience.

  4. farmgirlie1031

    farmgirlie1031 Songster

    Apr 26, 2008
    That is sad:( My mother never let me ride in the water as a child because she witnessed a horse slicing it's belly open and dying right there in the water when she was a child on a post that was in the water that nobody knew about. Some horses will also roll on top of their rider while in the water killing the rider:( It looks so much fun but there is too much risk for me to try and ride in the water.
  5. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    We ride our horses into the water with tack on. (No sense in being in the water with a large animal and have no control). It is a lot of fun.

    I have heard of incidents with horses drowning. In the case I heard, the river was especially high and the owner missed the crossing point. Well the horse wouldn't go up the other bank and wouldn't turn back because all the other horses had crossed. Well, in the end, the lady took her saddle of the horse and turned the horse loose to find it's own way out, because she wasn't going to drown with it. The horse never found it's way out. [​IMG]

    When we ride, we ride with split reins to avoid entanglement. Especially when swimming. They can step on split reins, but the reins couldn't really get tangled in the legs.

    Too bad this horse didn't break his bridle sooner and could be saved.

  6. summerwindsfarm

    summerwindsfarm Songster

    Jun 5, 2008
    Stroud, Oklahoma
    The article doesnt say if the rider was or wasnt using a tie down. It said that the horse got tangled in the reins so maybe not. But we constantly warn ppl on the trail to NEVER swim their horse in a tie down because they can drown if they dont have full control of their head. In general horses are very good swimmer but to tie a horses head and expect them to swim would be like tying out feet and expecting us to. Getting tangled in the reins would be a bit more of a freak accident but would have the same effect as using a tie down.
  7. Yes, I’ve heard of that happening before. In fact, it happens all too frequently here. Ever heard of the Omak Suicide Race? It happens just down the highway from us…let's just say I'm not a supporter of that event.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I was always taught to untie or unbuckle the joint of the reins, so they are two separate straps, before going into water more than hock-deep, and unfasten any martingales (=tiedown for western riders).

    I suppose if you were really unlucky though, if you lost hold of a rein a horse might somehow chance to get it wound around a foreleg. But separate reins are in general the safe way to go.

    That said, I am not personally keen on riding into water where I can't see the bottom real well -- as a kid I knew someone who lost her wonderful mare to a very sharp piece of 'junk' that must have come down there in the last flood since that part of the creek was always perfectly safe before.

  9. spook

    spook Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    North Central Florida
    Quote:I am not big into horses or the knowledge, but the Omak Suicide Race should be outlawed. Just like with the joys of watching and training cock and dog fights. All are not what one would find in true real life. When will people get past their ego's and ....I'll stop here.
    I recently heard about training horses for the pulls at the fair grounds and you know, most of those people should be treated like how they treat their horses and oxen.
    Now they have an official at all functions to ensure that no abuse has been committed (great) BUT you know, the abuse happens while training the animals.
    Shocked at one ox pull to find the animals thin and one whispered in my ear, they do that to get into a lighter class so they look good (or the human looks good).
    After questioning a pony team woman, she stood up for the rights of her ponies by telling the officials "NO" to pulling them any further. She told her ponies to do their best, they did and she unhooked them, took them out to the water bucket and rinsed them down.
    Then she was telling me that how a lot of the horses that are taught to pull are placed in a ditch of water, hooked to an extremely heavy stone drag, that the trainer knows they cannot move and as they crack the whip, they drop a electric charge into the water to imprint the experience.
    I Almost flipped. If I ever in my life see anyone do that, I will ....cant give death threats to people that I don't know. Its terrible what people do to "WIN".
    UGH and a GRRR.
  10. purr

    purr Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    that story is so sad, I live right next to Acushnet where the owner lived. I wonder if I know them.
    Had a friend lose his horse a couple of years ago , she broke free and someone shot her . Beautiful palomino. He was heart broken.
    I always see people riding on the beach and it looks so romantic. I never thought about it being dangerous.

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