Raise your hand if you love horses. Well I can’t actually see how many are raised, but I’m guessing quite a few. I myself love our friends in the equine world and have been lucky enough to do a fair amount of riding and wrangling in my youth. I can’t help but feel a certain bond when I get to spend time with them; I have no idea what they’re thinking, but there’s something noble, proud, and timeless about horses.


So naturally, I was mortified to hear about a sticky situation where three of our hoofed cohorts got stuck in the mud deep in the woods near Lebanon, Connecticut, earlier this May. Rescuers were able to walk one of them out—but suction kept the other two pinned to their sides in the mucky death trap.

Mud can be a deadly enemy, explained Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jay Schall:

“The more you try to get yourself out — and you can’t — you kind of get yourself deeper in.

“And that’s basically what happened to two of them. They were just really stuck.”  

Luckily for the horses, their human friends quickly formed a multi-agency crew to come to the rescue, and after a strenuous five-hour ordeal, all humans and equines were in good condition. Watch the heroes in action:


How’d they do it? Well, it wasn’t easy:

Rescuers with multiple agencies used a cargo truck to shuttle equipment, including ropes, wood and plywood, to the scene to build a sled to help yank the animals out of the deep muck.

“The access road was complete mud and there was a river to cross [halfway] in,” the department wrote.

A makeshift bridge was put together with logs, cribbing and plywood so rescuers could walk into the woods.

After the first horse was rolled onto the sled, it took about 30 minutes to bring the animal to firm ground. The rescuers took another 30 minutes to get the second horse to safety by 6 p.m.


The Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department described the dirty job in detail on their Facebook page and said that “significant manpower was necessary” to complete the operation.

Click on the above post to see many more great photos. Meanwhile, Stirrup Fun Stables Rescue, Inc., the place where the horses wandered away from, posted their deep gratitude:

Excellent work by these heroes, and to them, I say: “Hay! Nice job.” (All four of my kids just rolled their eyes.)

This is one in a series about everyday heroes that don’t necessarily make the front pages. It’s a chance to talk about something other than Joe’s mumblings, college extremistsand rampant inflation.

I’m inviting readers to send me stories of people they know or who they’ve read about who have done heroic acts—large or small, physical or otherwise—that have made someone’s life better or saved them from danger. Please email me with any tips at [email protected] or DM me on Twitter. Thanks!

More Hoge’s Heroes:


Hoge’s Heroes: Former High School Wrestler Absolutely Levels Subway Customer Assaulting Employee

Hoge’s Heroes: Five U of Georgia Students Dramatically Save Drowning Family Trapped in Submerged Car

Hoge’s Heroes Sunday: 30 High School Kids Lift Car off Pinned Mom and Baby