Residents rescue horse that fell through ice on Wisconsin lake

A group of more than a dozen local residents came to the rescue of a horse that fell through the ice covering a Wisconsin lake.

D.J. Ryan said he first received word Saturday that a horse was on the loose in the Grantsburg area after a fallen tree damaged a fence on its owner’s property.

Ryan said he spent some time trying to locate the horse, but was unable to find the animal until Sunday, when he heard that a horse had fallen through the ice at Big Wood Lake.

“We were able to see him bobbing and struggling,” Ryan told WCCO-TV. “It was just calling a bunch of mutual friends and horse people around the area and I knew someone was going to know someone who had a warm safe place we could house if it was successful.”

More than a dozen people combined their efforts to get the horse out of the frigid water. The team put a flotation device under the horse’s belly and rigged a rope and pulley system to get the horse back up onto the ice.

“He did a thrash kick toward the end when we thought he was near giving up, and got himself kind of halfway up,” Ryan told KMSP-TV. “We yelled ‘1-2-3! We need to go’ and that’s when we got him on the ice. We kept him down at first, because if he stood up potentially all three of us were going in the water with him.”

The horse was brought partially back to shore before it was allowed to stand up and walk the rest of the way. The mustang was taken to a heated barn to warm up before later being returned to its owner.