A 6-year-old mare was on a walk with its owner Wednesday night when the one of the animal’s hooves got stuck on a bridge northeast of Camas.
Firefighters from East County Fire & Rescue were called to a bridge near the intersection of Northeast Winters Road and Lessard Road about 9:30 p.m.
The bridge, on land owned by Longview Timber, is a former railway bridge used by flatbed railroad cars, said assistant chief Dean Thornberry. The bridge stands amid mature timber and about 12 feet above a running creek.
The horse had stepped between a slat and had fallen, he said.
“The horse couldn’t get traction to pick itself back up,” Thornberry said.
A veterinarian was dispatched and sedated the animal, calming the horse enough to allow firefighters to work on lifting the horse’s leg. Crews worked for about two and a half hours before freeing the horse, which suffered only minor injuries.
Rescue workers from Vancouver Fire Department technical rescue team assisted at the scene. A tow truck operator with experience rescuing animals was also dispatched and provided advice.
Once firefighters freed the animal, they took turns laying down two large pieces of plywood for the horse to march off the bridge.
“(The horse) had lacerations on a hind leg,” Thornberry said. “But the big picture is that we got the horse out with minor injuries … It walked away on its own.”