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Horse Found 'Shivering Uncontrollably' in Backyard Pool After Wildfires Devastated Area

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Animals tend to have more survival sense than humans. They often know when something bad is coming, and there are multiple videos of dogs and other creatures who react right before earthquakes or other unexpected events occur.

That goes for horses, too. They may at times become 1,200-pound chickens who freak out at the sight of a plastic bag, but they also possess the wherewithal to know how to avoid disastrous situations (and, hey, maybe it’s because they’re so sensitive to everything that they can suss that out).

That’s why horse owners in the middle of catastrophic natural disasters (fires and floods, for example) often set their horses loose. It’s not a better solution than trailering them out, but it’s better than them being trapped and killed in their own pens.

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Jeff Hill just lost everything he owned to the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, according to his GoFundMe account. His family home, gone. His possessions, gone. Fortunately, his family and friends and all their pets have been kept safe, but they have to rebuild.

As he was helping a friend assess the damage, they checked out his friend’s parents’ house. The fire hadn’t touched it, but they came across an unexpected sight in the backyard.

Apparently, a horse that had been turned loose had found a safe spot: the pool.

There was another horse nearby who had not gone in the pool, so perhaps this one had fallen in (there was a cover over the pool, so it probably looked like solid ground).

However, horses have been known to seek out water during fires to protect themselves, so that may well have been this horse’s intention.

Either way, there was a horse in the pool, and it didn’t seem able to figure out how to get out as it was tangled up in the cover. So Hill and his friend Geoff Sheldon helped free it.

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Hill described the event on Facebook. “Well among all the sadness I had a glimpse of happiness today!” he began.

“As I was checking to see if someone’s house was standing we stumbled upon this girl who had given up and had the look of defeat in her eyes. There’s no telling how long she was there but she was shivering uncontrollably and ultimately lost her fight.”

“She was all caught up in the pool cover but her being suspended by it prevented her from drowning. We scrambled to unhook the pool cover and pulled her to the shallow end where we guided her up the steps.”

“She got out, shook off, loved on us for a few minutes as a thank you and walked off assuring us that she was ok ❤️”

Based on the comments, they’d figured out who the horses belonged to and got in touch with them. Thanks to the efforts of these two fine gentlemen, this horse is safe and didn’t perish in fire or water.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking