When Debbie Smith went out to feed her horses on Monday, Jan. 27 she realized that her 10-month-old Appaloosa miniature horse, Oz, was nowhere to be found.
“He always follows me,” Smith said.
Earlier that day the animal’s veterinarian had come out to check Oz due to a runny nose. Smith said she thought maybe he had reacted to the injection.
“[I] went to the stalls to see if he was down and could not find him,” Smith said. “And searched all the pastures and thought someone stole my horse.”
On her way back to the house to file a police report, she passed by a barn and something caught her eye. When she looked closer there was Oz, upside down with his hooves in the air.
Chief Martin C. Hart of Holly Grove Volunteer Fire Department said Oz had become pinned between that barn and the hay barn.
“The buildings tapered and got a little tighter,” Hart said. “He was facing the narrow part of the void.”
“We can only guess he walked in there somehow, freaked out, reared up and flipped over,” Clay Hart, volunteer firefighter said.
Tying flat ropes to Oz’s legs so he wouldn’t hurt himself or others, Smith placed a halter with a lead rope that they used to pull the head down so the horse couldn’t fight them.
According to Clay, there were two firefighters on the roof and two in the void. Oz was hoisted upright off the ground, moved carefully and they laid him on his back.
To read the entire story, see the Jan. 30 edition of The Central Virginian.