My barn owner told me someone she knew really wanted some saddle time, so A came out on Saturday to meet Lucy and have a little hack around.
Everything went great so to cool off, I said, "Let's go on a walk on the trails!". We set out, and all was quiet. I wanted to show her the trail that leads to a big pond with a nice waterfall, some bridges to cross, and a boat ramp so the horses can walk into the water.
We got to the edge of the area where the pond starts, where it is pretty marshy but the water is about 20' from the trail, through a very thick area of brambles, poison ivy, and general ickyness. I would never, ever think to walk through there to get to the water, especially because if you just keep walking down the trail another few hundred feet, you'll find a nice open area with easy water access and no prickly plants.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I heard a very faint "help! help!" coming from the edge of the water in that marshy/prickly/gross part of the pond. A, who was riding, hopped off and I held Lucy while she investigated, because I had shorts on and I'm sorry, but there was no way I was trekking through that mess to figure out what the deal was. I know that's very bad with my EMT license and all, but yeah, waist-high prickly bushes + bare legs do not equal a happy Kate.
Plus A was dressed for the job in her tall boots and long pants, so she clambered through the thicket and discovered a few things:
-the lady was not dying, but was stuck
-alll those sirens we could hear fast approaching were for her
-the fire dept had no idea where she was other than a GPS location they got via the 911 digital system because SHE had no idea where she was
-she had wanted to get close to the water so she climbed through the prickly area (in SHORTS!) and then got stuck up to her knees in cement-like mud that was also very cold
-she had a dog with her who was very chilly
-she had been there for an hour
That was the basic gist of the situation, and realising that I wasn't being a whole lot of help just standing there with a tacked-up horse, I took Lucy to go meet the fire department and explain how to get back to where we were. Luckily for them, there is a cul-de-sac of houses that backs right up to that area of the trail, so they parked their rigs just about 50' away and had easy access to get the rescue equipment to the right spot. The firefighter who saw me walking toward them first said, "Uh oh, it's never a good sign when a riderless horse meets you at a 911 call." I said, "But this actually has nothing to do with the horse!" And we both agreed we were very glad that was the case.
After 45 minutes of removing prickly bushes and small trees with the chain saw, combined with laying plastic back boards out in a chain over the thick mud so that none of the firefighters got stuck in it, combined with pulling the lady out of the mud with a thick rope while wrangling the small dog, everyone was out of the mud/prickles and looking exhausted and very dirty.
Unfortunately at that point, neither A or I had any more time for a trail ride/walk, so we took Lucy back to the barn and both headed out. I had an engagement session to photograph and she had to go to work. Back to normal, I suppose!
Here is a quick shot I took of the scene. The firefighters are looking in the direction where the woman is stuck. Lucy was very patient for all of this and nibbled on grass while the rescue went down. Good girl, Lu.