An 18-year-old horse in New Hampshire got himself into a dangerous spot and needed the help of 20 firefighters to get out.
The horse named Chili Pepper is covered in scratches and bruises, but his owner says it's a miracle he's even alive. Chili Pepper was taking it slow when necn met him and his owner Heidi Lorenz in Goshen on Tuesday.
Lorenz will never forget the scene outside her window Sunday morning when she saw Chili Pepper stuck in a cement-feeding trough.
"I was a mess and crying," she said. "I saw Chili's legs sticking up from the trough, instantly I ran out, I thought he was dead."
He wasn't. Lorenz says Chili was still and his eyes were closed, until she put her hand on his face.
"And he came to, in his eyes it didn't look like he was losing faith, he was just hurt and struggling," Lorenz recalled.
She called 911 right away. Local fire departments showed up with 20 firefighters, a front loader from the Goshen Highway Department, and a boom wrecker from a nearby auto body. Lorenz says they put straps underneath Chili to hoist him up and out.
"I am pretty sure he knew these people were there to help and just he let them do it and it was amazing," she said.
Lorenz says she is not sure exactly how long Chili was in the trough but her veterinarian told her most horses couldn't survive more than three hours lying down because of potential organ damage.
"I have never lived through the death of a horse and I know it will happen someday, but I am very grateful that it hasn't happened," she said.
Chili is covered in cuts, he's swollen and stitched up on every leg, but he's not the only one who got hurt Sunday.
"Chili came back onto my leg and I ended up in the hospital afterwards," Lorenz said.
During the rescue, Lorenz thinks she tore her ACL, but she's just glad this didn't tear apart her family.
"They're everything to me, this is my life," Lorenz said. "We will heal together."
Lorenz thinks the horses might have been playing around when Chili tripped and fell into the trough. She has it boarded up until someone can move it away from her animals. Lorenz says she might use it in another spot as flower box, but never again for hay.