ARIZONA, USA — Some days you never know what you’re going to encounter at work.
A routine day for two Salt River Project (SRP) workers turned into a horse rescue.
On the hottest days – the canals can be a refreshing spot to cool off for the Arizona wildlife.
“I noticed a horse standing in the water, cooling off, blowing bubbles with his nose. Looked like he was having a great time,” said Kristen Keim. “Didn’t think twice about it at all. He was in there cooling off. I was jealous because it was a hot day.”
Kristen Keim, a water master with SRP, was cleaning moss from the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community canals on July 9 when she captured a video of the horse. It’s not uncommon to see wild horses enjoying a dip in the canal.
Keim took off to another location – but when she returned four hours later – the horse was still there. This time standing taller above the water. Suggesting it was on its knees the first time Keim saw it.
“My concern was that he was injured and couldn’t move. He may have been stuck in mud or some filth. The moss was too slippery to catch his footing to be able to get back out of the canal,” said Keim.
She sprang into action – got a rope from her truck and lassoed the horse with some cowboy-like action. She grew up watching rodeos in Southern Idaho and used to be a cruise captain, where a lot of her rope and knot skills came in handy.
“Tried to get him to turn around to get him to face up our equipment ramp,” said Keim.
After about 20 minutes - with the help of fellow water master Chris Crosland who used a pole to help guide the horse up the utility ramp – the two were able to get the stuck horse out of the canal
“He immediately went to the shade and started eating. So, I think he was happy to be out of the water,” said Keim.
Keim says the horse didn’t have any visible signs of injury beyond a couple of scraped knees. She hasn’t seen the horse since.
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