No Sweeping Exits Or Offstage Lines
November 29, 2006 4:50 PM   Subscribe

Horse Rescue in the Netherlands--after a heavy storm in October, 100+ horses were standed on a small island. Here's how they were rescued.Google video; alternate YouTube link. Warning: Vangelis music.
posted by fandango_matt (43 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by dog food sugar at 5:06 PM on November 29, 2006

They should have left them there and sold tickets.

posted by null terminated at 5:07 PM on November 29, 2006

I tried to snark, but... Yaaaaaayyy! :-)
posted by PissOnYourParade at 5:08 PM on November 29, 2006

How stupid and embarrassed must those horses now feel.
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:10 PM on November 29, 2006

Oh, and Born Free would have been a more ironic choice of soundtrack.
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:11 PM on November 29, 2006

You can lead a horse through water
posted by vito90 at 5:12 PM on November 29, 2006

vito90: "You can lead a horse through water"... but you can't force it to think
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:18 PM on November 29, 2006

Or: you can lead a horse through water, but don't let it sink!
posted by uosuaq at 5:25 PM on November 29, 2006

Gosh, when they finally get to solid ground and can RUN again, they start cantering just for the sheer joy of moving... YAAAAY! That was handled very smoothly, very calmly. Thanks for sharing!
posted by Rubber Soul at 6:12 PM on November 29, 2006

Those are some unbelievable horsewomen and the whole thing was so physically courageous and beautiful it choked me up. Too bad the Vangelis made it seem like horse Nuremberg rally.
posted by melissa may at 6:23 PM on November 29, 2006

Hurray, a happy story. Around here (SoCal) major horse rescue usually involves helicopters lifting horses out of canyons, which isn't quite as spectacular as this. It was a good look at herd dynamics too: once the horses saw that they could get across, they did it in a very orderly manner, as horses generally will once they've figured things out.
posted by OolooKitty at 6:28 PM on November 29, 2006

*Rents The Man from Snowy River*

*Rereads Misty of Chincoteague*

Seriously, that was such an effective climactic sequence, I forgot the entire plot of the movie....

It was interesting -- part of the solution here was horsemen who knew where the pathway was underwater. I understand they were partly worried about them getting hung up on a submerged fence.
posted by dhartung at 6:29 PM on November 29, 2006

Metafilter: a horse Nuremberg rally
posted by nooneyouknow at 6:32 PM on November 29, 2006

Horses can swim.
posted by kickingtheground at 6:34 PM on November 29, 2006

I saw this on the news here when they first got stuck out there - hell, I think it led the news for one or two very slow news days. I can't remember seeing the resolution though. Quite a shame: it's fantastic. One more voice for the "yaaayyy!" choir. Great post, fandango_matt.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:04 PM on November 29, 2006

The condensed version of Misty of Chincoteague.
posted by booksandlibretti at 7:14 PM on November 29, 2006

I like it when monkeys help other animals.
posted by mediareport at 7:23 PM on November 29, 2006

That was the most awesome thing I've ever seen.
posted by odinsdream at 7:42 PM on November 29, 2006

I found this so moving - what a great story! Thanks for posting, fandago_matt.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:53 PM on November 29, 2006

Swimmin' horses have been an annual event in Virginia since 1925 in the Chincoteague Wild Pony Swim^, rounded up by volunteer firefighters on horseback. In pictures and a helicopter video [link 1/3 down page], note that these smaller animals swim most of the way in deep water.
posted by cenoxo at 8:07 PM on November 29, 2006

posted by aliasless at 8:11 PM on November 29, 2006


omg illiterate captions... but... whatever.
posted by bicyclefish at 8:40 PM on November 29, 2006

How moving, thank you fandango_matt, and thank you Dutch horse riding ladies.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:53 PM on November 29, 2006

Good stuff! Thanks, fandango_matt.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:49 PM on November 29, 2006

Well, there's something you don't see every day.

Is it just me, or are horses way too big, way too fast, and way too smart to be herd animals? I guess you don't really think about it when you see three or four of them hanging out on a farm, but when you get a couple of dozen of them together, you see them all latching on to the ones just in front of them. Weird.

Also: awesome.

/Makes note to grab the camera and get me some horsey pictures this weekend.
posted by quin at 9:50 PM on November 29, 2006

And for the record, null terminated's horse island, (ahem) sorry, HORSE ISLAND!! Is a fantastic idea that we should explore in greater detail.

I firmly believe it would bring out the Yaaaaaayyy! in even the most burdened of souls.
posted by quin at 9:53 PM on November 29, 2006


(this was nice, fandango)
posted by boo_radley at 10:13 PM on November 29, 2006

OK, that's completely awesome. Best of the web, easily. Who were the riders?
posted by effugas at 10:14 PM on November 29, 2006

Urg... snark function rendered inoperative... very cool indeed, best post in a long while.
posted by scheptech at 10:19 PM on November 29, 2006

Well, one thing's for sure, the Dutch know how to deal with water. Here's to those horseback ridin' ladies of the Lowlands!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:09 AM on November 30, 2006

I even kinda liked the Vangelis. Or, more accurately, it wasn't as stomach-curdling as I had feared. Although very triumphalist, and I can see why it makes some think of a Race of Master Ponies.
posted by imperium at 2:25 AM on November 30, 2006

I admit that a part of me secretly hoped the music was going to be "Mare Tranquillitatis". I have no idea why, beyond the bizarre pun attempt.

Seriously cool link, but I wonder why horses have such a reputation for running into a burning barn but apparently won't go near the water. I thought horses could swim..
posted by twine42 at 3:19 AM on November 30, 2006

would've been cooler with the Rawhide theme! fantastic video anyway.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 4:17 AM on November 30, 2006

And the world broke out in joyful celebration.
posted by MapGuy at 6:46 AM on November 30, 2006

Horses can swim.

And will, if they know there's land at the end of the swim, but in this case they were too far out over unfamiliar flooded ground. So they had to be shown.

BBC story
posted by pracowity at 7:13 AM on November 30, 2006

I wish we were going to Candy Apple island instead.
posted by elbie at 7:37 AM on November 30, 2006

Some background information: shortly after the horses had been rescued, one unconfirmed news item caused a lot of consternation in the Netherlands. Apparently, the horses were all headed for the slaughterhouse. This was later denied by Piet Lootsma, owner of the horses: "I am a horse trader. These animals will be sold to the highest bidder, that's the way it works. Only sick horses, animals without value, will be killed. But then we're talking one, maybe two horses"

Meanwhile, the Dutch Party For The Animals (that won two seats in Dutch parliament in very recent elections) had already started an emergency fund for the horses, and hundreds of people offered to adopt a horse.

By the way: I'm from Belgium, and horse meat is considered quite the delicacy here by most people.
posted by Siberian Mist at 9:44 AM on November 30, 2006

Yes, Siberian Mist, the Animal Party story is very interesting, I might make an FPP on that if I can find the time.

And I'm surprised at the wide positive reaction to what to me was a sort of man-bites-dog regional news story - but then the video did introduce a very uplifting and majestic angle.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:00 AM on November 30, 2006

Yee haw nice ending!
posted by deborah at 11:25 AM on November 30, 2006

Damn. I'm too tarnished to be moved. The internet has taken away my humanity.

Or maybe it's just the silly Vangelis.
posted by algreer at 1:39 PM on November 30, 2006

It would have been a lot better without the shaky camera work and the unneccessary zooming in and out all the time.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:36 PM on November 30, 2006

Yeah, the camera work sucked. They should have got the horses back onto the island and refilmed it a couple of times until the cameraman got it right.
posted by schwa at 6:22 PM on November 30, 2006

Won't someone think about the burros?
posted by homunculus at 8:09 PM on December 24, 2006

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