On the Range: Loose Wire is Dangerous for All

(Feb 17, 2023) Our local Nevada partners, Wild Horse Connection took a call that a Virginia Range horse had wire wrapped around its leg and section over ten feet long was dragging behind. This scenario is particularly dangerous if the wire gets caught on something or another horse steps on it, causing it to cinch tighter and cause serious injury.

Crew members from LRTC’s Technical Large Animal Rescue team were dispatched. They were able to cut a couple of feet off the wire, but the yearling filly, Crimson Rose, was having none of them getting any closer. There was too much going on, the horses’ energy was too high in the moment. Sometimes tough calls have to be made for the safety of all. They made the call to stand down and wait for a better opportunity.

A few hours later, two more members went out. They were able to move the horses to a secured area where they calmly grazed. LRTC member Cathy was able to drop a couple of handfuls of hay to interest the filly and calmly work close and snip off some more of the dragging wire. The filly then took a few steps away and Cathy repeated the process. Now there were two long hanging ends of the wire with a single twist holding it on her leg. She was able to pick up both ends and “untwist” once, the wire fell right off, and Crimson Rose walked away.

Reading the energy of the horses is an important part of what the rescue team does. Knowing when to back off and when to proceed is important for the safety of the rescue team, as well as the animals.

Loose and old fence wire on the range is a real hazard, not just for horses, but all animals. Even just a few inches looped can get caught on an animal’s foot or leg. Volunteers can often be found picking up loose pieces of wire and bringing it home to the trash when they are out.