MILTON-FREEWATER – A 32-year-old Appaloosa mare has been stranded on a small island in the Walla Walla River since yesterday morning. The mare most likely slipped off the bank and swam to safety, Del Henry, the mare’s owner, said.
The horse is unable to return back to the pasture because of the fast current and high bank, which has been heavily incised by the river. A recent flood contributed to the instability of the bank.
Henry, who has been monitoring the horse since 8 a.m. yesterday, plans to build a bridge using planks that the horse can cross later today. The mare spent the night on the island.
Henry considered hiring someone with an excavator or crane who could pick her up and bring her to shore, but the damp ground and high water ruled that out as a possibility.
The mare appeared to have an injured hind foot, but was otherwise calm.
"She’s perfectly safe," Henry said.
Lindsey Henry, Del’s wife, worried about the other horses in the pasture attempting to swim to the stranded mare if she whinnied.
"We’ll probably have to spend the night with her and give her hay all night," she said yesterday evening. "This is awful."