02/20/2014 11:20 EST | Updated 04/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Horse rescue from frozen pond required a dozen men

A rural Thunder Bay family is thanking emergency services workers and neighbours who helped rescue their horse after he fell through an ice-covered pond.

Lisa Prevost's eight-year-old horse, Bob, broke through the ice on the family’s property in Neebing last weekend. Prevost said she and her husband tried to pull the animal out themselves, but realized they couldn't do it alone.

"I ended up running back to the house through the deep snow … to call for help 'cause my husband was working right at the spot where the open hole was,” she said. “I was really frightened that [my husband] was going to fall in."

Neighbours and volunteer fire and rescue personnel came to their aid.

"I was really, really scared for my horse,” Prevost continued. “It was a scene that I never want to ever happen again. He looked exhausted and … my fear [was] that he wouldn't keep trying to get out of the hole."

But once help came, she said, “it looked like his spirits lifted. He was looking around at everybody.”

'They just lifted him up'

Prevost said she worried someone would get hurt, that they would get kicked by the horse or fall in the hole.

“But [Bob] seemed to sense that everybody was there to help him and he didn't fight their efforts,” she said.

“They put a lot of ropes around him, and there must have been 10 or 12 guys that actually, basically, lifted him up. [There were] some on the front, some on the back, some holding the tail, and they just lifted him up.”

She said Bob suffered some swelling in his legs as a result of the incident, but suffered no broken bones. He is still recovering.

“I'm just overwhelmed with the people [who] gave up their Sunday morning to come and help a horse,” Prevost said.

"It would have broken my heart if we had lost him that day. I don't know if [the incident] could have been prevented. We're definitely looking at changing how the horses have access to that pond, so that they can never go near that area again when it gets dangerous."

She added she's glad no rescuers were hurt during the rescue effort.