Every winter, numerous humans and animals fall through the ice. Horses are just as vulnerable. If water in their pasture freezes over, whether a pond or even a deep river, horses can step on top of the ice and instant disaster results.

Fortunately, most rural fire departments are well-prepared for large animal rescue and these stories often have happy endings.

That was the case with a horse in the Lakewood, Colorado region. The West Metro Fire Rescue team arrived to find a horse had fallen through the ice and was unable to get out. The department posted the chilling photos on its Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as video on Twitter.

The caption describes the scene. “A horse rescue this afternoon…The horse fell through the ice on a small, but deep pond and was unable to get out. Before our crews arrived on scene, the owner used a chain saw to break through the ice and attempt to free the animal, but the mare was too weak to get out on her own…Crews slid a rope around the horse’s neck to help her out of the water and up on the ice. After a few minutes, she was able to stand up and walk back to the barn.”

The West Metro Fire Rescue team tweeted an update later in the day and said the mare was doing well.