HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — Firefighters on Friday freed a horse who was trapped in a garbage dumpster.

The dumpster was located near some stables at Golden West Stables in Huntington Beach.

Firefighters lifted the horse named Rodeo out of the dumpster using a forklift.

Rodeo was stuck for over an hour.

“I was actually getting in my stall with my horse. My mom’s like ‘there’s a horse in the dumpster.’ My heart like stopped. I was so shocked,” said Brooke Wenger, who stayed with Rodeo to comfort him.

“I came down and she said hold the bag of hay. Keep him calm,” said Wenger.

Rodeo is an 18-year-old Paint Horse who got loose from the corral, ran over to a stable and stepped on top of the dumpster.

The dumpster had a plastic lid on it. When the 1,200-pound horse stepped onto the lid it crashed right through the plastic lid of the dumpster and got trapped inside of the dumpster.

Initially one of the legs of the horse was sticking out but it wiggled its way back in and then it was standing on all four legs inside of the dumpster.

Huntington Beach Fire and Orange County Fire Authority responded to the 911 call.

They used a heavy animal harness. They strapped the harness around the belly of the horse.

Rodeo’s owner stood by him — holding him and talking to him.

A vet gave a sedative to the horse to calm him down.

One of the groundskeepers, Jesus Martinez, got into a forklift. They strapped the harness onto the forklift and very slowly and gently lifted the horse out.

Rodeo is doing fine. He has a few cuts on his legs. He is being seen by a vet.


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