The Rescue Glide Sked provides a practical means of moving a recumbent, non-ambulatory or injured horse from the site of an accident. Horses with serious injuries, displaying severe malnutrition or neurological symptoms, can be easily moved out of a stall or even down a trail to a horse ambulance for transport to a veterinary facility. It is a specialty cut piece of 8′× 4′ recycled polypropylene with tie-down straps and steel attachment points for winch loading into an equine ambulance. A horse must be fully sedated during transport on the rescue glide to prevent further injury to itself or rescuers. Moving a recumbent horse is very difficult due to the weight of the animal, often causing damage to the head and eyes, and with many safety concerns for the rescuers (struggling, kicking). It may take 8 to 10 people to move a horse just a few feet, especially uphill or on high friction surfaces. Benefits of the Rescue Glide include that the plastic reduces the friction of the weight of the animal on the ground surface, so fewer people are needed to move the animal. The tough resilient plastic is flexible so it goes easily over obstacles such as logs, roots, or through ditches. It folds up around the animal's body to get through a standard stall door or tight spaces as might be encountered on a trail. The Glide may be attached to a winch, ropes pulled by human rescuers, or even vehicle (ATV, car, etc.)
The practical use of the Rescue Glide has been demonstrated in numerous situations including severe limb injuries, neurological compromise, geriatric, recumbent/unable to rise, severe neglect/malnutrition, and recovery/removal of dead large animals. The equipment has been used at race tracks and riding competition events for transport of animals into ambulances, as well as by veterinary rescue response teams in trail riding accidents, pasture accidents, and severe trailer injuries.
The Rescue Glide, in conjunction with an equine ambulance trailer, provides a safe and suitable means of transport of large animals to veterinary facilities and should be a part of the equine practitioner's emergency equipment.