The San Rafael Fire Department said occupants of a small ranch arrived home just after 4 p.m. Monday and discovered their horse, Buddy, had fallen into a brick-lined well near China Camp State Park and was at least 5 feet below ground level and floating in about 20 feet of water, the Marin (Calif.) Independent Journal reported Tuesday.
Firefighters responded at about 4:30 p.m. and called in Ad-Lite Crane Services Novato and the Marin County sheriff's horse posse rescue unit for assistance.
A group of about two dozen rescuers worked to get a harness around the horse and more water was pumped into the well to bring the animal closer to the surface.
The crew, using the crane, was able to lift the horse to dry land around 6:30 p.m., authorities said.
"It was unclear how long the horse had been in the well," San Rafael fire Battalion Chief Jeff Rowan said. "Someone came home and found it. It was floating but getting tired and frustrated."