Nicole Graham thought she was going for another one of her regular leisurely horse rides along the beach. With her daughter in tow, Nicole suddenly found herself in the midst of a nightmare. Her horse Astro unexpectedly ventured into treacherous mud, and to make matters worse, he was followed by her daughter’s horse.

Fortunately, Nicole got herself, her daughter, and her daughter’s smaller horse free, but Astro remained firmly stuck in the mud.

Nicole clung to Astro for 3 hours as he struggled to break free of the mud.

Graham spent 3 hours clinging to the horse as he continued to struggle.

The more Astro struggled, the more stuck he became. Trying to help her horse only resulted in Nicole becoming stuck again.

At over 1,000 lbs, attempts to free the horse before help arrived only resulted in both becoming more stuck.

Rescuers helped Nicole out of the mud, but could not budge Astro, who weighs at over 1,000 lbs.

Once help arrived and she was freed again, Graham remained by Astro's side, comforting him.

The clock was racing — they only had a few hours before the tide would come in and drown Astro.

They had to fight time to get the big guy out before the tide washed over him.

Lots of people came to his aid: fighter fighters, veterinarians and a nearby farmer, who loaned his tractor.

Fire crews arrived, assisted by veterinarians and a nearby farmer, who loaned his tractor.

Astro was sedated so that he would sleep during the rescue efforts.

Astro was sedated so he wouldn't continue exhausting himself while they worked to free him.

Several different types of equipment were used but nothing worked.

They tried several different types of equipment and even had a helicopter on standby. Nothing would budge in the mud.

Fire lieutenant Roger Buckle said the mud was “like quicksand.”

Fire lieutenant Roger Buckle said the mud was "like quicksand."

Everyone was anxious as the tide drew in. Time was ticking fast.

Everyone was anxious as the tide drew in nearer and nearer.

Lady luck finally paid a visit and Astro was freed. Phew!

Luck finally came with their combined efforts and Astro made his way out of the mire.

The tractor really came in handy.

The tractor really came in handy.

Once he was out of the danger zone, Astro collapsed in a heap — he was so exhausted by his ordeal.

Once he was 100% free, the poor guy collapsed in fatigue.

After a much deserved rest, everyone was cleaned up. Home time!

After a much needed rest, everyone was cleaned up and able to make their way back home.

Miraculously, Astro only suffered mild dehydration and is making a full recovery.

The horse only suffered mild dehydration and will make a full recovery.

Nicole runs an equine dentistry business, and as such has a deep love of horses — she personally owns around 10. In the two decades she’s been a horse owner, she’s never had such any issues on the beach. We are just relieved that everyone is safe.

What do you think ?

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