LINCOLN – Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) Trooper Jessica Knaff always keeps a halter, a bucket, and grain in her vehicle; last week, that habit came in handy.
Knaff was responding to a non-injury crash on April 1 off MT200 when she encountered a horse injured as a result of the incident, in which a “driver took a corner too wide and hit a guardrail, which caused him to go over [an] embankment.” While no people were hurt, “the horse had an injury to her nose,” according to a Facebook post from MHP.
“You’d expect most horses to be kind of ‘jumpy’ after something like that,” Knaff told MTN. “But Ladybug [the horse] was very calm.”
Due to the steepness of the embankment, Knaff worried about coaxing Ladybug back onto the highway. Luckily, she was armed with some prior experience — and treats.
“I’ve had to deal with horses out on the highway,” Knaff said. “Being a horse owner, I know exactly the way to a horse’s heart: through their stomach!”
“Not many horses can resist some oats,” she added.
Not only did Knaff bring treats, but she was also prepared to treat Ladybug medically. “I also had some topical medicine (used for horses, dogs, cows, etc) in the vehicle, but the owner declined the medicine,” Knaff said. “He wanted it to scab over and heal.”
MHP wrote that Knaff eventually persuaded Ladybug “to climb the steep embankment and back up onto the road.” MHP described the horse as “strong-willed,” “loving and well-tempered.”
And Knaff wasn’t alone in her concern for the horse’s well-being.
“A local in Lincoln came out with the tow company and brought his personal pickup and horse trailer to the scene,” she said. “We loaded Ladybug into the horse trailer, and he brought her to his house. He said she could stay there until the owner had the means to come get her. This incident happened April 1, so I’m assuming the owner has since come [for the horse.]”
MHP described the incident as the kind of thing that happens “only in Montana.”