A little bit of quick thinking from a Hamilton couple might have made them a new friend for life - of the animal variety. They could have never envisioned that a Father's Day float down the river would see them spring into action to save a horse from drowning in the Bitterroot River, but that's exactly what happened. And it appears that the lucky horse is very aware of just who the people are that came to its rescue.

Matthew and Christina Eickholt's story is shared by an NBC MONTANA article that tells how they were floating down the river when they noticed some splashing and realized it was a horse in the water that couldn't quite get to the safety of shore. It didn't take them long to realize the horse was struggling to stay above water as it fought the current and couldn't seem to pull itself out of trouble. According to the article, Matthew said, “He was breathing super heavy. Its eyes were all bugged out. At times, all we could see was its teeth above water. It was snorting. I think it may have been 30 seconds to a minute from going under.”

It was right about that point in the story where I started thinking about how in the world anyone could support the weight of a horse and drag them out of troublesome water that was 10 feet deep. But the fix to the situation was a bit more simple. The Hamilton couple got out of the river at a shallower spot a bit downstream from the horse and caused a commotion by clapping, yelling, and waving to get the horse's attention. The horse seemed to recognize that Matthew and Christina were in a safer spot and was able to make its way to them before being able to pull itself to safety.

In a scene that would lend itself to a future Disney movie, the couple were floating the river again earlier this week and saw the same horse so they stopped for a quick visit. They say the horse remembered them and came running up to them. They now plan to stop and say hello on any future floats.

Did the horse remember the couple that saved its life? Was it just a friendly horse that likes people and had no recollection of the events from a few days prior? Either way, it's a pretty cool story that could have had a much different ending if it wasn't for some quick thinking from the Eickholts. Well done!

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