Custer lineman digs horse out of snow near Deadwood

DEADWOOD, S.D. — Last week’s blizzard had impacts ranging from a dusting of snow to five feet in the Black Hills, and Barbara Jean Atchison sits right at the top of those totals on her Deadwood ranch.

She cares for a blind mare, pregnant with a foal, and a stallion, plus plenty of other animals. On Sunday, her mare wandered over the top of the fence, which was buried in snow drifts, and the got tangled and stuck in snow that came up above her belly.

Barbara went to dig the mare out herself, but is only a few inches taller than the snow herself, and wasn’t able to free the horse. That’s when she started to reach out for help, but half a mile up a steep dirt road, struggled to find resources that would be able to reach her and her horses.

Noah Tietsort, in Custer at the time, saw Barbara’s post and fueled up to reach her ranch. He drove to the driveway and unloaded his snowmobile, along with some supplies he brought to help free the mare and check on the other animals.

“We cut the fence open, got a rope on the horse and walked her through to the bales,” Barbara says. “No injuries and didn’t stress herself, and stood quietly waiting for hours for help to arrive.”

Noah Digs Out Mare 2After freeing the mare, Noah wanted to make sure that all of the other animals were safe too.

“This amazing young man dug a huge path to my hay bales so I could move it on a plastic sled during the bitter cold next week. He even found my turkeys and fed them on the way out,” Barbara adds.

Barbara tried to pay Noah for his fuel costs and all of the help he offered her and her animals.

“It thrills me that there are still amazing young people and I have immense gratitude for his help,” she says.

Noah didn’t want the money though. He asked her, and everyone who had offered to donate money after watching the story unfold, to donate the funds to help pay medical and travel costs of a friend who had been diagnosed with cancer.

Barbara has shared more information on her Facebook page here.

Categories: Local News