While buying a package of horse treats at Rod’s Western Wear last week, my eye chanced to fall upon a stack of flyers nestled in the big Western Stick-Style arm chair in the store’s foyer. It wasn’t anything fancy: Just a piece of 11 x 14 paper folded into thirds, obviously reproduced on a copier, complete with a cover photo of two young foals, one with a white blaze and one with a mostly-white face. It had the words “Last Chance Corral Foal Rescue 2005” printed over the photo of the young horses. I picked it up because I always pick up things like that; the funkier and more home-made, the better.
Inside the flyer were more pictures and the story of nurse mare foals, the by-products of mares impregnanted for the purpose of nourishing foals that are not their own. Fairly soon after birth, the still-nursing foals are separated from their mothers and the lactating mares are shipped to horse farms to provide nourishment for expensive sport horse foals. The sport horse mothers are also put back to work sooner since they have a wet-nurse to do the job for them.
So that leaves a spare foal floating around.
From what I’ve read, these “spares” are sometimes destroyed, sometimes sold for their hide, and sometimes sold in auctions. That’s where the Last Chance Corral finds their foals, at auctions and horse sales (see link in “links”).
LCC brings the foals home to nuture and raise. It takes a lot of work. Foals need contstant feeding and cleaning, tasks normally performed by the mare (I assume they need socialization, too, but I don’t know much about that). It’s 24/7 work for the staff, but they do it; saving, raising, and then seeing to the adoptions.
LCC needs stuff and they need $. I sent a check for $25 (I know; pitiful but so’s my personal cash flow) and I really want to visit.
I keep wondering: Could we keep a couple of foals in the back yard? They’re pretty small when young and we have a huge, fenced back yard complete with a shed that only holds the lawn mower and a few pieces of furniture. Couldn’t we just slip two in under the radar of city ordinances? Gosh, I mean, the back yard! I could go feed them and pat them, they could go into the shed at night, I could sleep in the shed with them, bring them hay, fresh water, their milk . . .
I joke. I wouldn’t do that to our neighbors. Sooner or later (probably sooner), flies would congretate and the aroma of horse dung would perfume our little corner of Mid-Century Modern. And it’s not what my husband bargained for.