Monday, May 3, 2010

Orphan Foal Rescue

Sent: 5/2/2010 6:24:11 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Subj: Sunday's Orphan Foal Rescue

Feel free to cross post.
On Saturday afternoon a call was received about a dead mare with a foal near Cooney Spring behind Iron Mountain (northwest of Stagecoach.) The circumstances of the mare suggested that she might have been shot and some target shooters were heard in the area that afternoon. Michael Hettrick was on the scene and Mike Holmes and Daryl Peterson responded and determined that based on the way the horse had fallen that this relatively young mare had apparently died suddenly but there were no signs whatsoever that she had been shot. Nonetheless there was a young foal approximately three weeks old by her side. A stallion was protecting the foal so a decision was made to wait and retrieve the foal at first light on the following morning.
Michael and Mike located the foal the next morning, still being actively protected by the stallion. Volunteers responded to the incident location. Shirley Allen brought the LRTC trailer and I brought Corey, a BLM mustang that we use for range work. The idea was for the walking volunteers to quietly encircle the foal and stallion from a distance to separate them from the greater herd of horses. With this done I would distract the stallion with Corey while the volunteers secured the foal. In reality the stallion was having nothing to do with this plan and he would circle around the approaching humans and attempt to get back over to the larger body of horses.
The rescuers' strategy shifted at that point to one where the walkers would stay put and I would trail the foal and stallion on horseback until the foal got tired and fell back. This strategy worked as pretty soon the pace dropped from a trot to a walk, then the foal was content to walk alongside Corey. I was able to quietly drop a loop over the foal and we rested until the walkers caught up.
The volunteers then walked the foal back to the trailer, giving him time to rest periodically. With Corey close by the foal stayed pretty calm. He was loaded in the trailer with Shirley riding with him, and is presently recovering well at the Lucky Horse Corrals. In fact little "Iron Man," as he is presently called, has pretty much made himself at home at Shirley's, even coming into the house (into the orphan room) to wake Shirley up when he wants another bucket of mare's milk replacement. Needless to say he's now wearing one of Shirley's famous foal diapers.
Daryl will be out Monday to do estray paperwork on the foal. When the "Iron Man" is determined to be sufficiently grown and healthy, he will be available for adoption.
Here are some photos Sharon was able to take during the rescue. (Slide show presentation above!)This foal has distinctive markings. It would be helpful if any of you who have photographed the Iron Mountain horses in the past two weeks or so could see if you have a photo of this foal. He would most likely be part of a small band with just a mare and stallion. Earlier photos with known dates as to when they were taken will help us accurately age this foal.
":O) Willis

No comments:

Post a Comment