This past weekend I went with a friend to the Last Chance Corral Ranch, Athens, Ohio. We had seen the Facebook page and she has been looking for a new horse for almost a year. We talked about it, making the trip to see the foals and what they are doing. I will admit I was uneducated on orphan foals, many orphan foals, and how they became an orphan and the manager of the facility was nice enough to tell us the story.
The Thoroughbred horse association is very strict about their lineage and will only allow live cover of the mares. They do not allow for semen transplant the way other horse breeds, like the Quarter horse, Paint, Appaloosa breeds, allows. When a Thoroughbred mare has a baby that mare is shipped off to the stud farm right after the foal is born. The Thoroughbred farms do not allow a foal to be at the mother’s side when she is being bred. So the owner of the mare as a substitute mother who can provide milk for the new baby. In order to do that, they breed broodmares to anything they can, sometimes to draft horses, to produce milk for the new thoroughbred foals. The foals from the broodmare are separated and just thrown in a pen. Some of them die of malnourishment, lack of milk, and others are saved by places like Last Chance Corral.
Last Chance Corral starts picking up babies in January and normally has them until sometime in June when breeding season stops. When asked how far they go to pick up these babies we were told they go as far as three to four hours away, normally Kentucky, to save as many as they can. They would like to save more, but they have to give the little ones powdered milk and with the price being $150 a bag they can only save so many.
These babies were so cute. They are not allowed to be adopted out until they are healthy and can be shipped safely. Most of them go in pairs because they need the support they have become accustomed to since being abandoned. They do have foals who are more than a month old and are ready to go out on their own, who will be a great horse for someone.
Horses are no different than a dog or cat. They need to be rescued as well. If you are looking for something to have on your farm, are not planning to show it in a sanctioned show and do not need a registered horse, this is a wonderful way to go. These babies have no bad habits yet. They can be cultured, raised in your loving home and they can be trained by you.
Most people in the reining community know Stacey Westfall. She adopted two of the colts from Last Chance Corral and she is writing about it in her blog, http://westfallhorsemanship.com/blog/. It is a great way to get to know what she is doing and watch these colts grow, as well as see what she is doing with them. She has shown in the American Quarter Horse shows for many years and decided to adopt, giving two little ones a chance at a great life.
The Last Chance Corral posts pictures of all their available foals and you can fill out an adoption form before you head down to look at the foals. http://www.lastchancecorral.org/ Maybe you don’t have a place, but you want to help, they take donations as well. They said to go to their website and more information is available there.
I wish all the babies could be saved, but they can’t. Organizations like this are sure helping.
Have a great day. Stop and pay it forward today.