Written by Lynn Paterson of Britsh Columbia, Canada
Two weeks ago, I was wandering around my yard with my tea in hand when something moving caught my eye just outside my back fence. It was a newborn foal, still unable to stand without toppling over. I looked around, and found no mom. A few of the wild herd males watched from a distance. I kept talking quietly to him and took pictures. Eventually a big stallion came over and pushed and nudged the little guy for a while, trying make him leave the placenta on the ground, but baby was staying close to the smell of mom.
Guess his papa decided it was best to kill him than leave him to die a slow death — these are wild ponies, after all. So, much to my horror, the big horse grabed the baby horse by the shoulders and snapped him around hard, trying to break his neck. Standing beside a pile of cut branches and behind a chain link fence I might add, I grabbed a long branch and screaming and cussing my head off, I whipped the huge stallion and, probably only because he had a poor grip on baby, the baby went flying away and flopped on the ground. I thought he was dead. The big horse swung back around and tried to stomp baby, so I whipped at him again to run him off. It worked and he and the waiting herd thundered off into the hills and I never did see mom.
The baby was not dead, but he was shivering and bleeding and going into shock. So I kept talking to him, thinking he was dying. Suddenly his whole body jerked hard and he stumbled to his feet and tossed his little head. Well, now I was in tears! How could I not do everything possible to help this tough little guy? I Googled “wild horse” and found a breeder up on Wild Horse Mountain Rd in Summerland, British Columbia. Her name is Shelly White…and she’s my hero.
In less than an hour, Shelly and her friend Lorraine arrived with a horse trailer, soft ropes and salve for his belly button, and they rescued the baby horse. He is now guzzling goat’s milk like crazy. Shelly’s nursing mare at the ranch is slowly but surely warming up to the little foal, so hopefully he will soon be nursing from her.
The foal, now named “Rocky Fortune,” has had his first visit to the vet, and had his plasma IV to jump start his immune system. He did not need stitches in his nasty shoulder wound; ointments and gauze wrap seemed to be be enough for now. Shelly says Rocky is already looking better and has grown and filled out in such a short time. Thank you God and Shelly for giving this baby a chance at life. See the rest of the photos
Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase