1,250,888 views: Last Chance Corral Nurse mare foals

I made this video at Last Chance Corral two years before deciding to adopt Presto.

I had visited Last Chance before but this time I stayed for 24 hours. During that stay, I knew I was gathering information for something I wanted to do someday: adopt a nurse mare foal.

I learned a lot of practical things during my short stay like how to mix milk and how to wash butts.

I also learned some emotional things like foals become depressed when they leave their moms this young and that they often sleep in small piles like puppies.

I’ve owned Presto now for four years. He has grown so much and I’m finally ready to start sharing his adventures ?
What questions do you have for me?
I’ll be posting daily from now till Monday and if you leave a question on one of my posts or blogs, I’ll be giving away a t-shirt to one winner! Thanks to Equithrive for sponsoring this!


  1. Sarah Wood on April 27, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Hi Stacy
    hope you’re doing ok?
    I have a question from the UK! How did you find out about the Last Chance Corral and do you think you will do more work with them in the future? They look like they are doing a truly wonderful job of raising all these babies! Thank goodness there are centres like this in the world 🙂
    Kind regards

  2. Cindy Thrasher on April 26, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    I have followed you, ever since your first trip to “Road to the Horse”. You are truly an amazing woman, at heart, soul, and riding with communication with your horse, I have never seen anyone with such flowing movement in sync with horse under them. Presto is a horse that will have the best training, love and communication skills, known to mankind. I know the reason you picked Presto, was truly a mind heart connection, if the other orphan foals, have a new owner with just a small percentage of you, they will be loved and cared for in the upmost respect

  3. Barbara Shell on April 26, 2020 at 9:58 am

    How did you deal with the foal’s depression and emmotional responses early on in your relationship?

  4. Cathy on April 25, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    I just love that you adopted a nurse mare foal and are sharing your experience with us. I have a supposed draft/paint cross that I suspect may also be a nurse mare foal. The story I was told was that he was an orphan and he came from that part of Ohio, so it is possible. His name is Jack, and I call him Jack the Jerk. He was absolutely atrocious on the ground as far as manners. It took six months to get him to stop trying to bite me. When I work him in the roundpen, I have to push him REALLY hard to get any sign that I’m getting through to him (i.e. licking and chewing, head lowering, etc). I once saw a Percheron mare grab the skin on his shoulder, bite really hard until it slipped out and made a big popping noise. He just stood there, like okay what’s next?? I half jokingly tell people that “he likes it rough”.

    My question is, is that just his personality, or could it be a result of being an orphan? You mentioned in your podcast that Presto is similar.

    Thanks Stacy!

  5. MICHAELA ISAK on April 25, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    Hi Stacy!

    I have actually been doing a lot of research on them since I lost my gelding to colic back in February. How did you know that presto was the perfect baby when you went? I honestly have so many questions regarding nurse mare foals and you are the perfect person to answer everything because I know you will do a great job with everyone elses questions as well! Can’t wait to stay updated!

  6. Kim Kelly on April 25, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    Hi Stacy,

    I really don’t know anything about nurse mare foals so I’m excited to learn about your journey with Presto. I do know that foals need social interaction with other horses and that these foals being handled and fed by humans can have quirky psychological issues. What types of things did you do to help Presto develop psychologically? Did he have a friend to run and play with or another horse to learn from?

    Thank you,

  7. Jean Warhurst on April 25, 2020 at 10:19 am

    Hi Stacy
    I have a couple of questions.
    Picking Presto–Would this have been the same weanling that you would have picked 15-20 years ago?
    Training Presto–Would this have been the same way that you would have trained him 15-20 years ago?
    Thanks you.
    PS–I listen to your podcast while cleaning stalls. I love cleaning stalls but this makes it even more enjoyable!

  8. Joy MillerUpton on April 24, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    While I love the idea of bonding with a horse, how did you balance that necessary connection with Pesto as a foal with him learning to “be a horse?”

  9. Douglas Westfall on April 24, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    This is Douglas Westfall, National Historian.

    What is your connection with horses? I find that yours is remarkable.
    I have a friend up in LA who uses horses to help with emotionally disturbed kids. Yet I have a former intern who does horse therapy — for the horses. Which both of course is remarkable.

    Yet you Stacy, you have a different connection with horses.

    So my question for you: what is it? What’s that connection?

    I’ve always had a connection with animals. Remember when that dog came into your grade school classroom? It always slept under my desk. You know how the birds scatter at a park? They don’t with me.
    Between my youth, four adult children and five grandchildren (three of whom have lived with me), I’ve raised everything from salamanders and iguanas, to rabbits, guinea pigs, pigeons, wild mice, snakes, etc.
    Once after giving a lecture at a large Civil War Reenactment, I was talking with a group. Suddenly someone pushed me in the center of my upper back. I turned and there was a horse. Scratching his nose, I noticed a full-dress CW officer racing across the field yelling, “I’m Sorry! He never does this. I don’t know what happened…”
    When he arrived, I just told him, “This happens all the time.”

    Best Always, Douglas

  10. Jennifer Spencer on April 24, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    How did you make the decision to choose Presto out of so many darlings?

  11. Rachel on April 24, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing Presto’s journey online, can’t wait to see more about him.

    Did you have any specific goals in mind when you chose him? Did your goal(s) change as you watched him grow and develop in mind and body?

  12. Lynette Schmidt on April 24, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    My comment is Im guessing you are looking for how the one you like is put together physically and how they play with their mates in order to choose. How do you take just one ? Such emotions tied to this . And how do you explain to people who are not professional trainers the importance of setting aside the emotions to do the job that is required to make this horse a good citizen? I have noticed when animals are rescued the person that did this tends to allow bad behavior bc they feel sorry

  13. Amy in WA on April 24, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    I think each and every opportunity to reflect teaches us something huge about how we are different or better now than we used to be. Looking back and knowing who he is now, if there was anything you could tell your past self about what you could do better for him and for you to make an even stronger bond or more trainable horse, what would it be?

  14. Cassie on April 24, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Stacy!
    I am curious how you chose Presto from such a large selection, but my question is this: Do you feel a stronger emotional connection or feeling, with the horses you then choose, or is it not a part of the decision?

    Thank you for your steadfast guidance.

    • Suzy on April 24, 2020 at 4:38 pm

      I would love to learn more about where he is at with his training. What challenges have you had with the difference in his breed compared to quarter horses. Or just in his personality being raised by humans instead of horses.

  15. Cindy Lindberg on April 24, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    What a beautiful solution, for Presto to come into the life of such an amazing person. What a beautiful learning experience Presto will teach such a willing learner.

    • Maegan Kirklanz on April 24, 2020 at 8:42 pm

      Hello! I’ve loved hearing snippets about Presto in your podcast and can’t wait to learn more about him! My question(s) is were there challenges with him missing some basic body language cues that he would have learned from his mother? Did he have any issues learning personal space and boundaries due to his upbringing by humans? Thanks again for all you do to help educate all of us!

  16. Jackie Terzolo on April 24, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    It is my long term goal and dream to adopt 2 of their foals to be my lifelong compainions someday. When I was growing up we raised an orphan foal from the time she was 6 months old until she was 4. A favorite mare at Freedom Village passed away after giving birth to Miracle. They had tried to include her with another mare and foal they had, but she ended up getting bullied by the colt. We were then offered the chance to raise her. We had a steady eddy gelding at home who taught her the ways of being a horse. My mom studied John Lyons principles and trained her herself. She was a wonderful mare and had excellent manners. Yet, when it came time for my mom to sit on her back, she didn’t feel that she had done enough training, so we donated her back to Freedom Village.

    One question I have always had is how do you find the confidence to swing that leg over the back of your one time foal after spending years by their side? I have listened to your fear vs. danger podcast many times and I believe both are at play with this question. I guess I’m just wondering how you handled this with Presto, especially since you have commented on how he handles his spook.

    P.S. Freedom Village kept us informed on what Miracle was up to. They said she was a very well rounded and well trained horse and that my Mom had done an excellent job. They were riding her a week after we dropped her off.

  17. Lisa on April 24, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Hi Stacy,

    I adopted three foals from the Last Chance Corral in March just before the pandemic mayhem went into full force. I am immensely grateful we were able to make the trip.

    I’m also grateful for the opportunity to LEARN! These three are completely different from one another, ranging from their personalities, to the way they move their bodies, to their ‘spook’ reactions. Literally, one runs away, one stands and observes and the third moves towards the ‘scary’ thing. I’m also impressed with how quickly they learn! Early on I used your ‘chicken wing’ moves to teach them not to crowd when I enter their stall with the milk bucket. It worked like a charm!

    I’ve got two older geldings who are teaching lessons of their own. The quarter horse is smitten with the foals…the Morgan…not so much!
    As you can imagine, the foals steer clear when the grumpy Morgan makes his way over to their fence line, yet it’s a ‘love fest’ with the other guy. It’s all so fascinating!

    My question to you about Presto is:
    Can you compare/contrast Presto (his personality, his behavior w/you and around your horses), as well as his learning process/style, with other foals that you have raised? As an orphan foal, are there any stand out differences?
    I KNOW….a lot in this one question.

    I Hope to travel from Maine to one of your clinics at some point in the future.
    Thanks so much!

    • shelly Flora on April 24, 2020 at 5:48 pm

      My question to you Stacy is. What made you pick Presto? What were you looking for?

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