Stacy Westfall adopting a nurse mare foal from Last Chance Corral!

2 week pregnancy check ultrasound on our mare

2 week pregnancy check ultrasound on our mare

Today has officially gone to the ‘babies’…foals that is. I started my day with a trip to the vet to confirm that my husbands favorite mare was in foal. I’m happy to announce that she is! For us this is exciting news because my husband Jesse excels at matching broodmares and stallions to produce OUTSTANDING horses. He has successfully planned breedings that have resulted in multiple reining champions on all levels. These horses have also been good solid citizens in the equine world. I am thankful that there are people out there like my husband who really have an eye for improving horses both in ability and mental soundness.

I’m also thankful for my husband because he agreed that I CAN GET A BABY! To be more accurate, a FOAL from Last Chance Corral! I’m excited but I have to admit a bit nervous too. 

I have never raised an orphan foal and there is a good chance I will soon have two. I have read the requirement page numerous times and then I made it official by giving them a call and doing my phone interview. It felt like I was back in high school prepping for a test, nerves and all! 

I’m happy to report that I passed my interview. It probably helps that I have had steady contact with them for several years and have pretty good references in the horse world, lol! They are serious about sending in photos of your fencing and facility which I also passed. I have to admit that it makes it easy when you are living in a motor home and can park your ‘house’ as close to the barn as you want! I think I will move it so my bedroom window lines up with the foal window…is that going too far? It will be like sleeping in the barn but with a few extra luxuries.

This will be a whole new learning curve for me for several reasons, the biggest two being 1) our foals had their moms and 2) we knew their family members as well. Our toughest foal issues before this have been the actual birth and the initial bonding process. With maiden mares this was a bit of a challenge but after that they were pros. This foal won’t have a mom….which means I will be mixing a bunch of formula! I have mixed formula when I was visiting Last Chance but I have to admit that this is feeling a little like prepping my house for my first child to come home from the hospital. I have bought my bag of Buckeyes Mares Milk and read those instructions numerous times. I’m also officially stalking the Last Chance website for info and to look at the babies but that’s another story:)

 It will also be strange for me to have a foal that is more like a stranger. All of our foals prior to this have been out of mares that we had ridden for years. We knew the mare and most of the time knew the sire pretty well too. The advantage of knowing the sire and dam is that quite often the foal has a familiar feel. With some of our foals it has seemed like I knew what they were going to do before they did! With this new foal…or foals…I won’t have any of that knowledge. It’s kind of exciting in a different way!

I have always loved training horses to reach their highest personal potential. Sometimes that has been a mini horse learning to be a valuable member of society and other times that has been a reining horse reaching for the top of the game but in each case it was what the horse had for potential. Getting this foal (or foals) will likely involve a life outside of reining…depending on who I pick. And yes, I do keep saying ‘foal’ or ‘foals’ as per the Last Chance Corral website. 

If the babies are very young they adopt them out in pairs. Some of the older ones can go as singles. This one fact has probably driven me crazy more than any other. After spending time at Last Chance I can completely see why they go out in pairs. It decreases depression and increases success rates…something they have learned over their years of doing this.

I keep telling myself that I can raise two and then pick one to sell and one to keep…but I’m terrible at selling horses! I always keep them until I find the perfect home. So my big dilemma is picking either an older foal that can go as a single or a pair of younger foals. I have to admit that both have their advantages and disadvantages. I can feel another sleepless night on its way…

Please leave your advice in the comments. I really do read them. Especially on this post when I’m already going to be up stalking (I mean looking at) Last Chances website all night anyway.

How would you pick?

How would you pick?

77 Comments

  1. Carol L on June 16, 2016 at 10:51 am

    How wonderful Stacy! I too, have looked and looked at all the babies on the website and I dream of adopting from LLC. So happy you are doing this and I cannot wait to read the baby blogs! You are and will continue to be, an awesome ambassador for LCC. Bless you and looking forward to hearing more.

  2. Kelly Keays on June 4, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Congratulations Stacy! It says a lot about your character that you are adopting. I pray that your new little ones bring you immeasurable joy. I’m glad to see Last Chance Corral and nurse mare goals getting attention…

  3. Frances on June 4, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Just a tip, and this depends greatly on your area, but Milk Replacer and Transition products that are of good quality and specifically made just for foals can be hard to find. I’m in Indiana, not far from a large town, and the only stuff I could find in stores was a generic replacer made for ‘every species’. Check out your stores well before you get the little one(s). I’ve ordered from Cheshire Horse twice now because they are the only one’s that carry Mare’s Match products at a reasonable price. Hope this was useful!

    • Stacy Westfall on June 4, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      That would be tough! Thankfully Buckeye Nutrition makes a great product that is available around here. I’m interested to see how long a bag will last…they sure do like it! How old are your foals now?

  4. Patsy24 on June 4, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I am quite literally dying to know the outcome… who chose who? What happened? They are all so cute

  5. Cheryl Harless on June 4, 2016 at 6:19 am

    Stacy,

    I’m tickled pink that you will be taking on this challenge. As other people have said, let the foal(s) pick you! You can handle it all. You are already a great Goodwill Ambassador for Last Chance. (I know because I found out about them THROUGH YOU! and have shared their story many times since.) I have no doubt that you will be an asset just by being and doing “You”. Enjoy the journey, leave the worries behind.

    You’ve got this!

  6. Nicky on June 3, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    I’d recommend saving two! Twice the good deed 🙂 May I suggest Scarlet Begonia? I was out earlier in May for a week, volunteering, and fell in love with this sweetie pie. I don’t have the means to adopt at this time, but would love for her to be one of the ones going to a GREAT home.

  7. Lindsay on June 3, 2016 at 6:00 am

    Great news!!! I knew the minute I saw my filly on the site it was meant to be!! She was two weeks old and we brought her home with about six others. I names her Blush. She was a very quiet and easy going baby. Although we have had our issues with respiratory infections, vitamin deficiencies etc I still love her and its been wonderful. I’ve never owned a foal or started a horse from scratch. Needless to say we learned together. She is now 5 and her 2nd year under saddle. Taking it slow and just walking and trotting and getting our basics down. I would do it again but planning a wedding and kids of my own makes it rough. I am happy with the one orphan foal i own now. Good luck to you!!!! You will be great!!!!!

  8. Heather Scruggs on June 2, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    I just adopted two foals from there last month. Like you I stalked their website for years before I felt I was ready to do this. I’m not going to lie it’s a lot of work but it is totally worth it. I am so in love with these babies. I have not moved my house right next to the barn but my daughter has slept in the stall with them on a few occasions (would have been more but she broke her arm so I said no). Just like raising kids it takes a village. You can do this

  9. Nikki Fairbanks on June 2, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    I am probably not a good person to ask as my horse was rescued from a feed lot. when she was rescued I was told she was belly deep in manure with dead baby horses all around her. The ranch went bankrupt and instead of asking the court to allow them to sell the horse cheap to breeders or horse people, off they went to the feed lot. All the babies were ripped off of the moms and the adult horses went to slaughter. At that time in California they could not sell baby horses for that purpose and all they had to do was give them water. They were not even required to feed them. I got her when she was 11 month old from the woman that had them brought up here. When I got her she had strangles, sleeping sickness and was a mess. When the farrier came and did everyone’s feet he burned everything he wore as not to spread it to other horses. He even disposed of his tools. My baby girl turned 25 yrs old on May 13th. I would say take them all but that is not practical. You have experience with foals at all different ages of their life. There is advantages no matter what you choose. The older ones are more socialized and are really forming their personalities. The younger ones would have each other for company and comfort. They would have the little buddy system and probably learn things from each other (no bad habits allowed). The only down side to that is separating them when they are older by selling one 🙁 I know with soul searching and weighing the pros and cons of both you will make the best decision for yourself and the lucky baby/babies.

  10. Tara on June 2, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Hmm that is a hard pick…Maybe one of each color, one of each gait, seriously , Congratulation to you and whatever four legged baby you adopt ?

  11. Dawn Allen on June 2, 2016 at 8:44 am

    excited to follow this adventure and see what you can do with a Diamond in the rough or two!

  12. Emmanuelle Treil on June 1, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    I say pick 2 ! I am hoping to do it next spring as well. Right now I am focusing on taking care of 4 babies that I rescued from a feedlot in Colorado last year : a two and a half months old motherless foal, 2 yearlings and a 3 year old. I did not know them either and that is the fun part, getting to know them, they are all different and wonderful in their own ways. The youngest one who came on the feedlot without a mom is a dream, she loves people and is very bold and happy, it is so much fun to get them so young, you will love it ! Good for you for doing it, I have to try hard not to do it this year but I need to give all my time to those 4 babies who could have gone to slaughter.

  13. Rosie Wynne-Meador on June 1, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    How very wonderful that you are adopting from Last Chance Corral! A top notch organization! I’m for the “adopt two” option. Mainly because those two foals will fill your heart twice as much as one would. (You really can’t argue with that reasoning!) I hope to one day put an end to the nurse mare farming industry. If we all join forces, our voices will bring about change. It is illegal to sell puppies and kittens before they are 8 weeks old… the age at which they are able to be weaned from their mothers’ milk. FOALS DESERVE THIS SAME LAW! I have started a page to raise awareness and gather support to create such a law for nurse mare foals. Join me at Nicky’s Law… named after my own orphaned nurse mare foal I adopted seven years ago. Together we can be a voice for those that have none.

  14. Laura Hurr on June 1, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    131…thats a keeper

  15. Lisa Mumy Smith on June 1, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    I’ve been watching the tall, long legged bay foal for a while. Nice mover, flat knee, balanced and seems easy going. That’s my pick ???

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