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HopeFoal Project is a registered trademark
2010 Foals Arrive at MHP
They showed up at 5:30am, May 22 and are happy to be off the trailer! Click here to check out the pictures.
Find Sanctuary at Medicine Horse Program
We got an urgent phone call Thursday afternoon. Three foals were headed for slaughter in Mexico, and none of the horse rescues had room to take them.
Thanks to the quick action of Spring Creek Horse Rescue, Snowy River Animal Rescue, and the amazing volunteers and staff of Medicine Horse Program, three plain bay foals arrived at Medicine Horse Program Saturday around 6:00pm.
Because of the economy, thousands of pregnant mares across America are being "dumped." These are the Dump Horses of 2010. Sometimes they end up in an empty field or an empty horse trailer, sometimes on open space and sometimes at auctions, to be sent for slaughter. When the mares drop their foals, they are all put on the killer trucks, bound for the slaughterhouses in Mexico or Canada.
These three babies have traveled across the US, starting in Michigan, jammed together like cattle in a semi-truck with 90 horses.
The killer buyer stops at each auction, and picks up babies for a few dollars. They are sorted by age and color. The younger the foal, the more tender the meat, as veal varies from beef. The dark foals have a consistency of hide, so they serve two purposes: their carcasses for human consumption, and their hides for purses and belts. These three bay foals were headed for a purse factory in Mexico.
The little filly is part Arab. She was so sweet that the truck driver stowed her away in his trailer tack room, so she would not go on the killer truck. She rode in the tack room for some time, and was kind enough not to use the sheets on the bed.
The big filly, who looks like a Morgan, was still nursing on her mother at the auction. In the chaos of hundreds of frantic horses, they were separated. The mother went on the killer truck and the filly on the truck going to the purse factory. The filly threw herself on the ground and had to be prodded to move.
The Snowy River driver, Rope, chose the colt to save because he stuck his head out the slats of the truck and blew kisses to whoever would look his way. The driver nick-named him Lovebug, but I think we will call this big, strong colt Rope, in honor of the man who saved him.
Other rescues were too full to take these foals, so they called on us to help. Because this was an unplanned, emergency rescue, we are now calling on you for help. We need volunteers to help in the barn and the office while staff focuses on making these babies well. We need feed: Equine Junior. We need wormer: Ivermectin gold. We need yearling and weanling safety halters. We need feed buckets for them. We need grooming kits and tools. We need monetary donations for their shots, gelding and vet care. And most of all, we need your positive thoughts and prayers that these HopeFoals of 2010 can survive against the odds.
HopeFoal Fundamentals Class and Training Videos
The foals arrived just in time for the latest MHP HopeFoal Fundamentals class. Kathy has begun a series of videos to suppliment the class. Taming Wild Foals Lesson 1 and 2 are now available.
Click here to check out the training videos.
These are large files, so if you have trouble viewing them, the videos will be made available on DVD. Check back after the holidays for pricing and availability.
They showed up at 6:30am, Nov. 19 and look great! Click here to check out the pictures.
The 2008 foals are officially named: PJ, Lady, Robin, and Sparky, named by nationally renowned trainer Mark Rashid. Mark worked extensively with Sparky in his fundraising clinic. Thanks to the participants in the new HopeFoal Fundamentals class and the HopeFoal advanced class, this year's class of Premarin foals is progressing in amazing ways. Students in the Fundamentals class are responsible for preparing the foals for their induction in the HopeFoal Program, where they will be co-therapists working with at-risk teens.
Class work, under supervision of E.D. Kathy Johnson, assisted by Calyn Acebes, has ensured greater continuity in the training of the foals this year. This consistent, quiet work follows the guidelines in the Weanling Checklist, and we are proud to announce that the foals are ready to move on to the Yearling checklist.
PJ, the smallest of the foals, is coal black. He is one of the quickest learners. Coached by Emily Barnes, PJ halters and leads easily, stands to have his feet cleaned and is even trained to give kisses! PJ is part Arabian, and has an outstanding, flamboyant trot.
Sparky, the black and white colt, is making a great recovery from a bout with epiphysitis, also known as growing pains. This condition is fairly common in rescue foals who come into Medicine Horse malnourished. As they receive better care, they shoot up in size and sometimes tendons and bones cannot keep up with this growth spurt. Sparky has responded well to his diet and exercise program and is now one of the spunkiest of the foals. A half brother to PJ, he also is an elegant mover with three good gaits.
Lady is the herd leader. She is not afraid to take care of herself when the colts are rough housing. But she is kind and gentle around humans. She recognizes "her" people and is first at the gate nickering and asking to be petted. Fairly uphill, she moves in an efficient hunter fashion, and looks destined for English riding.
Robin is the stock horse of the group. Low set and wide bodied, she is a very fast sprinter. With her classic Medicine Hat coloration and her strong legs, she looks like she will be an athletic all around riding horse. Robin has advanced at amazing rates. At first shy and reserved, she is now one of the quietest of the foals and shows an innate willingness to please. She is a joy to train.
PJ, Lady, Sparky and Robin are all currently for sale, but will not be available until the end of the HopeFoal sessions in October. If you are interested in owning a HopeFoal, we are accepting down payments.
No words describe Nitro, our Halflinger friend. Nitro has been instrumental in gentling this year's group. Since he has been at Medicine Horse the longest and is most imprinted on humans, we use him as a role model for the rest of the group. He taught them to eat grain, he taught them to come in to be caught and he continues to help teach them to lead and to follow in a (semi) orderly fashion. Since Nitro is not a Premarin foal, he will not be available for sale or adoption and will remain at Medicine Horse as a program horse.
The HopeFoal graduates are growing up! Frisco is now 4 years old and is starting his career as a riding horse. He is started under saddle and in driving lines. Frisco is proudly owned by Myra Eby of MyChelle Dermaceuticals.
Blue is turning three and celebrated his birthday with a bath and glamour shots by our resident photographer, Tony Johnson. Blue is proudly owned by Kathy Johnson. He is a big colt, and is starting ground work in preparation for light riding in the fall.
Our great thanks go out to sponsor MyChelle Dermaceuticals. MyChelle not only sponsors the HopeFoals, but has become a Medicine Horse Sponsor in 2009, and helps support all of the Medicine horses and all five of our core programs. MyChelle has sponsored the HopeFoals for over 4 years and is responsible for saving the lives of so many of these wonderful Premarin foals.
MyChelle Dermaceuticals -
Adoption sponsor of the HopeFoal Project
For the last Hope Foal Update, click here.