Iron Man, the Rescued Mustang Foal and His Baby Buddies! Our June Bucket Fund!






JUNE ’10 BUCKET FUND, IRON MAN AND HIS BUDDIES AT LRTC

Have you all heard about Iron Man already?  Oh, this story just tugs.  I cannot turn my back on babies.

OK, here goes.  I’m going to tell it as best I can from an interview with Shirley Allen (Foster Mom) and several emails I’ve received regarding this little band of survivors.  If I’ve gotten any of this wrong, please let me know!

PRELUDE

There are a few bands  of mustangs in Nevada.  When something is wrong in the field and a horse needs attention, or when a mustang in a BLM holding pen needs special fostering, often the BLM will call LRTC (Least Resistance Training Center) in Stage Coach, Nevada.

LRTC

Least Resistance Training Concepts (LRTC) is a non-profit corporation founded by Willis and Sharon Lamm of California for the purpose of researching and sharing humane and effective techniques for gentling and training horses, mules and donkeys.  LRTC evolved to add The Wild Horse Mentors project which is an idea that was first conceived by the LIFE Foundation, the “Wildhorses” Internet Group and the Kickin’ Back Ranch (KBR). The goal was to develop a corps of wild horse enthusiasts who could help new wild horse and burro adopters by sharing their skills and knowledge, or who could assess situations and make referrals so that adopters can find the help that they need.

As the concept matured, a non-profit corporation called Least Resistance Training Concepts (LRTC) was formed to administer the Wild Horse Mentors, become a legal Volunteer Service Organization to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and an authorized adoption agency for the State of Nevada Comstock Wild Horse Program and for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

IRON MAN

So, that is how LRTC was called several weeks ago.  You see, there was a report of a deceased mare and a wandering foal who had attached himself to the band stallion.  The stallion was doing his best to protect his baby, but unfortunately, no other horse was providing milk.  It was deemed best to go find the youngster and administer to him before he perished.

A lovely group of do-gooders mounted up (via car and horse) to go find this baby.  No easy feat…  But, they did!  The strong baby was keeping up with the stallion, even as strangers approached and the stallion kept the herd moving.  (First four pics show group looking for baby, sighting baby with the stallion, baby hooking up with Corey, walking baby back)

The rescue group decided to keep the stallion moving even faster so that the baby would tire and they could get him to attach to their horse instead of the stallion.  That worked, too!  Bittersweetly, the rescuers told me that the stallion made several good runs at them in an attempt to protect the foal.  Sigh.  So sad that they couldn’t tell the stallion that these humans were good…

As an aside, the rescue horse, Corey, was a previously wild mustang who is integral to these efforts. As you can see in his photos, he is alert and watching.  He knows his job and is a huge team member.

Finally, baby attached to Corey and the handlers helped move him to the awaiting trailer.  Once loaded, which was fairly easy, Shirley Allen staying in the trailer with the boy who soon would be named Iron Man.  The name fits since he was so strong to be out there without milk for 18 or so hours and because he was found near the Iron Mountains.

(In case you are wondering, it was determined that the mare passed from natural causes.  She had obvious signs of an issue with the birth…)

Once safe at home, Shirley administered to Iron Man out of her guest bedroom which has been transformed into the Foal Room.  Yup, she’s done this before…  In the Foal Room, Shirley has every type of whatever she might need, a microwave, refer and presently, a very curious baby!  The Allens have created this room for the babies because it has a little patio outside that they can section off.  So, the babies can go outside safely and also come in whenever they need to.

Entering the Foal Room has its advantages and disadvantages if you are a foal.  The good part is that you get food and a safe, warm and comfy place to sleep.  The bad part is that you have to wear a diaper.  Shirley wanted to devise a way to have the foals inside during the night so she could sleep but still feed them easily when they needed it.  (Shirley a fibromyalgia sufferer, figured this was the best way for her to help the babies.)  But, the indoor aspect of a foal left a few things to be desired.  Shirley came up with an ingenious idea for whenever they took ‘that’ stance inside the house.  She crafted baby horsey diapers out of Depends.  Clever!

Here are pics of Iron Man in the Foal Room.  He sniffs out the good stuff, wrestles with the dog to get his nose in there first, looks out the window and wakes up Mom when he is hungry at night.  Shirley says that he nudges her very gently or softly sucks on her when he needs food.  She says he isn’t aggressive.  He is a very good boy!  She also says that he is very bright and figured out that water came from the hose almost instantly!

Once Iron Man was deemed stable enough to go outside, he met up with the other animals on the farm.  First there was the sheep… and then there was the Llama, Larry.  According to Shirley, Larry thinks Iron Man is his baby!  They get along great!

Shirley says that Iron Man is calm, laid back, smart as the come, sweet and a huge snorer.  ;)

THREE MORE…

Now we fast forward a week.  It seems that the BLM, with all the foals from the new roundup being born in holding pens, there are some issues.  So, they called LRTC to see if they could pick up three more foals that needed assistance.  Well, of course!  The Allens went back and rounded up the three new foals.  Instant buddydom!  All of them took to each other like fish to water.

Obviously, the Foal Room would not work for so many youngsters.  And, since the new foals were slightly older than Iron Man, it was decided to build a shelter outside.  They carved out an area and began with a temporary blue tarp facility.  That was worked very well.  As you can see, all the babies have their own winter coats for the cold Spring night in Nevada.

AND ANOTHER!

A few days later, the phone rings yet AGAIN!  This time the BLM asks the Allens to come get one more filly.  Her Mom was bagged but milk was not flowing readily.  The BLM would check after the mare but asked if the Allens could take the filly before any harm was done.  (I am not going to speak about the colt in the BLM facility that was lost the week previous to this filly being sent to the Allens —  except to say that perhaps he gave his life so that awareness would bring this filly to safety…).  They named her Ellie. (She is the second one in line in front of the TajMaHorse.)

Here you can see them all:  Ellie, Austin, Drew Boy, Bella and Iron Man.

Shirley said that when Iron Man saw the newbie Ellie, he immediately acted like Social Chairman and showed her the electrolyte water as well as all the other amenities in their new digs.  And, speaking of new digs, the Allens and friends built a new TajMaHorse for the 5 foals.  Nice!

BUCKET FUND

So, I don’t know about you, but I am deeply moved by those who help babies.  (Actually, I’m moved by all who help but I especially love babies.)  I think is it wonderful that the Allens devote so much time, energy, love and money to the Mustang cause.  I know the cost of replacement milk, electrolytes, food and all the other stuff certainly adds up.

So, for the month of June (my birthday month) the HORSE AND MAN DROP IN THE BUCKET FUND will be for Iron Man and his buddies at LRTC.  For those of you who are not familiar with the monthly Bucket Fund, please click here.  Basically, I feel that it is much easier to give a little amount anonymously than not give at all.  Therefore, if we all give a little ($5 each), it adds up, we can feel good about ourselves but we don’t have to give more than we feel comfortable giving individually.  So, today, June 1,  begins the Bucket Fund for the 5 little ones at LRTC.


Thank you for reading this…  Since LRTC is a 501 (c) 3, you can go to their page and donate on your own to get a tax deductible receipt, too, if you’d like.  Or, you can pass it onward and let others know, or you can donate with the button above.  I will show the amount we have collected throughout this month via the Bucket Fund page in the sidebar.  At the end of the month, I will send our group donation off to LRTC via Pay Pal and show you all the receipt!

And, last but not least, a video was created about these babies.  You can watch the video here via this link.

THANK YOU, EVERYONE!

HERE IS THE AWESOME VIDEO!  I’M SAD THAT ANY ANIMAL HAS TO BE IN A ZOO, BUT AT LEAST THIS ONE HAS ACQUIRED A SPECIAL TALENT! CLICK HERE.


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Let’s Go for a Ride on Zenyatta, shall we…?!






For those of you who are not aware of Zenyatta, let me give you the Cliff Notes.

First of all SHE — which is a big deal in horse racing —  remains undefeated in all of her 16 starts which ties that record with Cigar and Citation.  Wow.  And, this filly didn’t make her debut until November of her 3rd year, which is very late and almost unheard of in racing.  Good for them!  Finally, my favorite fun fact about Zenyatta, she was voted runner-up to tennis player Serena Williams  for the 2009 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. Wahoo!  You go, girl!

How did she get her name?  Well, that is another interesting story.  Zenyatta was purchased by Jerry and Ann Moss as a yearling for $60,000 at the Keeneland Sales in September 2005. She was named after Zenyatta Mondatta, an album by The Police, who were signed to A&M records by Zenyatta’s owner, Jerry Moss.

I think it is very cool that she is owned by one couple and not a syndication.  Although I know nothing about the the Mosses or their dynamic with their horse, the fantasy I have in my mind is that this filly is their baby.  I have an image that they know her personally and spend time with her.  Of course, I have no idea whether that is true or not… But, in this video, you hear a man’s voice asking Zenyatta to work for “Daddy”. I don’t know who “Daddy” is referring to, but the voice was sweet and loving.

Anyway, I need to be honest… I’m not a fan of racing for my own reasons.  You probably know them all and I don’t have to rehash them today.  Having said that, I cannot ignore such a stellar filly.  No matter what the industry does or makes people do or dictates that people should do… I cannot deny a lovely career and astronomical accomplishments.  She is quite the athlete.

OK, so onto the video.  Mike Smith, her jockey, strapped a camera onto his helmet for this training run.  The first part is just them walking out to the field with their catch rider, Freddy.   I think it is so funny that Freddy’s horse keeps looking back at Zenyatta with his ears pinned as if to say, “Hey, back off woman, quit pushing me!”

I also think it is quite impressive that Zenyatta and Mike start out at a gallop with their catch rider still attached.  That initial slow “just getting to the track” pace would send you or me into a dither.  Yet, Mike can still speak clearly and has all of his wind.  Just another day in the life…  Finally, Mike says, “OK, you can turn me loose, Freddy” and  OFF they go!

I also wanted to note that the camera hardly moves… this indicates how the jockey is holding his head.  Obviously, he is standing in his stirrups and remains evenly weighted.  Very cool.

Enough of my blahblah, here is a link to the video.  Enjoy the ride!

THIS IS THE LAST DAY OF THIS MONTH’S BUCKET FUND SO DONATE YOUR $5 FOR UNITED PEGASUS TODAY!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
If you want an update on the Bucket Fund or to donate, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)


Riding Warehouse
Your purchase with Riding Warehouse through this link helps the Bucket Fund!


Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
Please choose HORSE AND MAN, INC when you shop via Amazon Smile through this link.



HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!