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


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!


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.


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.


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.  ;)


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.


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!


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.



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5 comments have been posted...

  1. Chris M

    I am so impressed with the love and affection all of you must have. Thank you for what you do–
    I have tears in my eyes and was greatly moved by your article. Thanks Dawn

  2. Bruce, Shirley Allen and Critter Kids Too

    Just got this from Dawn and had to just drop a note to THANK HER for the beautiful article that was “spot on.” It’s sort of unusual to have an article written with such love and every single thing just right. We want to THANK EVERY SINGLE PERSON that loves and cares so much for all the critters and that work so hard to make sure they are safe and well. It is always a double edged sword when babies come in because it hurts that they have to come off the range or be taken from horse Mom but they truly are a joy to raise and love and are such special little beings.

    Our Best To All,
    Bruce, Shirl and Gang

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