Is there anything cuter? Rescued BLM babies in diapers. OMG.

(Bowing my head in a silent prayer for Japan.)

I’ve spoken about Shirley Allen before.  She is the wonderful lady who rescued IRON MAN, the Mustang foal whose mother had died on the range and little Iron Man was standing next to her with the Stallion.  IM needed food and water so the lovely people from Least Resistance Training rounded themselves up and went out to find him… The rest is history.  Here is the link to the story.

Iron Man, one of the foals Shirley saved last year... too cute!

Shirley was also the woman who was behind the scenes, coaching Palomino how to care for the very sick BLM foal, Honey Bandit (linked here).

Suffice it to say that although Shirley would never boast of her skill, she is a Wonderfostermommy when it comes to BLM foals.  She is so trusted, that the BLM will call Shirley when they have an orphan foal or a foal who is not thriving.  Shirley and her husband go pick up the baby and nurse it back to health.  She is nearly always successful.

But, to be successful with baby horses, one needs to feed them every 1-3 hours.  Yikes!

To remedy this inconvenience as best as possible, Shirley rigged up her guest room as a Foal Room.  It is totally safe for them, has all of their medicines and needs (even a microwave) and the best part – a bed for Shirley.  So, she can sleep inside (much better than a cold barn) with the babies and wake up when they wake her.


But the genius of Shirley’s Foal Room is the dress code.  All babies who enter this room must wear a diaper – the adult human kind.  All Shirley does is cut a tail hole and that’s it!  Usually, the first application has the foal a bit perplexed, but after those few moments, business as usual!

Today, we are going to talk about the NEWBIE THREE!


I don’t want to steal the limelight from our JUNKYARD 4.  But while we wait for Red and Tucker to heal, Glory to foal and Faith to gain weight, I thought we could turn our attention to these babies who need a boost.

Shirley and the foals could use a little help with pedialite, foal food, foal medicines, diapers and the anti-biotics for the various understandable sicknesses that arise when a horse baby has the stress and hardships of no horse mother.

So, the NEWBIE THREE will be our first-ever Mid Month Tiny Bucket Fund recipients.

Meet Miss Sassafrass (Sassy), Valentina (Tina) and Ruby!


Miss Sassafrass came into the Foal Room in the beginning of January.  This is a very early date for a Mustang to foal…

Evidently, this baby came from one of the mares saved by Madeleine Pickens during that huge rescue of the Paiute Indian horses.  When the dust all settled in the huge corral of mares, this little baby was standing by herself in a corner and the rest of the mares had turned a back to her.  The BLM tried to figure out which mare had just given birth but time was running out.  So, they called Shirley.

Sassy exploring

Sassy still had her little newborn feathers on her feet when Shirley took her home.  Obviously, she hadn’t been using her feet much or those would have worn off.  So, Sassy was a newborn with not much nursing.  She needed colostrum and quick care.  And, that’s what she got!  But, not only nutrition, Sassy got loads and loads of love, plus a new blanket!

Sassy in her new blanket

Here is what Shirley had to say about Sassy’s first days in the Foal Room:

“Sass was a little bit of a roller coaster baby, up one day, down the next with no real symptoms of anything we could pin point but she did run a low fever for a few days and we of course treated her for infection but again no real signs of cold or injury, nothing we could say “that’s what it is” and take off with treatment. Sometimes with the newbies that have not been on a horse Mom, just need constant care and time and patience until all systems are go. She had a mark on her back (could have been stepped on or bit) when she came in and so we worked very, very gingerly with liniment and light massage on her spine and neck. She was stiff walking and is still a little slow but now takes moments of running and bucking so that too will just have to get well with time and care. She went through a few days of not wanting to eat or drink and that worried me to death but we stayed with it giving her food and water with syringe every two hours and after a couple of days she started to perk up and drink on her own again. We are still on about every 3 hours feeding as she just turned two weeks old yesterday. She will eat mush by herself and drink water (loves her Pedilite) BUT will ONLY take her milk “gruel” from syringe for now. She will start to eat independently soon and is already munching on little bits of grass trying out her new grinders.”

The family dog doing his foal duty...



Valentina was brought in on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, of course!

Tina: Three day old BLM orphan

Again, another baby out of a Paiute Mare who was injuring during the roundup and couldn’t take care of her new foal.  Here is what Shirley had to say about Tina’s arrival:

Yum! (Note Tina's blaze that reaches her right eye.)

“Picked her up this morning, 2-14-11.   Mike called at 6:30 and I went to pick her up. She’s 3 days old. Little skinny minny so we are eating small amounts every hour or so. She’s already figured out where the milk is kept though and chortles when she’s hungry. It will be fun for Sass to have a playmate when Valentina is old enough to get out there. Changed her name to ValenTINA (from Valerina) so I can call her Tina for short.”


This pictorial of Sassy and Tina is so perfect!  I have to share it!

Sassy pouting after Tina arrived

Sassy won't go near her and pouts in the corner.

After a while, Sassy becomes curious...

Buddies! Sharing a meal...


Ruby was found by some ATVers in the Pine Nut Range of Nevada.   She was laying in sagebrush.  The bikers tried to find a herd but saw nothing.  One stayed with the baby while the other went for help…  Here is Shirley’s story for tiny Ruby:

Foster Dad trying to convince Ruby that she needs her eye medicine!

“She doesn’t look like it in the pics but Ruby’s butt is so small even the small Depends fall off, have to use a paperclamp to keep her diapers on.  We’re aging her at about 3-4 days old when she came in. She’s a little BLM girl.  Daryl Petersen with NDA was called and he contacted the appropriate parties at BLM. Since Daryl was there he went ahead and looked for her herd also but no luck so he called and brought her in that afternoon. Ruby has an eye injury on the left and may have been the reason she didn’t keep up with her herd. She’s a healthy girl but was starting to run on empty and the eye injury was bad enough that by the time Daryl was able to get her to us, it was almost shut and draining. We’ve treated it and today it is looking much better, she has opened it and it is no longer draining but it does have a cloud at the bottom of her iris. She seems to be able to see but we will be watching and treating it for some time it looks like. It may be a scratch from sage brush, cataract with injury or bump from who knows where but all in all she is a VERY active at this point, healthy baby girl with an appetite that’s out of this world. She’s taking her bottle (yipee !!) eating every hour and half to two hours and trust me, she already gets me up and lets me know it’s time to EAT! day and night. As you can see, she could almost be a Tina twin.”

Here are Tina and Ruby in the Foal Room. They look like twins!


I got really confused when sorting these photos.  Tina and Ruby look almost identical.  The only way I could tell was by the right eye.  Tina’s blaze goes down to her eye whereas Ruby’s does not.  And, they have different white socks – but they both have white socks.

This is Ruby. Her blaze doesn't reach her right eye.

I know it was touch and go with Ruby because she contracted a yeast infection in her mouth shortly thereafter.  But, she is doing better now!


This is the newest update from Shirley:

“We now have little stair step horse kids. Sass is a big girl of almost 3 months and has her own apartment now in the
Taj Mahorse (outside lovely shelter they built for last year’s foal crop). She is a very healthy and happy girl. Tina is almost a month and is outside (in good weather) and still in at night but is really growing and won’t be long until she moves into the “apartment” with Sass. They are GOOD buds now and Sass is definitely “big sis.” Now to get Ruby strongly on her feet, heal her eye injury and then – as it always goes – she will be “buds” with the girls outside too.  She and Tina already get along pretty well so when Ruby transitions it should be just fine.”

Sassy and Tina enjoying the fresh air.



I have a soft spot for broodmares and babies…  Do you?

If you feel the desire to help these foals get a firm handle on life and a strong constitution, please click on the button.   Besides, these pictures are so darn cute, it is worth a little donation, right?!  Thank you for your good thoughts, prayers and help.

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Only one comment so far...

  1. Mimi Foxmorton

    Oh. My. God.

    THAT is TOO, TOO perfect.
    And coming from one who just changed a goat for seven weeks!

    Oh please, I MUST share this!

    Of course, now your challenge is to find Foal Onesies!


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