Nurse Mare Foal Bucket Fund Update – ALREADY!

Howdy Howdy!

This is so great!  I already have news and stories from Dream Equine Therapy Center about their Nurse Mare Foals who are our April Drop in the Bucket Fund the Heartbreak Kids.

(I case you missed the original post, it is linked here.)

To review,  in short, a nurse mare foal is the by-product of creating a nurse mare.  A nurse mare is an equine wet nurse.  Nurse mares are needed to nurse foals whose very valuable natural mother has been taken away to be re-bred.  The valuable mare’s  “more valuable” foal is moved onto the nurse mare.  The original foal of the nurse mare is outta luck.

DETC is a non-profit equine rescue that has stepped up to rescue and adopt out as many of these babies as they can house/purchase.  So, the April Bucket Fund is helping DETC with their efforts for the Heartbreak Kids.


The Director of DETC was able to round up a group of professional photographer (Charlotte Wildlife Photography Group) to take their chances at capturing those once in a lifetime images via a large group of baby horses.  The plan was to gather marketing photos for the adoption process and other print/internet mediums.

This gathering of the lenses happened on Sunday.  Can you imagine the awe and bumfuddlement of the non-horsey photogs during the beginning of the session?!  Imagine hanging on a fence just a few feet away from adorable, fledgling, wouldn’t make it without a human, orphaned baby animals.   And, to know that the reason all these babies were before them was because humans had ripped them away their mothers, before they had any chance of surviving on their own.

Inevitably, the babies stole the photogs’ hearts – not just for their adorable babyness, but because their existence was such a tragic human decision.

There was a huge emptiness. It permeated the air.  Yes, these babies were safe and going to survive — but it was obvious to all that inside these tiny horsey hearts, they were missing what Mother Nature had intended for them at this age – their dams.

One of the photographers said it best… “As people were preparing to leave, everyone had a similar look on their face…heartbreak…which was an emotion that most of the foals had in their eyes. It was important to remind everyone that time was of the essence to have photographs ready to assist in adoptions and rally everyone to work together to find homes for the foals.”

Very Sweet. The photogs all lined up... Ponyazzi.


I think these kind photographers caught some lovely images and I hope and pray that every one of these adorable and deserving foals finds a loving and forever home.

Maybe they will even steal YOUR heart!  If you’d like to donate to the Bucket Fund to support DETC in their efforts to help and home these orphans, click here!

If you would like to adopt one of these lovelies, all the photos and descriptions plus the application are here!


Swarmed by foals!


Milk moustache!


Beautiful Babies.


"It kinda looks like an udder..."

"I was going forward but I think I feel the urge to go right now"


Hardly any hooves touching the ground


A happy face... (Does that brown spot look like a rubber ducky to you?)

Pretty girl


All legs


I love the tongue - and the curly mane!

This is little Sarid. He was sick but now he no longer needs his feeding tube!

This is baby Armstrong... still in a stall with a feeding tube.



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10 comments have been posted...

  1. Matt Fragale

    Thanks, Terri. I heard that from one of the other photographers that was there, so probably not the best source. I was glad to see that he is off his feeding tube and is able to wander around on his own legs now! Hope to see him again soon and that he finds a fantastic home!

  2. Terri Stemper

    Just to clarify on comment of above post. Armstrong doesnt have strangles. He was malnourished when rescued and then stopped drinking. He has had a feeding tube and some other complications. Just wanted to clarify because when people hear the word strangles, they freak out and maybe would not adopt because of that. All the foals in this group are going on their 3rd week of quarantine and are doing well.
    I know Matt you are probably not aware of this, so just wanted to clarify. Thanks

  3. Linda Horn

    And then there’s the Nurse Mares, themselves. This is part of “horse industry production.” Three guesses where they’re sent when the “producers” are done with them … and the first two don’t count!

  4. Miss Jan

    I quit breeding horses in the early 90’s when the “slippery slope” started yes, that far back, you were beginning to doubt whether what you bred would have a safe secure forever home if you sold them. And I had a stakes-winning Arabian stallion himself son of a national champion and “Living Legend” with a flawless producing dam line as well (yeah I knew my stuff, no brag, just fact). Was I psychic? Clairvoyant? NO. I just paid ATTENTION to what was beginning to happen in the racing world, the showing world, and the pleasure horse world and decided NOT to bring any more babies into an uncertain and increasingly cruel world.

    As a result, no more foals and those I miss THE MOST. To think that this business exists and these sweet babies are thrown out by”the industry” like so much trash … well you know what most of the time I just plain hate people.

    I have lived a life with horses including many disciplines, many breeds, run my own show barn, taught lessons for years and I have to say – I didn’t have much involvement with racing and am ashamed to admit this nurse mare thing never ever came across my desk. I knew someone who raised nurse goats to help orphan foals and the goat babies weren’t ripped from nursing moms they just all became one happy and very interestingly diverse family – mom goats were trained to go up on their “blocks” so taller foals could nurse. I never, ever knew that this terrible nurse mare foal scandal went on and it makes me just sick (as if the racing industry hadn’t already sickened so many of us – I won’t even watch the Derby anymore, after Eight Belles and after the Barbaro tragedy). I did know of the PMU problem and my riding horse is a PMU baby all grown up VERY large and into his glorious spots from his Appy/TB dad’s crossing with his Belgian mama (I continue to try to locate and acquire his dam, too, she was one of about 1200 who came out of Canada in the “exodus”).

    Anyway on payday I will be contributing and only wish that I lived near DETC I would love to visit these wonderful babies and esp. give a hug and lotsa hope to little “Armstrong.”

  5. Kelly

    These babies break my heart. I know they are safe now but what about next year and the year after that? I detest the NMF industry. If had had the money and the facilities, I would take several of these adorable foals.

  6. Matt Fragale

    I have to say that this experience was an eye opener for me. It’s difficult for me to imagine that these beautiful little babies were of so little value to someone somewhere. I don’t know anything about horses or horse breeding at all, but it seems like there has to be a better solution than birthing foals and discarding them. I am glad however, that DECT is helping to save as many as they can. As I understand it though, there are a lot more of these babies than the few rescues of this type can handle and that’s heartbreaking.

    For anyone who is considering adopting, all of these foals were very sweet, curious and comfortable around people. I don’t know anything about horses, but they all seemed like they would all make wonderful companions and other than Armstrong who is struggling with strangles(?) and slowly improving, they all seem very healthy.

    On a personal note, in our short time with them, I did have a favorite. The little black/grey pinto with the curly mane and the tongue hanging out that is in Dwain’s picture above (I call him Jordan because he has his tongue out a lot, like Michael Jordan in his playing days) is an absolute joy. He loves people and I hope someone sees these pictures and takes him to a wonderful home soon where he will be well loved and have a happy life. I would sure love to hear from whoever does take him home (and I have some more lovely baby pictures of him that I’d be happy to share). You can reach me at the website address that I think will be in this post somewhere.

    So yeah… as the author suggested, I think those of us who came in not knowing about or having spent time around horses were all affected by the plight of these little guys and would like to help however we can. I wonder if I can convince my homeowners association that we should allow horses in the neighborhood? Hmmmm

  7. Linda Horn

    Beautiful shots of these sweet babies. I’ve fallen in love with Armstrong – such lovely eyes! “Wahoo!” is the perfect image of foal spirit. The four running together – with that striking bald-faced roan closest to the camera – is wonderful!

    “Milk moustache” would be perfect for a “Got Milk?” type ad for whatever product they’re using. Maybe “Good Milk!” to avoid copyright infringement.

    I wonder if they had newspaper coverage. If not, they could probably still get reporter on it. It’s amazing how many folks in my area didn’t know about our local equine rescue until they saw stories and photos in the paper. Also got a pickup in the Albuquerque Journal. Donations and volunteers ensued!

  8. peg

    You’ve done it—you got me to donate….
    Never have before..
    Not hard hearted,just broke,but I’ve scraped up some for these babies..

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