Maddie’s senior picture with her, now grown, nurse mare foal from Last Chance Corral.
What happens to all those nurse mare foals? I wondered this myself and when I saw a photo posted on The Last Chance Corral Facebook page I asked if they would share their story.
The story starts sad – my daughter lost her first horse to placental abruption in her last few weeks of pregnancy. I didn’t know if she would ever ride again, or have another horse. We had gone to LCC as our community service project with our 4H club, and really loved the work they do there. After not finding a horse Maddie bonded with (as all things would be forever compared to her first horse), she decided she wanted a foal to raise as her own. We went to LCC on a cold Monday night in February 2011 and “Pickle” (as we call her in the barn) was their last foal. We sat in the hay and hung out with her for probably an hour, and Maddie said “look at her eyes – this is my horse.” She came home with us 2 days later.
My daughter loves music so she named the foal “That Sweet Sound” and had intended for her barn name to be “Musique.” But, whenever she would misbehave, Maddie would say “what’s your dill, pickle?” And, the name stuck. So, Pickle it is!
Maddie has worked with her every day in some capacity, and as a result she has a
Maddie with her nurse mare foal, Pickle, the first week at home…compare to the senior photo above!
virtually spook-free, gentle (albeit at times contrary) little filly. At about 16 mos old she took her in a halter class and place 3rd (out of about a dozen horses); since then, she’s placed in Showmanship 2-3 times in fun shows and county fair; and a junior horse class (walk/trot) at the county fair. With the vet’s go-ahead, she put her under saddle at 2 1/2…the horse never even bucked. She is stubborn and smart, though!
Maddie has done all the training herself (longeing, ground-driving, showmanship, under-saddle) - she has a trainer for guidance but no one else has ridden or handled the horse (other than turnout, and I have longed her). Pickle is now 3 years old and Maddie has her cantering, not yet pretty – but she’s responding to the cues and is on the correct lead about 99% of the time. We expect great things from her; Maddie wanted her to be a reiner, but right now she moves like an English horse, so we’ll see how she continues to evolve.
LCC does great things and these little foals that are “thrown away” have SO much potential…Pickle is proof of that. We love her and are SO blessed to have her in our lives, and she has had a powerful impact on my daughter’s life.
The Last Chance Corral does amazing rescue work with horses, both foals and adults. There are many ways that you can help.
- ‘Like’ them on Facebook-Spread the word-it could save a life!
- They accept volunteers to work at the barn
- they have a list of supplies (including foal blankets and how to order them) on their website http://lastchancecorral.org
- hay donation
- sawdust donation
- the website can accept cash donations
- they will be at Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio in April if you want to stop and talk, donate….or adopt:)
Victoria Goss with a nurse mare foal, one of the hundreds she has rescued over the years.
Last Chance Corral foal wrapped to keep warm.
One year ago today I met Jac. March 8, 2013.
I wrote a blog titled, “Roxy’s Last Foal…Jac” where I discussed Roxy’s death and how Jac was born.
In that blog I described my reaction to Jac’s arrival March 8th in the following words:
“No one was with me when I went into the barn. When I looked into the stall and was thankful he wasn’t her color. No one was there when my heart broke for the little horse that I refused to consider…because of my pain.
“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” says Kahlil Gibran. “It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility: For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen”
Looking into the stall….something broke inside me and I knew I needed to let Jac in. And Jesse (I think he knew this would happen) said later that night, “You know…you should ride him.”
One year and over 100 hours of riding later, I am thankful for the pain, the journey, the video’s, the comments, the support, the criticism, the encouragement and ultimately the understanding I have gained from all of it.
Here is a link to the pilot video.
Below is the first day I worked Jac, March 9th, the day after he arrived. You can see the date displayed in the video as I lead him out of the stall for the first time…ever…..And below that a video of Jac’s first ride in Roxy’s saddle; Coincidence or God-incidence?
Does Jac like Texas? It sure looks like it.
HIs first day was exciting. He was shocked when a group of horses came wandering down the road and stopped by to say, “Hi.” The way the stall barn is designed is GENIUS! Mike designed it and I will have to do more photos but basically the horse have large stalls that open into runs. The cool part is that the back wall of the stall completely opens into the run, or completely shuts them into a stall. Also the ‘run’ has an overhang. Photos of that later.
Yesterday, I went to ride and Jac was out in his run sleeping in the sun. I put the halter on but he was just content to sleep. Eventually he consented to a ride…he was very relaxed. Jesse video taped it and I will post it in the future.
I still really enjoy the ‘horse wildlife preserve’ feeling around her. Will all 200 plus acres fenced it is neat to go ride and find horses. It is also just plain fun to see what horses with the freedom to roam do. Trying to sneak into the barn is always high on their list of activities…this still surprises Jac when they do get in, lol.
Below is a video of what we frequently find when we come home. It was just getting dark and we came around a corner in the drive and…well, hit rush hour traffic in the driveway!
This question was posted as a comment under: Stacy’s Video Diary: Jac- Episode 23- Spurs, backing up, shoulder control and natural horsemanship
“So, at my horse collage we also do spiral out and spiral ins, but we do it with forward and leg and holding the contact. We do not sprawl our hands out as you did (would get yelled at for doing so). Why do you have you’re hands so far out if I may ask?”
There are several reasons why I keep my hands this wide in the beginning. The first reason is that hand position does change how a horse carries his head and neck which is reflected in his body. One of the reasons Jac looks like a dressage horse in many of his photos at a trot is the drive from behind and freedom he has in his shoulders. The freedom is a lot easier to get with my hands wide…at least until Jac learns how to carry the frame I am after. Then my hands will get closer together.
Wide hands also help to break two common rider errors; touching the neck with the indirect rein when counter-bending and crossing across the mane with the indirect rein hand.
On the surface these don’t seem to be a big deal. Who cares if the indirect rein touches the neck when you
If you don’t want to neck rein in the future you can ignore this message, lol.
counter-bend? Your horse cares.
If you touch the indirect rein to his neck, say the left rein, while pulling his shoulder to the right with your direct rein (the right rein) then you are telling him it is acceptable….which is fine unless you ever want a really well trained neck rein.
For a well trained neck rein, when the left rein touches the left neck, the horse should look and turn to the right. If you spend several months ‘touching’ the rein while counter-bending….you will at least double the amount of time it takes for you to teach the horse really polished neck reining.
Finally, crossing the mane with the indirect rein is generally bad form. If the indirect rein didn’t help move the horse when applied (touched) to the horses neck then it is time for the direct rein to do its job. Pulling harder on the indirect rein will only pull the horse out of position. For example, if requesting a turn to the right, the left rein would ‘request’ and if the horse failed to follow through the right rein or left leg would need to ‘make’ it happen. If the left rein is pulled harder you will generally see the head tipped awkwardly to the left….yes, the horse may go right but with poor form. Not something I want to practice.
I also cover this topic, while mounted in video, in my Basic Body Control DVD available on my website.