KBR Wild Horse and Burro News
  Another horse in the house!
May, 2010
The Rescue of
Little "Iron Man"

Note: This feature now merges with the feature on the Indian Lakes Foals.

On the afternoon of Saturday, May 1st a call was received about a dead mare with a foal near Cooney Spring behind Iron Mountain (northwest of Stagecoach.) The circumstances surrounding the mare such as the way the horse had fallen, that the mare was relatively young and target shooters were heard in the area that afternoon gave concern that we had another horse shooting.
The dead mare.
Michael Hettrick was on the scene and Mike Holmes and Darryl Peterson responded. After closely examining the mare Homes and Peterson determined there were no signs whatsoever suggesting that she had been shot. Nonetheless there was a young foal approximately three weeks old by her side. It was late in the day and a stallion was protecting the foal so a decision was made to wait and retrieve the foal at first light on the following morning.

Sunday morning Michael and Mike located the foal that was still being actively protected by the stallion. Volunteers responded to the incident location. Shirley Allen brought the LRTC trailer and I brought Corey, a BLM mustang that we use for range work. The agreed upon strategy was for the walking volunteers to quietly encircle the foal and stallion from a distance to separate them from the greater herd of horses. With this done I would distract the stallion with Corey while the volunteers secured the foal.

Volunteers hiking out to where the stallion and foal were located.
It turned out that the stallion was not going to have anything to do with this plan and ended up circling around the approaching humans as he attempted to get back over to the larger body of horses.
The foal following the stallion.
At this point the rescuers' strategy shifted to one where the walkers would stay put and I would trail the foal and stallion on horseback until either I could get between the foal and the stallion or the foal got tired and fell back. This strategy worked as pretty soon our pace dropped from a trot to a walk, then the foal was content to walk alongside Corey. I was able to quietly drop a loop over the foal and we rested until the walkers caught up.
Standing with a loop on the foal. Corey watching the stallion.
Volunteers coming to help walk the foal.
We would have preferred to let the foal walk on his own next to Corey, however the stallion made as if to charge us a couple of times and the footing was extremely rocky, so it made more sense to leave the rope on the foal so rider and horse could remain free to do what they needed to do.
Keeping Corey nearby to help settle the foal.
We also took a couple of rest stops so that the foal wouldn't be stressed.
Resting for a couple of minutes.

Continue to Part Two

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