A pregnant mare was impounded as a stray and ended up at the McKinley County Humane Society (MCHS) in Gallup, New Mexico. There, she gave birth to Prince, an adorable tiny colt.
Unfortunately, Prince was too weak to stand and nurse, explained Jen Reid, Horse Haven Manager at the Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary. And the mare was too wild to allow human contact to bring her and her baby together. So the Humane Society decided the foal would need to be raised as orphan.
A Few Miracles
So Prince was whisked to the vet. Miraculously, the vet happened to have a mare there who had just delivered, so they were able to milk her and get Prince the thing he needed above almost anything else: colostrum. It’s something mares pass on to their foals through their milk for a short time after birth–and it helps prevent infections.
In addition, he needed his umbilical cord stump treated, also to prevent infection. Once he was all “fixed up,” it was time to get him somewhere for long term help. They contacted Best Friends Animal Society because the MCHS is a network partner of the Society. They knew Horse Haven would be the perfect place to raise little Prince.
Check out this video of tiny Prince:
Bringing Up Baby
Jen Reid was taken by Prince as soon as she saw the picture (above) of him in the cardigan. But cuteness aside, she knew that taking care of a newborn foal meant around the clock care. The sanctuary got to work immediately to make sure that Prince would have the food he needed (he turned down commercial milk replacements but loved raw goat’s milk).
They needed to make sure he would be warm enough, too (tiny foal blankets, some heat lamps and a big stuffed gorilla did the trick!).
Finally Prince got play and companionship in the form of a miniature gelding named Feather, owned by one of the volunteers.
Reid explains in another blog that Feather’s introduction to Prince went perfectly:
Feather more or less ignored Prince, who behaved just like a foal should. He went up to Feather and chattered his teeth together. That’s horse talk for: “I’m a baby, please don’t hurt me. I’m small and helpless.” It’s how young and submissive horses demonstrate their position to anyone in the herd besides their mother. There really wasn’t much obvious interaction besides this, but there is a noticeable difference in Prince’s behavior whenever I leave his stall. Before he would get upset and pace the fence, calling. Now he’s much quieter and obviously feeling more safe and content without me there. Yay for Uncle Feather!
Watch the two interact in this adorable video:
We’re so glad that Prince got the care and love that he needed!