The nurse mare industry is kept "hush hush" for a reason. Apparently, it's somewhat common with the race horses but nobody really talks about it. I understand the value of being able to have a mare for your foal, if you lost your own mare for example, and ended up with an orphan baby. But the fact that those nurse mares are just bred and bred to be rented out, and their babies are kicked to the curb, that I don't understand...
The mares that are bred and then rented out can be any breed. They're not necessarily Thoroughbreds. Our foals, that we rescued, were mixed breeds. The father was an Appaloosa-Hanoverian-Shire mix. Mothers were mostly Hanoverian-Appaloosa-something else mixes. I guess the particular farmer preferred those breeds. Another industry, that's sad also, is the Premarin industry. The Premarin is a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drug for women with menopause. The word "premarin" itself comes from PREgnant MAre uRINe. Literally. The drug is made with conjugated equine estrogen which is made out of pregnant mare urine. This is a whole story on it's own. We have rescued hundreds of PMU foals within the last 8 years. Here's a good article, short and sweet, on the PMU's http://www.horsefund.org/pmu-fact-sheet.php
How does one find the PMU's and nurse foals? There are several rescue groups out there that do their best to save these foals. We (Ray of Light Farm) have worked with EARS (http://www.foalrescue.com/) to help with the PMU foals. And I believe Anna Twinney and some other people were involved in the rescue of the nurse foals two years ago. I didn't get the whole story, I went with another person to pick up the foals from New York. It was a bit shady. We met the woman with our trailer in a parking lot of a bowling alley and transferred the little babies from her trailer into ours.
Oh, and I've read about the Last Chance Corral in Ohio that works with a lot of the nurse foals. http://www.lastchancecorral.org/
I hope someday you can have your Mustang or a Chincoteague pony! If you go with the Mustang, do your research on how to understand and work with such a horse. They are not like our typical domesticated horses, that have been around humans since birth in most cases. We had 4 wild horses at the farm when I first started working here. In the 2 years they spent with us, we could barely halter them. You couldn't get near them. And sadly, we didn't have the time, manpower or finances to have someone work with these horses. We chose to find the horses a place where they can live out their lives in peace and NOT have to deal with humans. We felt it was best for them to just be horses. We didn't want to put them through the trauma of being "trained" when it wasn't necessary. They went to a sanctuary type of situation where they have acres and acres of land to live on, with other horses. Last we heard, they were happy and healthy. I wish more horses had happy endings like that. It's so hard finding the right homes..
Yeah, I can definitely understand it for orphaned foals but it's so sad they're just bred and bred. That's gotta be hard on the mares bodies too.
And I think I've actually heard of PMU a long time ago but had completely forgotten about it. Are the mares just kept in stalls their whole life or something?
And what happens to these and the nurse foals? They just let them die or do they try to kill them or?
I'm guessing it's not illegal then?
I'll have to look into those rescues eventually.
Thanks, I hope so too. and I'll definitely research. And it's probably definitely not as easy as they make it look on TV and movies and that show. Probably takes a lot more effort. And some of them probably aren't cut out for it and it's better to go to a sanctuary like you said. I actually feel like a lot of them should be. I don't see why they're even rounded up to begin with. I mean who cares if there's a lot of them? I sure don't. I love them. Or is it more a matter of.not enough food or to get money to manage them? And have you ever heard of that one in I think South Dakota?