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Last Chance Corral :: Equine Rescue, Horses and Foals
 
About Last Chance Corral

Last Chance Corral

At the age of 12 Victoria rescued her first horse. Since 1968 she has always taken in the horses that everyone has given up, trying to turn their life around by giving them one last chance. One or two at a time, horses have come in and out of her life inspiring her to firmly believe that there is always a horse out there in need of refuge, and always a need for someone to feel responsible and intervene on that animal's behalf.  Establishing the Last Chance Corral in 1986 was the realization of her vision of creating a much-needed facility to offer horses asylum.

Today, the Last Chance Corral proudly offers horses hope, shelter, and opportunity regardless of their situation or problems. Be it psychological or physiological we are committed to addressing the individual needs of each rescued animal. Our work begins with developing an individual diet, treatment regiments, and a training program for each horse according to its needs.  When a horse has been sufficiently rehabilitated we go about the work of finding appropriate adoptive homes that suit the horse's needs and abilities.

The horses that arrive at the L.C.C. represent a wide spectrum that includes horses as varied as the people that own them and the disciplines that they use them in. Not all horses that come into the L.C.C. are infirm; actually, few among them are. Most are simply unwanted. Situations such as children leaving for college, divorce, and relocation can leave a horse with no place to go. The alternative of the sale house offers a potentially grim solution that most owners would rather avoid.

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Adoption Policies

Here at the Last Chance Corral our number one priority is to make sure the homes we find for our loved ones are suitable to their needs and abilities.  Throughout the years we have discovered that there are certain requirements that we find make both the adopter and the horse or foal's life much much better.

The first and probably most important factor in selecting an adopter is that they must have previous horse experience.  We do not adopt our loved ones out to people who have not had the wonderful experience of owning or caring for a horse previously.  Our horses have already been through enough and need not to go through the often overlooked challenges that first time horse owner experiences.

The second requirement is that you have the appropriate facilities.  You need to have access to a barn with stalls and quality fencing in the paddock or pastures.  For nurse mare foals it is required that you have a barn on your property.  The foals need to be constantly monitored not just checked on once or twice a day.  They need companionship and motherly love, as any baby would.

We do not allow foals to be adopted to homes with barbed wire or high tensile fence.  These types of fencing are not really safe for even an adult horse, and are out of the question for foals.  Foals require safer fencing, such as 3-4 board fencing or gate panels. 

Also, if you do not have any other horses on your property currently and would like to adopt a nurse mare foal, we STRONGLY advise that you adopt foals in pairs- especially foals that are younger than one month old.  If the financial obligation of two foals would be a strain on your budget, remember that when caring for a baby, unexpected vet bills might come up, and the foals shouldn't suffer due to lack of reasonable funding.  Make sure that you are financially ready to adopt a foal before you come on out to adopt.  Some people have a nice old mare or gelding that will be a surrogate mother to the foal, and in that case, we might make an exception to our 'pairing up policy'. 

You can fill out an adoption agreement and bring it in and give it to us, or you can fill one out here when you pick up your foal.

If you feel you meet the above requirements and are willing to take the responsibility for one of our loved ones feel free to give us a call at 740-594-4336 to come and meet the horse or foal of your dreams!

Note:  Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES will we hold foals.  We have a first come, first serve policy for qualified adoptors.  Our reasoning behind that is that if we are holding foals (even for 24 hours), it prevents other people from adopting the foals that are taking up space for others that are waiting to come in.  This policy allows us to recycle both our space and our finances.

Recap of Requirements

1.  You must have owned a horse previously.

2.  You must have quality fencing- for foals, no high tensile or barbed wire.  For adults, we really prefer that you don't have barbed or high tensile wire.

3.  Our younger foals are adopted out in pairs.

4.  You must have an active relationship with your vet and farrier, and they need to be "on board" with the regular health care of your foal.  They also need to vouch for the care that you give your present horse(s).

5.  Your barn with stalls must be on your property if you are adopting foals.  For horses, you can board at another facility.

6.  You must presently own horses, to teach the foal to be a horse as it gets older.

Click here for our Adoption Agreement.

 
FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Nurse Mare Foal Adoption

Policy for Holding Foals:  We will only hold foals for 24 hours with a 50% (non-refundable) deposit.  The 24 hour "hold period" starts when the deposit is made, and cannot be transferred to a different foal (unless a medical condition arises in which case LCC has the right to hold back any foal from adoption).  If the foals are not picked up within 24 hours of the deposit time, they will be placed back up for adoption and we will retain the deposit.  We understand how inconvenient this may be for potential adopters, but through many years of experience we have decided that this is the best for the foals.  It is very inconvenient to the dying foals that we can't pick up because we have cancelled appointments and changed minds.  Thank you for understanding.

Why aren’t these foals with their mothers?

These are nurse mare foals.  For more information on what nurse mare foals are and where they come from, visit our section on "Foal Rescue".

So… it’s basically the same as the PMU foals… right?

No.  By law, PMU foals have to remain with their biological mothers until they are 100 days old, effectively making them weanlings when they are separated.  Nurse mare foals can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few hours old when they are separated, and some are even induced.

How do they eat?  Do they nurse from a baby bottle?

When we bring the orphans to the farm, the first thing we do is teach them to drink milk out of a bucket.  This is easier for a few reasons.  First, a foal eats in small amounts very frequently.  It would be almost impossible to find homes that were able to bottle feed foals every few hours.  Second, if they drink milk out of buckets, they are able to drink as much as they want, whenever they want.  Also, as they grow older, they seem to be a little less mouthy, since they don't equate human hands with mealtimes.

I have high tensile/barbed wire/electric tape/coated wire/electric rope etc.  Is that ok?

Definitely not.  While they are young, the foals need a solid fence to keep them contained.  A foal with its mother is able to read her body language to see when they are getting too close to a scary fence, but an orphan wouldn’t understand to back away until they are caught in it.  With an electric fence, they could potentially blow through it instead of recoiling as an older horse would.  Wire mesh is fine, Hog-wire is fine, Chicken-wire is fine.

I haven’t used a veterinarian for my horses in years because I give my own shots.  Is that ok?

Even though you might have endless experience with adult horses, foals are an entirely different ballgame.  We ask that you develop a working relationship with a veterinarian that has experience with foals before coming to adopt.  Make sure that your vet is willing to work with you and answer any questions that you may have.  You never know when you might need to call for advice at 3am because your foal is doing something you have never seen before.

I have owned horses my whole life but currently do not have one on my farm.  Is that ok?

It is very important that your foal has the opportunity to see and (later on) come in contact with an adult horse as he/she ages.  Because these foals are so dependent on humans, they tend to grow up like big dogs if not raised with structure and other horses to “look up to”.

My mare is wonderful and would make a great mom- will she raise a nurse mare foal?

We cannot tell you how many people come to us with this one… “Sparkles is just THE BEST.  She would love to take care of a foal.  She is so quiet and will let me do anything to her, including touching her teats!”  We are sure that Sparkles is wonderful and you can touch her anywhere.  Unless you have bitten her in the teat while she was sleeping and got a motherly reaction instead of a kick in the face, it is hard to tell whether or not she will really be a great mother.  Also, just because she loves one baby doesn’t mean she will love another.  We can give you tips on how to introduce your mare and a new foal safely, but you will have to be prepared ahead of time to raise the foal as an orphan, just in case.  This means that if your foal is under a month old, you are looking into adopting TWO foals and raising them orphans.  90% of mares will not take on another foal.  Even if they have milk, their baby just died, and are screaming their head off for their lost baby, it doesn't mean that they will take ANY baby.  Think of it this way.  You have a newborn, it dies.  Are you going to immediately want to adopt another baby?  Any baby?  It is the same situation with a mare.  The safety of our foals is our number one priority.

I have a goat- will it raise the baby?

A goat could provide companionship to an orphan, but these babies like to snuggle up to something when they sleep.  They pile up like puppies here in the barn, and it is highly doubtful that a goat would do the same.  Would you want your toddler learning behavior from a gorilla?  It’s a similar situation.  The foal needs “motherly advice” from an animal that has common behavior patterns, another horse.

Why do I have to take TWO foals?

These foals are young.  They are meant to be nuzzled, licked, and snuggled by their mothers.  Since these babies don’t have mothers, the best that we can do for them is to give them a friend that is craving the same affection.  In the past we have tried adopting out babies singly, but have found that depression sets in quickly.  If the babies are depressed, they won’t eat.  If they don’t eat, they will die.  If you are only able to keep one foal, you are welcome to foster the second one until they are old enough to separate (generally at 8 weeks old).  Keep them turned out and stalled together until then.  At that time, a quiet adult horse (a >20 year old gelding is best) will substitute for a friend.

Why do the babies lick/suck everything- including me?

Even without their mothers, these babies have a strong desire to nurse.  Armpits are often mistaken for Mama as they root around looking for milk.  Mouthing is nothing to worry about unless it turns into nipping and biting, which should be corrected immediately.  Lips are ok, teeth are not, at any age.

When do they start eating hay and grain?

The day they arrive, they nibble on hay and grain.  The older they get, the more they eat. By the time they are 8 weeks old the majority of their diet will be hay and grain.  they can have unlimited grain until they start making a career out of chomping it down the second you put it in the bucket.  Usually this is around 5-8 weeks.  After that, grain 2-3 times a day is best instead of free-choice.

What kind and how much hay and grain do I give them?

We feed a high quality soft grass hay.  A little alfalfa isn’t a bad thing; they just often don’t like the rough texture as much until they get a bit older.  We feed Omolene 300 which is made by Purina.  When they are young we feed hay and grain free choice.  As they grow they will start to chow down on the grain and you will want to cut back to several servings a few times a day instead of “all you can eat”.  Hay still remains free choice. 

What is their milk made from?

Their milk formula comes in a 50lb bag and is called “Buckeye Mare’s Milk Plus”.  It is expensive ($120-150 a bag) and if your local feed store does not carry it, they can order it for you.  Your local Tractor Supply will be able to get it in for you, even if it isn't something that they usually carry.  Be persistent with them, the squeaky wheel gets the grease!  Just be sure to have bags of milk in your barn BEFORE you come to adopt!

Why does the milk have a green tint?

We add several probiotic supplements to the milk, including G.U.T. by Ukele (that’s the green stuff).  We also add 1lb low-fat vanilla yogurt to every 5 gallon bucket and some generic Quaker oats for fiber.   Mix ‘er all up and you have a bucket of milk!  By the time you adopt your babies, you don't HAVE to have the other additives, but it would sure give your foal that jump-start that just may make it a champion!

Can I buy my milk formula from you?

We try to save our milk for our own babies, as we can feed up to a bag a day during the busy season.  If you are unable to get your own milk in for another week or so, but are ready to adopt otherwise, we can sell you one bag from our stash.

How long do they need to be on the milk replacer?

It depends on the baby.  Some babies are blowing up like a blimp at 7 weeks; others are a little weaker and need to be on it for 10.  Pay attention to your baby and cater to its individual needs.  If you have two foals and one can come off milk but the other needs to stay on, just continue with the milk for both until the weaker one is ready.  It will not hurt your chubby foal and is so much easier than dividing them up for feeding times.

How do I wean them off the milk replacer?

Do not take them off it suddenly.  Gradually water it down over a couple weeks while always providing another full bucket of clean, fresh water.  By the end, you should be giving a bucket of ½-strength milk at night only.  Only take them off the milk when you are confident that they are drinking enough water and eating enough hay and grain to sustain them.

How long does a 50 lb bag last?

Usually, a 50lb bag of milk will last two foals a little less than a week.  Remember, the bigger they get, the more they drink.

Can they be turned out?

Definitely.  It is not recommended to turn them out in a large back pasture where you cannot catch them, but they need enough space to be able to get into a full run.  The turnout needs to be bigger than a round pen.  The bigger they get the more space they will need. 

Can I keep them at a boarding/training facility if the owner lives on-site?

Not unless the training/boarding facility owner wants to adopt foals!  We do not allow foals to be kept anywhere but YOUR barn for a few reasons.  First, these babies often require round the clock care- and asking the barn owner to go out at 4am for a baby with colic isn't realistic.  If your baby stops drinking, you will have to make sure it eats every 2 hours, often medicating it multiple times a day... something else your barn owner should not be responsible for.  You need to be aware of what your baby is doing all of the time.  Foals can "crash" in minutes, before lunch she was fine, now she's a hot mess.  Secondly, at a boarding facility, there are often many different people cleaning, leading, feeding, washing, and overseeing the horses.  Foal care equates to diligent observation, especially if they are young and sick.  Leading/handling your foal is TRAINING your foal, so imagine the dumbest, craziest person at your barn training your baby.  Oh boy!  If your baby gets sick, the stall-cleaner can be cleaning out signs that are important to you, spilled milk, uneaten hay, diarrhea, etc.  Even if he tells you about it, there is nothing better than seeing it for yourself.  Thirdly, turnout is tricky.  What happens if your foal gets turned out with at 10 year old that was just gelded last week?  Communication is not as reliable as you might think at a barn.  If turnout is inconvenient (the foal may be turned out alone in an arena in some situations) it can be almost impossible for the baby to get out at all (People need to ride my horse, there are lessons going on in the arena, etc).  If it rains, gets cold, gets hot, etc, the baby needs to be brought in immediately.  Lastly, it is easy to say "The baby is fed and cleaned, I'll just go out tomorrow and work with him".  An unhandled baby is a scared, unmanageable baby.  Basic food and shelter are not enough for the babies at this stage of the game.

When can they be with other horses?

They cannot be turned out with other horses until they are 4 months old.  They should only be turned out with a mellow, quiet horse (think OLD horse) that won’t mind their silly antics.

What about shots, wormer, hoof care, etc?

Your veterinarian will be able to guide you through a vaccination schedule for your foal.  They can be wormed using Panacur.  Ask your farrier to check your foal’s feet when he comes to your barn, and if you could convince him to pick up your baby’s feet, file a little off and slap the bottoms… that’s training!

How do I bring them home?

Most solid, safe horse trailers will do.  Stock trailers are fine assuming the weather is ok.  The back doors need to go all the way up and the dividers need to be pulled out.  When preparing your trailer, you are basically trying to make a little stall in your trailer.  The babies are safest being hauled loose in the same area… just like a stall.  Victoria always says, “If you don’t feel comfortable with me hitting your trailer floor with a sledge hammer, then I don’t feel comfortable putting foals on it”.  We don’t beat every trailer that comes in the driveway, but if we can see the white lines zooming by- you aren’t putting a foal in that thing.  Save yourself some time and baby-proof your trailer before coming.  PROFESSIONAL SHIPPERS ARE NOT ALLOWED.

I have a 3+ hour drive to get home- will the babies be ok?

You will need to stop every 3 hours to offer your baby some milk and to check to see that everything is ok.  We have hauled babies all across the country and aside from being tired, they all manage quite well if the time is taken to make sure they stay hydrated and comfortable.  We will provide you with milk already mixed up to offer to them on your trip, if you are hauling a long distance you will need to bring a 5 gallon bucket to feed the milk from and another bucket with a lid (or cooler) for storing milk in your trailer while you are driving.

How should we haul the foals?  Can we tie them in a slot in our trailer?

Not unless you want a baby with a broken neck, legs, back, pelvis, jaw, etc.  These foals should NEVER be tied until they are older, more mature, and are professionals at leading and giving to pressure.  When hauling these foals, you need to take ALL dividers out of your trailer.  The idea you should have when prepping your trailer for a baby is that you want it to resemble an open box stall.  Nothing to get legs, heads, and feet caught in, and one big open space.  Think if YOU were a foal, if you fell down, what would you hit when you scrambled back up?  Take a board or pole that is about the width of a foal's leg and if you can stick it anywhere in the trailer... board that area up.  Tying temporary plyboard can modify almost any trailer to work. It MUST be bedded with clean hay/straw/shavings, and for long trips (3+ hours) you will need to have a bucket we can pour milk into AND a container with a lid to store milk in while you drive (so it doesn't spill).  Your floor needs to be SOLID, your walls need to be SOLID.  Stock-trailer type walls with slats up high are fine but you will need to bring a foal blanket if it is cold.  The doors must be full doors, not just a ramp folded up.  Feel free to email us a picture of your trailer and ask if it is appropriate.  If you show up and we have to modify/fix/adjust your trailer to make it safe, we will charge you liberally for all materials used.  If you show up with a trailer floor or rusty walls we can hit with a sledge hammer and break through, we will send you packing.

Are they broke to lead/tie/etc?

Nope.  You will need to “bear hug” them out of the trailer when you get home (an arm around the leg and an arm around the butt) because the majority of the babies that we adopt out have never had a halter on.  When you do halter-break them, put a butt-rope around them to encourage them from backing up and flipping over.  We don’t care what Uncle Jimmy says either; a butt-rope is the safest, fastest, and kindest way to go.  So use it!

What does normal foal poop look like?

The color will vary depending on what your baby eats, but in the young foals, you are looking for a frosting consistency.  The older they get, the more it will change… eventually becoming “horse poop”!

My baby has diarrhea!  What do I do?

Keep that baby drinking!  If the baby stops drinking while it has diarrhea it will dehydrate and die.  You can thin down the milk a little bit to help.  You can give your baby anything you can give a toddler for diarrhea- Pepto-Bismol, Imodium, etc.  Pedialyte is also great.  If it does not resolve within a couple days, call your veterinarian.

My baby likes to run up to me and “shake hands” with his hoof!  Isn’t that cute?

Not unless it’s going to be real cute when you are admitted to the hospital with a concussion because your 1200lb four year old pawed you in the head “playing shake”.  Remember, anything you let them do now they are going to try when they are older.

How should I teach my foal to lead?

Use a butt rope!  Put a halter on, run your lead rope in a figure '8'... from the halter, over their withers, around their butt (above their hocks) and up the other side to their withers again.  When they resist a gentle pull of their halter (and I promise they will...) just pull with the butt rope at the same time to encourage them to step forward.  When they take the lightest step, release the pressure.  They will pick it up very quickly, but be sure to continue to use the butt rope until you are absolutely sure they won't try to fly backwards.

When do I start training (leading, bathing, picking up feet, etc)?

Yesterday!  The sooner you do it, the easier it will be!  Their young minds are like sponges, and you are teaching them whether you mean to be or not.  They need to have their minds fed as well!

 
NEW POLICY

OUR POLICY REGARDING HOLDING FOALS

We have a policy that we don't hold foals for people, but with people often traveling from out of state, exceptions are sometimes made.  Recently, however, we have had an amazing amount of people that "change their mind" or "can't make it until next week/month/decade/etc".  While we are holding these foals, we are often passing up other homes for these babies.  Babies in the barn means spots taken up so other foals cannot come.  People often ask if they can pay extra to hold the foals, and while the financial assistance is a nice gesture, it is the lack of space that is costing the waiting foals their lives, not the funding that feeds them.

Because of this, we have created a new policy.  If you are adopting a foal and can't take it home that day, we will take a NON-REFUNDABLE 50% deposit and hold the foal for you for 24 hours after the deposit is paid.  If you do not pick up the foal within that time frame, we will retain your deposit and the foal will be placed up for adoption again.  We understand that things pop up, but cannot let these little lives hang in the balance because one potential adopter has car trouble, a sick child, or their hauler flaked on them while we turn others away.  We hope that you can understand where we are coming from, as these are not easy decisions to make.  The bottom line is that we try to save as many foals as possible, and to do that we need to place as many foals as possible into appropriate homes.  PLEASE don't call and say "I read your policy online, but I was wondering if you could just hold them for me for 2 days?"  NOOOOO!!!  If you want us to hold a foal, put a 50% non-refundable deposit on it and get out here within 24 hours.  We are not meaning to be rude, but the lives/welfare of the foals are our top priority.  Thank you for your understanding.

 
Before you call...

~*~*~ I want to adopt!  What do I do?? ~*~*~

FIRST, check all of our adoption policies, adoption qualifications, and FAQs on the website.  They can be found in several places, the easiest is on our homepage (www.lastchancecorral.org)!  Scroll down, read through it, and study for it like it is a final exam.  If you qualify, please give us a call (no Facebook, no emails) to discuss adoption.  We cannot make any exceptions, our regulations and requirements were put in place after years of lessons learned.

After you check the website, you will call and have a brief interview with either Victoria or Rachel.  We will discuss your farm, what you are looking for in an equine partner, and assess whether or not you are able to care for a foal.  Don't worry, as long as you read the website first, we won't bite!  We get so many calls we simply do not have the time and resources to recite to you the information that is already printed.

During the phone interview, if you qualify, we will most likely set up a time for you to pick out and pick up your foal(s).  When you come, you will need to bring your vet/farrier names and phone numbers, and photos of your farm (fencing/stalls) and photos of any current horses that you have.  Pictures are fine on a phone, they do not have to be printed copies.  A brief written reference from your vet/farrier will expedite the proceedings.

When you come to get your foals, you need to get the directions off of our website.  If you Google/Mapquest/GPS/iPhone the directions or location, you will get sent 40 miles out of the way.  PRINT THE DIRECTIONS OFF OF THE WEBSITE FOR THE DRIVE!

We have a first come/first serve policy (to qualified homes only) when it comes to adopting foals.  We can hold for 24 hours ONLY with a non-refundable deposit.  We do not hold/board foals under any circumstances, unless you are the President of the United States or the Supreme Ruler of the Universe (proof required).

 
 
Last Chance Corral :: Adoption and Rehabilitation for Horses and Foals