The rescue of an orphaned, wild mustang foal has the central Oregon horse community buzzing with joy.
Meet “Quest,” a one-day old mustang who lost her mother and with a lot of help, found another.
A week ago, a newborn mustang foal was found running a road near a ranger station in the Ochoco Mountains east of Prineville.
The foal’s mother was nowhere in sight and never returned.
Mustangs to the Rescue took the dehydrated, tired and hungry foal in for medical care and a new start on life with a surrogate mother.
“If all goes according to plan, she accepts the foal like she just gave birth to it,” said Dr. Shannon Findley, Bend Equine Medical Center. “From then on they are bonded and the mare thinks it’s her baby, and the baby thinks it’s her mom.”
Quest’s surrogate mother, Honey, is too old to have another baby, but still has a lot of love to give.
With hormonal treatments, she’s able to produce milk.
“They bonded right away. Everybody got really choked up,” said Anne Hornberger. “She nickered at her, nuzzled her and started nursing her right away so it was a great match.”
Quest is recuperating with her adopted mother at a foster home.
All her medical expenses and dietary needs are paid for through donations.
“We are going to make sure that she has a wonderful time with her mother and some other foals and learns all the social skills that she needs,” said Kate Beardsley, Director of Mustangs to the Rescue. “When she comes back to Mustangs to the Rescue after weaning, we’ll make sure she is halter trained properly and has a wonderful set of manners before she goes to a new home.”
There’s already a Quest fan club and a growing list of people interested in adopting the lucky foal.
“Mia has been spending a lot of time in here feeding her and loving on her, so we are going to get attached. It’s going to be hard to see her go,” Hornberger said.
For more information on adopting Quest or a number of other horses looking for homes, click this link.