Quincy–A Rescued Nurse Mare Foal
For the month of March, I am featuring a ten year old gelding named Quincy as my ‘horse of the month’. Quincy is a beautiful boy, as you can see– and he has quite a story. Please read on.
Quincy had the misfortune of being born to a nurse mare–a mare that is bred for the sole purpose of coming into milk. Her milk was not intended for Quincy, however, but instead for the purpose of nourishing another foal–a more ‘expensive’ foal. The practice of using nurse mares is often done in the thoroughbred racing industry, but it is not exclusive to this industry alone.
Nurse mares are used so the ‘expensive’ mothers can immediately go to be re-bred in order to produce another ‘expensive’ foal. But when the nurse mare is sent to the breeding farm, her own foal is left behind. Historically, these foals were simply killed or allowed to starve to death. (Yes, it’s true, unfortunately.) But today, many of them are rescued by organizations such as Last Chance Corral. Quincy was one of the lucky ones.
Someone adopted young Quincy from Last Chance Corral, but he was shuffled around and eventually ended up at another rescue organization at the age of six. This is where Doreen Marsters came across him. Doreen had already put in an application to sponsor another horse (Serene), but the organization wanted adopted horses to have at least one companion at their new home. Doreen soon spotted Quincy with his beautiful blue eyes. She was told about his history as a nurse mare foal and decided right away that he would be her second horse.
“When he came to the rescue, he had rain rot all over him,” said Doreen. “A volunteer helped me wash him when I was there and we spent a lot of time peeling the rot off. Poor guy. He stood like a statue while we did it. I was told that he was left out in a pasture alone with no shelter for a spell, which is where he got the rain rot. I’d never seen it before. It was awful.”
Because of his experience with rain rot, Quincy hates the rain. Doreen said he will run to his shelter when the first drop falls. But snow is a completely different story–he loves it, as you can see here!
After Doreen brought Quincy home, he would have on and off bouts of diarrhea and she couldn’t figure it out why. Finally, Doreen realized it occurred when she used fly spray. She switched to an organic all natural fly spray (Espree) and he’s been fine ever since.
Doreen explained that Quincy has quite the personality. He is very playful and curious.
“He’s like a little kid! He likes to take gloves, hats and anything you might have in your pocket. “
He also loves children and seems to act a little differently when they are around.
“Shortly after he came here, we had children, approximate ages 3, 6 and 9, here who went in to look him over. I wasn’t sure what he’d do but he stood completely still for over 20 minutes. He didn’t investigate and he didn’t move his feet. I was very impressed. Another time we had kids climb on our gate and he came right over. They put their fingers in his nose and everything. . . he didn’t move,” she said.
Right now, Quincy just gets to be a horse with his buddy, Serene. The pair live in a paddock with two run-in sheds. He enjoys a diet of good quality hay, beet pulp, and grain, as well as some fruits and veggies!
Doreen, who is fairly new to horses herself, said that Quincy is still a bit green as a riding horse. She plans to enlist the help of a trainer this summer so she can get more comfortable on him.
“Some day we will actually go riding. Other than that, we will just keep on like we have,” said Doreen. I think Quincy is probably just fine with that.
To learn more about nurse mare foals like Quincy and how you can help, please visit Last Chance Corral.