This is little Topaz whom so many people pulled together to help when he became an orphan Dec. 30th, 2013. While we were feeding Topaz milk in a bucket every two hours, providing affection and encouraging him to move and play, we had also launched a massive search for a surrogate mum with the help of our friends, veterinarians and our incredible Manolo Mendez Dressage Facebook network which came through for us in a big way. THANK YOU.
Within a day of this clip, we found an owner whose mare had just lost a foal and who was looking for someone who had a baby in need of a nurse mare.
Her sweet paint mare and Topaz met and they bonded with each other under careful supervision. Topaz is now able to resume a normal foal-hood and will learn from his surrogate mom how to be horse while she nurtures and loves him.
This is the best resolution we could hope for and we wish Topaz, his new mum, and both their owners the best for 2014.
Note: In normal circumstances, Manolo and his staff do not coddle or play with foals or very young horses as it can create problem behaviors when they grow up. However, in the case of an orphan foal, it is important for the baby to eat but also to be nurtured through touch and play. Had we not found a nanny/nurse mare, we would have found an affectionate and responsible guardian gelding to live with Topaz and teach him how to be a horse and would have been very careful to not treat him like a pet.
Thank you to Kathryn Barrett of Barrett Digital for filming and editing this lovely clip.