There are foals who need you! Learn how you can help in a number of ways!


Equine Professionals are Joining Forces

to Rescue Foals Destined for Slaughter

and Reveal Horse Racing’s Dirty Secret.

A combined effort is currently underway to rescue horses and foals in immediate need of assistance. Significant progress has been made but help is needed as the group embarks on phase two of the rescue.

A team of equine professionals have come together to save the lives of mares, in foal, as well as foals torn from their mothers, in an industry, connected to horse racing, but unfamiliar to most – the nurse foal industry.   Reach Out to Horses, based in Colorado, is playing a crucial part in these efforts.

Once the foals are rescued they will be fostered and then gentled in the third annual Foal Gentling Clinic, April 23 – 28, 2013, under the careful tutelage of International Equine Behaviorist and Clinician, Anna Twinney.

The training, taking place in East Haddam, CT, is designed to give the rescued foals all the advantages needed for a quick adoption and a second chance at life.

Foaling season, for this industry, is now upon us. Many resources are needed in order to insure that the foals get to safety, and get the critical, labor intensive care necessary to their very survival.

People interested in helping can get involved in a number of ways:

  • Donations are being accepted at
  • Sponsor a mare/foal
  • Foster a mare/foal
  • Adopt a mare/foal
  • Organize a Fundraising event
  • Spread the word through media coverage and public awareness

Attend the 6-day Reach Out to Horses (ROTH) Foals in Training course as a spectator for just $300, April 23 – 28, 2013.

Attend graduation day of the Foals in Training clinic with Anna Twinney & Reach Out to Horses for FREE

The natural foal is left orphaned…

Nurse Mare Foals are, primarily, a creation of the horse breeding/race horse industry.  An expensive mare is bred to a very expensive stud.  Eleven months later she has her foal.  Seven to ten days after she gives birth she comes into heat again.  To remain profitable, she must be bred again, immediately, so that she can have another foal in eleven months, thereby producing the most mature foal for the following year.

(Note: The Jockey Club requires that thoroughbred mares be bred only by live cover, not artificially inseminated, and the mare must travel to the stallion.)

The mare’s seven to ten day-old foal cannot travel back to the stud/stallion’s farm with the broodmare, as travel is considered to be very risky for the newborn, valuable, foal.  Additionally, insurance costs are prohibitive for the foal to travel with its mother.  So, instead of putting this foal on a milk replacer product, they rent a mare from a nurse mare farm.

In order for the nurse mare to come into milk, it must have given birth to a foal.  The mare is bred and she gives birth to her foal.  Once a request is received  from the “expensive foal’s” farm, the mother is taken away from her own foal and shipped off to be a surrogate mother, to that expensive foal.

What happens to the nurse mare’s foal?

Some of them are clubbed over the head and killed immediately. Some are just left to starve to death.  These foals are referred to as “by- products” of the nurse mare industry.  Tragically, these foals – should they even survive – will never know the comfort of their mothers again… they will never get the chance to learn “how to be a horse” from her…

No foal should be raised without it’s mother.

The Nurse Mare Program DOES exist, however, and likely, will continue to exist. We try to create the best situation possible, for the foal’s, by helping them to survive – every way we possibly can.

Reach Out to Horses and a team of equine professionals have come together to save the lives of these mares in foal as well as the foals torn from their mothers, in this industry unfamiliar to most.

The History of Nurse Mares Foals and the Nurse Mare Industry

Nurse mares have been around for hundreds of years.  They were used if a foal was rejected, or if the mother died while giving birth.  This industry started out to be a good thing … since then, however, it has morphed into something much darker and morally unethical.

Nurse mares are bred so that they will come into milk.  The milk that is produced, however, is used to nourish the foal of another mare – a foal that, commercially, is worth much more money.  Her own foal then becomes what the industry terms as a “bi-product” and as such, is destined for the feedlot.  To this end, farms have been established in key locations, throughout the United States, in order to supply “high end” breeders with nurse mares, in a quest to support their expensive foals.

Nurse mare farmers keep lactating mares on their premises before, during and after the foaling season.  When a mare’s services are needed for a client, the farmer separates the nurse mare from her natural foal, then ships out the mare.

Did you know?

It is illegal to send a foal under 6 months of age to horse slaughter.  However, foals from one day to six months old, are being skinned and sold for high-end leather.  Others who aren’t rescued are sent to slaughterhouses.  These foals have no chance at life from the start.  Their meat is considered a delicacy in some countries.  Horrifically, some countries actually believe that if a foal is skinned while it is still alive the meat will be more tender.

Some nurse mare farms will occasionally give the foals away, but most sell them discreetly for profit.  Most nurse mare foals are usually available in January and February. This is when the “season”, so to speak, starts and foaling begins.  Generally, the season runs from January to mid-June.

Adopting a foal is literally a life or death decision for one of these innocent nurse mare babies.  Adopters are directly responsible for saving a foal from a tragic, brutal death.  Sadly, not all of them can be rescued.  Rescuers in most cases, must purchase these foals and pay anywhere from $100 to $400 per foal.  They also incur all costs of housing, feeding, vet care and training, until the foals can be adopted out to their forever homes.  Any and all support is welcome from those willing to help!

For more information contact Anna Twinney at

3 thoughts on “There are foals who need you! Learn how you can help in a number of ways!

  1. Pingback: Join Us | keyburns

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