Thanks to the quick actions of some good Sa-MARE-itans, a foal and its mother have been reunited.
Diana Palmer manages a wild horse herd in the Tehachapi Mountains in California. The majestic black horses have wandered the Oak Creek Canyon for at least 100 years, drawing the attention of travelers and horse lovers to the scenic landscape. Palmer enjoys sharing the story behind the wild horses of Oak Creek with visitors.
“At times, I bring in visitors to feed and see the herd up close [and] photograph,” Palmer told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal. A few of the horses will even allow guests to pet them.
Recently, a few of Palmer’s guests witnessed something a bit out of the ordinary. As they were feeding the herd, Palmer noticed that one horse didn’t seem interested in eating. Instead, she seemed preoccupied with something the group couldn’t see.
When a little girl asked why the horse was behaving so strangely, Palmer could think of three reasons.
“My response was it could be three things, it may have been booted out of the herd, it could be injured or it might be a mama horse with a baby and she won’t leave it behind,” Palmer said.
Upon further investigation, Palmer realized that the horse was a mother in distress.
Her foal had fallen into a ravine and was trapped in a cluster of tumbleweeds. Only the baby horse’s ears were visible, barely peeking out of the brush.
“I didn’t hike down off the hill all the way, but the rest of the group did and then saw the foals ears first, down in the tumbleweeds,” Palmer said.
Steve Auman, a member of the group, jumped into action as his wife Melissa captured the rescue effort on camera. The foal’s mother waited patiently on the side of the trench as Auman worked to free the baby from the tumbleweeds.
The process was tricky, but Auman was eventually able to untangle the foal. The baby initially struggled to find its footing, but with some extra help from Palmer, it was finally able to stand.
As Auman cleared the brush out of the way, the foal was ushered down along the bottom of the ravine until its mother came down to meet it. It quickly found a spot alongside its momma and started nursing.
Those at Oak Creek Canyon have done even more incredible work to help the wild horse population. Information about the herd can be found on their official website or their Facebook page, Friends of Oak Creek Horses.
“Quite a few people on Friends of Oak Creek Horses have adopted horses from our herd and share their progress and photos with their horses,” Palmer told Liftable.
This kind rescue effort is sure to generate even more interest in the beautiful wild horses of Oak Creek. Thanks to the team’s caring actions, interested guests will have the opportunity to visit horses just like this mother and foal in their habitat.
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