Top News

Fostering mare returning home after six months of caring for orphaned foal

Tantum, right, took on the role of foster mom to Anne with an ‘E’ six months ago when the filly was orphaned shortly after birth. Jasmine Bastarache/Special to The Guardian
Tantum, right, took on the role of foster mom to Anne with an ‘E’ six months ago when the filly was orphaned shortly after birth. Jasmine Bastarache/Special to The Guardian

In April, Bastarache parted with the mare, when she learned that an orphaned filly at Meridian Farms needed a foster mom.

“It was clear that her job at the time was to be a mom to this foal,” said Bastarache.

When she found Tantum, the 17-year-old mare was producing milk even though she did not have a foal to look after.

Bastarache learned Tantum had given birth multiple times before without having the opportunity to look after her own foal.

Now after six months raising the filly as her own, Tantum and the foal will part ways.

“The foal was weaned off the mare’s milk on Wednesday,” said Brian Andrews, one of the founders of Meridian Farms.

The filly, aptly named Anne with an ‘E’, inspired by fictional orphan Anne of Green Gables, has prospered under Tantum’s care, said Andrews.

“Things went extremely well with the foal and the mare. They bonded almost instantly, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I couldn’t have asked for things to turn out better. It was touch and go for a while before the mare arrived. Now the foal is almost as tall as the mare,” he explained with a chuckle.

Shortly after the foal was born, its birth mother hemorrhaged badly and died. Andrews and other staff at the farm knew they had to find a mare to take on the role of mom sooner rather than later and reached out to the public on social media.

“I’m so pleased with how things have turned out with the two of them. They were out in the field together with several other mares and foals and now Annie will be with four other fillies and the mare will be going home.”

When Tantum returns home on Friday, she will become a program horse at Bastarache’s stables, Venture Stables, owned by Bastarache and her husband Marc.

“I’m really excited for her to take her place in our equine assisted learning and therapy programs. It’s all about body language of the horse. It’s clear she has a very caring side and I can’t wait to see what she can teach the kids. Everyone is looking forward to having her at the barn.”

millicent.mckay@journalpioneer.com

Latest News