Horse Health

Orphaned by Navajo Wild Horse Slaughter Roundup, Rescued Foals Doing Well

Source: written by Lucette Moramarco as published in

“They are a success, thriving, growing, and out of danger.”

Malary Greenwood photo - “Foster Mom” Linda Harris talks sweetly to her rescued foal, Morning Star.

Malary Greenwood photo – “Foster Mom” Linda Harris talks sweetly to her rescued foal, Morning Star.

Two months ago, Fallbrook CA resident Linda Harris took in two foals that were orphaned during a roundup of wild horses on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico. The mothers of the foals were slaughtered during the roundup, leaving 17 babies, ranging in age from 2 to 7 months at that time, in a life-threatening situation. They were rescued by Wild for Life Foundation’s Lifetime Equine Refuge which sought foster homes for them.

Harris stepped forward and the two severely malnourished orphan foals arrived at Horse Spirit Ranch in Bonsall on Oct. 12 following a one-week layover in Nevada. During that time, they were treated with special care so they would survive the rest of the trip to California.

The two young horses, Morning Star, a two-month-old brown filly, and Aiyana, a three-month-old black filly were “just skin and bones, with eyes that had seen such things that no one should ever see. Their health was fragile at best,” Harris said.

Helping them regain their physical and emotional health was her primary goal. “Having been approved as a forever Safe Haven Guardian for the Wild for Life Foundation, it is my role to ensure the best possible care will be available for these little ones,” Harris added.

Katia Louise, founder and president of the Wild For Life Foundation (WFLF), a 501 (c)3 nonprofit charity, organized the rescue mission. The foals were transported to Nevada where the remaining weaker and smallest foals are receiving continued medical care, plenty of milk replacer, feed, hay and lots of TLC under the WFLF.

“This is just the beginning for these orphaned foals,” said Louise. “It’s going to take months for many of these little ones to heal, build their strength up and overcome the physical and emotional injuries they sustained during the roundups.”

“These sacred and majestic horses heal our hearts and they can heal the lands,” added Louise. “As ambassadors for the horse nation, these 17 surviving foals through WFLF will be helping to educate and show the world that the re-introduction of horses to rangelands, in truth, can rejuvenate the environment.”

At Horse Spirit Ranch, Morning Star and Aiyana are also being cared for by Lynne Hayes, ranch owner, and veterinarian Dr. Matt Matthews who has an extensive neonatal background from his university training. According to Harris, Matthews directed the foals’ return to health by putting them on a special diet of warm mashes (colostrum, mare’s milk replacement, electrolytes), as well as high-protein foods since their little bodies were incapable of processing hay.

Harris said a large stall was also provided for them “with lots of soft shavings, heat lamps, a constant food supply and lots of love. Here they will spend as long as they need, just learning to trust while regaining their health.”

On Dec. 5, Harris said the foals had doubled in size since their arrival. The week before, Matthews told her, “They are a success, thriving, growing, and out of danger.” She is “raising them as companion horses at liberty with natural horsemanship techniques,” meaning without whips and not restrained by reins or ties.

Harris described the recovered foals as intelligent, alert, curious and just happy; they are “sweet as apple pie. If I drop my hat, one of them will pick it up for me.” They have learned to trust humans again, “eager to be with us and do what we are doing. They are amazing companions,” she said.

The foals are being introduced to trail, dance and dressage exercises; “if they like it, they can do it,” if not they are not forced to do it, she explained. Eventually the foals will live with her on her own ranch. In the meantime, Harris is filming their progress for a documentary and according to her, the foals love the cameras.

With the rescued foals, she wants to demonstrate that “just because they were born wild, that sacred connection between man and horse can still be ignited.”…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) for additional information and to comment at the Village News

14 replies »

  1. Were the mares sent to slaughter? the article said they were slaughtered during the roundup. This is the first time I have heard of horses being slaughtered after a roundup unless the Indians were going to eat them. This is strange indeed.


    • Barbara, when they say they were slaughtered during the roundup, THEY = B.L.M.The mares may have been injured during the roundup. They chase them over the roughest terrain, non stop. They run them until new born colts hooves FALL OFF! Pregnant mares die in absolute agony! Those that THEY feel are protecting their own to aggressively are killed, as well as the injured.

      Why would you think that “the indians” ate them!!! REALLY!! As a NATIVE AMERICAN , we are fighting hard to protect what we hold sacred and loved. The earth that is being turned into a garbage dump and all of the animals that being ruthlessly destroyed. As in ANY race, there are the greedy, unscrupulous, and those that are just MEAN. And we are no different. BUT!!!!! WE DO NOT EAT HORSE MEAT! That is why they ship horse meat OVER SEAS to the nuts that do eat it! I don’t know if “Indians” eat it because they don’t even eat beef due to their religious beliefs. I think when they do eat meat, it is fish and poultry. And we’re not from India. Never even been there!

      The mass majority of Native Americans are fighting VERY hard to save WHAT LITTLE IS LEFT.


  2. Dear Terri Russell will also be haunted by their Mothers were Slaughter, I will also be haunted the rest of my life by all the Horses that were slaughtered needlessly by an Agency totally incapable of being entrusted to preserve and protect the SACRED Mustangs that all of America owes so much to , and the worst blow of all is they used my MONEY to do it,,,,,,,,, I believe there is a Karma for those that did this unimaginable horror to the innocent Mustangs ………… I wait patiently for it to come down on them !!!!!! The Mustangs are Blessed with many awesome attributes by a higher power created with such beauty and presented with love for all creatures great and small, so perfect in every way , as the greatest gift to mankind ever given ……….


  3. Thank You to these magnificent people who care so much to help these little foals , and give them not only food to nourish their little bodies, but to add the gift of Love to help their little souls,,,,,,,,,,,,returning the trust they want to give back !!!!!!


  4. These little survivors will be ambassadors to their right to be left alone. Can’t wait to see the documentary. I wish I could do more than just sign petitions and spread the word.


  5. I would love to give my deepest gratitude to ALL those that contributed to saving these helpless babies. You have earned your wings truly.You don’t talk the talk, you walk the walk. THANK YOU.


  6. A heartfelt thank you to Linda, Katia and the many others who were instrumental in helping the 17 surviviig foals and giving them a new life. It must have been a real nightmare for them and their mothers. The documentary will be helpful in shedding the light on the life of our historic wild horses, their majestic beauty and the importance of their survival to humanity and the environment.


  7. These orphaned navajo foals deserve a chance at life. Thank you for all your efforts on rescuing these babes. The facts are that this will be in the history books of tomorrow. The Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service, and all others that where involved with these unnecessary cruel roundups will be known and not forgotten. When I heard of horses being ripped right off of the Navajo’s property it is unjust. It still brings tears to my eyes the level of cruetly of these power devils. No hearts.


  8. I don’t think this was a BLM round up. Being on the reservation (not federal lands) selling them to kill buyers is permitted. The horses were SOLD for slaughter once they were gathered and penned. They weren’t slaughtered right there on the spot.


Care to make a comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.