Rescued tiny, Tonto National Forest newborn horse needs a name


The tiny, newborn horse recently rescued in the Tonto National Forest will have a home but also needs a name.

Anyone who sponsors the 33-pound foal separated from the herd last weekend, hours after birth, will be entered in a naming contest, Salt River Wild Horse Management Group President Simone Netherlands said by phone on July 5.

She and volunteers are providing around-the-clock care for the nursing, premature, malnourished colt. The foal is about half the weight of a normal, newborn horse that averages about 60 pounds.

“It’s 24-hours a day — every hour — he needs to be fed. We had to rescue him because he was found all alone, he is a preemie and not able to regulate his temperature,” Ms. Netherlands said. “He’s stealing our heart and also our sleep.”

In addition to taking the foal’s temperature, the care provided so far requires plastic gates, a tray of medical equipment and blenders filled with horse formula, noted Ms. Netherlands who transformed her kitchen and living room into a horse nursery.

“We need sponsors for him and a name. So, we thought we would combine those two needs by having everyone who becomes a sponsor be able to suggest a name. Then, we will pick a name out of the suggestions of the sponsors,” Ms. Netherlands said.

She said it’s too hot to keep the animal outside during the excessive heat while nursing the colt back to health. In the meantime, the colt has acclimated to his new surroundings, and got used to feedings from people.

He’s even developed a new friendship with a Chihuahua named “Cookie,” who’s “learning to share the attention,” Ms. Netherlands said, adding that a picture of the two animals beside each other shows just how small the horse is.

Once he’s well enough, he will live at the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group’s Prescott sanctuary where it’s cooler temperatures. The Prescott site is one of two locations for the nonprofit that also has a Fountain Hills site near the Tonto National Forest.

Consisting of 100 volunteers, the rescue organization has existed for about 18 years and gained nonprofit status in 2013. The group monitors efforts involving the horses, fencing, and population control.

“We do a lot of different things,” said the former horse trainer, who uses her background to benefit the rescued horses.

For more information on how to sponsor the unnamed horse, go to: saltriverwildhorsemanagementgroup.org.

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