Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Nurse Mare Foal Rescue: An Interview with Tabitha Davis

Nurse Mare Foal Rescue: An Interview with Tabitha Davis

by Gina McKnight
Archived from the April 2023 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete www.floridaequineathlete.com
No duplication without permission.

There are many horses looking for good homes. Tabitha Davis, the proprietor of Rolling Oaks Rescue, LLC, a non-profit equine rescue that promotes horse ownership through ethics and integrity, can connect you with a rescued nurse mare foal. Through hard work and compassion, Tabitha’s mission is to nurture foals to make “a smooth transition to their forever, loving home.”

Welcome, Tabitha!

GM: You are a horse-girl! When did you meet your first horse?
TD: I met my first horse in Ashland, Ohio, at the fair. It was love at first sight.

GM: When did you realize you wanted to rescue and rehome nurse mare foals?
TD: Rolling Oaks Ranch has been raising and training horses since 2011, but an addition to our lives in 2018 introduced a passion; baby horses, more specifically nurse mare foals. During that year, two orphaned foals were rescued, raised, and placed in good homes. Those two orphaned foals inspired a dream, and in 2019 that dream became reality. Rolling Oaks Ranch LLC became the setting for Rolling Oaks Rescue LLC – a functioning horse ranch. 

Each year many foals are born and neglected due to a mare's death, the mare not being able to produce milk, or the mare rejecting their foal. Or, on the other hand, a foal is born so that its mother can produce milk. The lactating mares are then used as surrogate mothers for foals from other horses. In order to have milk, the nurse mare has to give birth to her own baby, then their foals become orphans. These are circumstances that require a foal rescue like ours. 

We rescued and rehomed 30 foals the first year. The second year, we rescued over 50 foals. All of these foals have been adopted into loving homes. Our goal for 2023 is to rescue and rehome 75 or more foals. 

GM: A worthwhile cause, explain your mission...
TD: Rolling Oaks Rescue, LLC. has a mission to rescue orphaned nurse mare foals. To nurture them for a smooth transition to their loving forever homes. Our continued success depends on loving people with the same passion. 

GM: How do you acquire the foals?
TD: We have several horse and breeding facilities that work with us. They supply nurse mares/surrogate mothers for foals.

GM: Once a foal is ready to be adopted, what is the process?
TD: We post photos of the foals for adoption to our social media and website. We require an application to be completed, you can find this on our website www.rollingoaksrescue.org. Each application is reviewed carefully, and foals are placed with approved applicants.

GM: What are the biggest challenges you face?
TD: We all have our challenges, you know the horses that would rather bite, kick, run you over. Like many horse-people, I have battle scars. I have been wet, cold, and hungry, but continue to press forward. I laugh out loud inside sometimes, then sing and shout with joy, thinking I’m a crazy woman for taking on this responsibility. Lives are at stake; baby horses require round-the-clock nurturing. I have spent countless nights without sleep in the barn with a sick foal knowing they might not make it through the night.

GM: What would you like the public to know about your rescue?
TD: I want them to experience the joy of horsemanship. On the back of a horse, I have seen wonderful places and lived unforgettable experiences. I climbed on horses which made me feel brave and excited. Every time I am with my horses, I think about how wonderful they are and want this same experience for others. The ultimate feeling at the end of the day is knowing I have made a difference in a foal’s life.

I'm just a young lady with a whole lot of love to give these sweet little foals. Some people think my place looks like nothing, but to me it's a start. The greatest feeling of all is hearing each person's story of why they want to raise a foal and make the impossible happen. I love for people to see and hear the excitement of tiny whinnies and bright eyes that bring joy and happiness. I have been instrumental in placing a foal with a mare that lost her foal, helping a family find the right foal to replace an old horse that passed away, or just a family wanting to give a foal a great home. I love seeing all the pictures of foals from the past and hearing stories about them makes what I do a little easier.

GM: What are your future plans?
TD: Our future plans are to continue our successful operation of rescuing and rehoming orphaned nurse mare foals. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit and rely on donations to operate. We have plans to enrich our community with a volunteer program open to the public and building awareness for the protection of animals and their welfare. 

GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?  
TD: To me, horsemanship is the ability to know how to work with horses in a safe environment. Knowing how to ride, train, tack up and clean, and keep up with the maintenance of owning a horse. 

Connect with Tabitha…
Rolling Oaks Rescue, LLC.
4391 Mantua Road, Cambridge, Ohio 43725 USA
Phone: 740-260-0547




















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