Well, today is the day that the Rockster goes back to California. We are going shopping for groceries, as he has been "converted" to big boy "baby food" while I was with Mom. Shirley has created a perfect "menu" for him which is a combination of all sorts of things. But boy is he thriving on that. I learn something every day.
He is very very rambunctious. From everything I hear he is taking after his daddy. He had a sister, "Sally", that was separated from the herd by a ferocious lightening storm. She was "in" for about a week, and clearly demonstrated that she was still very wild and retaining all of her wild tendancies, as well as being perfectly healthy, and was a candidate for re-entry to the wild. She was one of the very very rare cases where reintroduction was the correct thing to do even after she had been picked up. Sally was an extremely rare case, and everything worked perfectly. She was returned to the wild, and paired up with a neighboring band. She could see her band, but she chose instead to go to Sentinel's band, and proceeded to kick each and every mare in the band. She finally paired up with the one remaining mare who had not rejected her. The fact that she kicked all the other mares after they weren't interested in "adopting" her was a perfect example of how easily she would survive on the range. She now has a beautiful baby and is a true example of "the strong survive".
Unfortunately for Rocky, he is not one of the cases where releasing him would have been okay. He was much younger than Sally, and many times if a foal that has been left behind for whatever reason is re-introduced to the band, they might accept him for a day and then either leave him again or kill him. We had an instance like that at a sanctuary I worked at. The foal was left behind, and when we brought him up to camp, his mom was out in the field and called him over. She let him stay with her, but didn't let him eat, and the next morning the mares started to kill him. We grabbed him of course, but he died later that day. So reintroduction is an extremely delicate thing. Many times it is as simple as the fact that once they need to be picked up, and their stamina and energy are down, reintroducing them might appear like it is working, but if they are weak, they may be left behind again where no one sees them and die a horrible death alone.
However, Rocky does seem to have his sister's spunk and tenacity. He would have been a fabulous stallion and he appears to be demonstrating his little "I am the boss" traits about 4-6 weeks earlier than most foals. We have to work with him every day as he is definitely one to challenge. He is an amazing little guy but he already thinks he should be the band stallion. This is where it is critical that he learns about "my space" and that good manners do not include bumping, pushing, nipping, kicking or rearing etc. with humans. He will be put in with DaBubbles or Patches when we get home so he can learn that he actually not the boss. Imagine his surprise when the little "dog size" miniature teaches him respect. It is much more comfortable now for this to happen as it is very unlikely that either one will get hurt.
I want to thank the folks in Nevada for helping out with some groceries and some fuel for Rocky. These babies cost a fortune to raise, and we are only able to do it by the grace of God and all you wonderful folks who make these things happen. (Hmmmm Maybe when Rocky grows up he could pull a wagon back and forth to Nevada when we get foals and we could eliminate fuel costs.) He will certainly be big and strong enough. Just kidding, but I wanted to thank each and every one who help these critters for all you do, and for allowing us to make sure that Honey Bandit and the other "permanent residents" of the rescue can have dinner every day.
Remember, you are always welcome to come and visit "your rescue" and all the critters that you have saved. We all love the visits. 530 474 5197 or 530 339 1458.