Foster mare

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


Jas­mine Bas­tarache is look­ing for­ward to bring­ing her horse Tan­tum home af­ter the mare spent the past few months rais­ing an or­phaned filly that needed a foster mom.

Af­ter months of be­ing apart, Jas­mine Bas­tarache is look­ing for­ward to bring­ing her horse Tan­tum home.

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.”


Tan­tum, right, with filly Anne with an ‘E’. Six months ago, 17-year-old Tan­tum took on the role of foster mom when the filly was or­phaned shortly af­ter birth.

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