Born: May 2, 2009
Linda May was the first foal ever born at our rescue centre, to an Arab mare named Ginger who was pregnant when rescued in November 2008.
It was so exciting to learn of the pregnancy, but at the same time we felt worried – this mare was severely malnourished and quite wild from lack of human contact. And what would we do if there was a problem with the newborn foal? We felt so glad we that we could call our equine vet Dorothea any time of the day or night if needed.
As the pregnancy came to full term and Ginger began showing signs that it was soon to happen, we found ourselves getting up all through the night for about two weeks to check on her.
Creeping down the yard in the dark so as not to disturb the other horses, we would anxiously peer in at Ginger to see if anything was happening. She would just calmly look at us as if to say: "What are you doing here?" And off we would go back to bed for another two hours.
Finally, on a Saturday morning, we went down to feed everyone at 6am. Still nothing. So we went back inside to have our breakfast and when we came back out, there she was.
It's one of the most incredible moments when you look at this newborn foal, already standing, wonder how this perfectly proportioned young horse could have come out of her mother. One minute you have one horse with a big belly and the next you suddenly have two.
When Ginger knew that we had seen her new foal she just stood there looking so proud and pleased. She was a marvellous mother, she knew exactly what she was doing, and was so relaxed that she even let us touch her foal right from the start. Not every mare will do this, as we were later to find out with other births.
Ginger’s foal was actually named in a radio competition, and we settled on Linda May. While she was born brown, she gradually turned a lovely dappled grey as she grew older.
Linda May is turned out every day with her mother and they can often be seen cantering around the field together. Their bond is unbreakable. When we see the joy of mother and youngster together, we know there truly is nothing more special than a mother's love.
As a non-profit foundation staffed almost entirely by volunteers, we rely on your donations to continue our work to save horses like Ginger and Linda May, and to cover their ongoing feeding and care costs. Find out how you can help here.