Rocky: the PMU Foal
Open Gates heard about the plight of PMU foals and decided to learn more. PMU stands for Pregnant Mare Urine, which is used by the pharmaceutical industry to extract estrogen, a female hormone often prescribed to women in mid-life. The PMU industry has changed radically in recent years. Just a few years ago, there was such a demand for pregnant mare urine that thousands of farms, mostly in Canada and the Dakotas, kept pregnant mares for the purpose of collecting and selling their urine to the drug companies. Pregnancy, of course, results in a birth. The foals in this case were often regarded simply as a by-product, and about 60,000 per year were sold to feedlots, where they were raised and slaughtered for the European meat market. In the process of researching PMU foals, we found Rocky in Alberta, Canada. We were very drawn to him and decided to adopt him. He arrived at Open Gates in November of 2003. A deep bond was made between Rocky and Chris Lombard, who was a trainer at the time. Chris now owns Rocky (or maybe it’s Rocky who owns Chris) and they do lots of Natural Horsemanship clinics together.
This is Lacey at her forever home. She is the first horse that Open Gates ever placed. She is an Arabian/Quarter Horse blend who was adopted by a very loving couple that live nearby, so we can visit with this beautiful little filly when we wish! Lacey came from an abusive home, where they let grown men ride her at a year old, put chains in her mouth and made her drag tires, and where she had no food or water for days on end. She is now a very healthy and wonderful little filly who just loves people.
Bonnie Bay Belle “Belle”
Belle, a Welsh Cob pony, arrived at Open Gates on a sub-zero February night in 2007 from an auction in Kalona, Iowa, after having made a brief stop at a rescue in Pennsylvania. Belle arrived with nothing but a harsh nylon stock halter and a number glued to her back. No name, no age (although estimated age is 12), no health information and no background. It was evident from the start that this pony had never known the warmth of human companionship. With much attention and affection from volunteers at Open Gates, Belle began to seek out human contact from anyone who would offer it. She loved to be petted and particularly enjoyed our youngest visitors. Belle is now adopted. A big thank you from all of us at Open Gates to Donna and Richard LeBlond who have adopted Belle!