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Louise Mitchell’s Account of fostering a yearling for the ISPCA

Louise Mitchell’s account of fostering a yearling for the ISPCA.

What have I got from fostering?
1. Sense of purpose – I am a carer, my mare Indie is too. By fostering Mr Jones both of us satisfied our need to nurture. Indie lost a foal many years ago and I believe she never got over that.  By mothering Mr Jones I hope she was able to move on. For me, having come to terms with my disability following an accident, I realise I can still be of use and continue my passion of working with youngsters.
2. A sense of pride. Watching him grow into a beautiful spirited confident colt make me so happy.
3. A sense of achievement. Fostering Mr Jones has helped me overcome my disability and confidence issues as I had to concentrate on him and not my disability. It led me to meet many new people and I took on the role of fundraiser for a local charity and pushed my boundaries to help Mr Jones secure a valuable money prize for the ISPCA and securing sponsorship for his worming programme.
4. Education – I have learnt a lot more about handling foals and having him here has taught me much about herd dynamics and equine/ human relationships.
5. Help with grazing – I have 30 acres, the more mouths grazing the better.
6. Money is tight, I can’t offer funds but I have land, stables, time, patience and a willingness to help.


What has Mr Jones got from this?
1. A calm and peaceful foster home.
2. Individual attention to his needs. I was willing and able to hand pick him grass and feed him small feeds 5 times a day, which enabled him to slowly and regularly develop his trust in me.
3. A mixed herd from which to learn social skills (Mummy replacement, best buddy, matriarch, rough house boys).
4. No pressure, he’s enjoyed his summer out at grass. He’s been able to make his own mind up about humans, and had time to play and develop muscles and balance.
5. Progress at his pace. I was able to study his personality and plan exercises to suit him. For example he was terrified of HiViz jackets when he arrived. I started, leaving them in the stable, wearing one in his stable, doing the field checks wearing one. Now he accepts them without question.
6. A year of stability, good grazing and fun.

I will miss him deeply but feel secure in the knowledge he will find a forever home and go on to great things. “

Louise Mitchell – Mr Jones’ foster mum.

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