Parent Profile: Mescalero

Mescalero's band, June 2016.

Mescalero’s band, June 2016.

Something that’s been bugging me for a while is people’s views on Mescalero. It’s true, he’s only successfully raised one foal to date, but I think people who criticize his ability as a father forget that there’s only biologically so much a stallion can do. Which got me thinking: how do you define good parenting with wildlife? The scientific definition of success is producing healthy offspring, but when stallions posture it’s not to ask how their kids are doing. Posturing is all about mares, and although mares will potentially produce offspring in the long run, that’s probably not how a stallion defines success in that moment. The stallion has the most dominance has the most mares, and since Mescalero has more mares than his siblings, I’ve decided to try to take an objective look about how successful he’s been as a parent. To do this, in no particular order, I plan on listing his foals. My goal is to provide as much information as I am able to in order to show the best possibility of how they passed away. Know one can know for sure, of course, but hopefully it will give people a better understanding of life on the range.

Custer doesn't have anything to do with this post other than he's Mescalero's brother.

Custer doesn’t have anything to do with this post other than he’s Mescalero’s brother.

Quintana–Feldspar x Mescalero. 2016. Grulla/grulla roan. Sturdy and outgoing, Mescalero and the band have been doing a great job of caring for her so far. I think she has pretty good odds of doing great this winter.

Quintana (June, 2016)

Quintana (June, 2016)

Pride–Feldspar x Cloud. 2015. Buckskin roan. Recently causing drama by testing out being a bachelor as only a yearling, I think Pride is going to do great. He doesn’t seem as outgoing compared to his siblings, but he’s just as precocious. When he does become a bachelor, I can see him fitting in really well with Mandan, Navigator, and Jackson.

I considered a photo of only Pride, but this one's more fun.

I considered a photo of only Pride, but this one’s more fun.

Lincoln/Longshot–Polaris x Mescalero? 2011. Bay. His name kind of speaks for itself. He was a late season foal, and Polaris doesn’t have the best track record with foals either. Not to say she’s a bad mother, just pointing out that it takes two to raise a foal and all that.

I don't have any photos of Longshot, so here's Polaris with Quintana.

I don’t have any photos of Longshot, so here’s Polaris with Quintana.

Lehmi–Isadora x Mescalero? 2011. Bay. Although sturdy, I believe she was also relatively late.  She was also her mom’s first foal, so there are a lot of factors to consider.

I don't have a photo of Lemhi either, so more Quintana?

I don’t have a photo of Lehmi either, so more Quintana?

Jet–Polaris x Mescalero? 2010? I don’t know a lot about Jet, but his dam is Polaris. Again, nothing against Polaris, it just takes two to tango.

Here's Mescalero because I don't have a photo of Jet, and I ran out of photos of Quintana.

Here’s Mescalero because I don’t have a photo of Jet, and I ran out of photos of Quintana.

Dove’s–Dove x Mescalero? 2008. Buckskin? I don’t think anyone saw this particular foal up close, but it was Dove’s first.

Admittedly, I don’t spend a lot of time with Mescalero. I don’t have any inspirational observations to prove he’s the best father ever, and act like the mares were the worst at raising foals. However, I hope this shows a slightly more objective approach to studying mustangs. You can’t just look at one aspect of a wild animals life, and make generalizations. From a scientific perspective, four is a small sample size, but I think it is safe to say that there’s more going on than just Mescalero. There’s not one factor I can list for all of them, but things to consider are: the mare’s age, if she’s a maiden mare (first time mom), foal’s health, weather, etc. Every single mustang has a story, and Mescalero’s is more than his success with foals.



  1. You go, girl! As humans, it is hard to see a foal die, and that makes it easy to place blame on a stallion who has encountered worse luck than most of his peers. At the same time, Mescalero deserves less flack. He’s a great stallion and his main duo of Rosarita & Polaris adore him! I think it is impressive to see how his band has grown so late in his life and would love to see a surprise Half Moon baby sores by him next year too. ❤️

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