This foal caught me by surprise with it’s burst of exuberant energy; this spontaneous friskiness did not go unnoticed by a nearby herd mate.
A tender moment between a foal and it’s mother. The expression on the foal’s face is filled with fondness. Moments like these make it harder to not attach human attributes to animals. The perceptions about animal emotions and motivations have long been a topic of conversation; science, art history, mythology, religion, literature and film all have anthropomorphism entwined into their histories. I have long been cautioned to avoid assumptions that animals share any of the same social and emotional capacities of humans and I’m okay with that. Observable evidence is the term used with animal behavior. I have to admit, though, that sometimes the observable evidence looks very human.
This foal spent several moments touching and nuzzling it’s mother’s face, whiskers, eyes and neck. The foal appeared to be simply exploring and connecting with it’s mom. The mare seemed to enjoy the attention and reciprocated delicately.
Mares give a quick nip to the hamstring of roughly nursing foals to remind them to be gentle. However, as shown in the second image, mares are more often gentle and attentive with their babies. This is the same mare and foal, in case that’s not obvious.
Both horse have pleasant, if not impish expressions, they are just horsing around.
It’s not personal. Acceptable space boundaries change when a newborn foal arrives.
The stallion is feeling a greater sense of urgency in this image exhibited by the exaggerated low driving posture.
About to be introduced to the rest of the herd for the first time, this mare reassures her new foal.