Encouraging Nuzzles

free range horse photography of a newborn foal being welcomed by his mother
Within minutes of birth, already tired from repeatedly trying to stand, this newborn gets some encouraging nuzzles from his mother.

I happened to be in the right place at the right time and witnessed a morning birth. The mare simply laid down among her herd mates and had a baby.

With the placenta sack still covering half it’s body, this newborn began his attempts to get to his feet.

After about ten minutes of testing gravity with instinctive efforts to stand, he relented and caught his breath.

In this moment, the mother licked and nuzzled her new baby paying particular attention to his floppy ears.

Within thirty minutes of being born, he managed to get one leg under all four corners, so to speak. Swaying unsteadily with his front legs propped stiffly out in front he experienced balance for the first time. I was struck by how thick his legs were; they were like posts. I have rarely seen knees that big on a newborn. Uneven terrain, gusty wind, and mother’s attempts to impede curious herd mates complicated his locomotion but he persevered as a flight animal must. Witnessing birth in a natural setting is intense because the hazards seem countless and the little victories essential.

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