Evidence of a Good Mother

This mare, bless her heart, waited patiently with her sleeping two-day-old foal while the rest of the herd drank and played at the pond on a warm spring day. All the others took their time in the water drinking and rolling in the mud. Eventually, they ambled back up toward the trees. It must have been hard to resign herself to wait while her foal slept. Once the foal finally rose, the mother didn’t even wait for the foal to nurse; she headed straight for the pond. This surprised (and delighted me) because the stallion had long since moved the others a distance away. This could be considered defiance of his perimeter. After all that waiting, she marched right in and took a good, long drink. The new foal did not hesitate one moment when striding through the sticky mud to join her. Together they drank and waded and pawed in the water. The stallion had long since gathered and moved the other mares and foals away. When he came back for some unruly returning mares the new mother looked concerned. Avoiding discipline from the stallion is an ongoing worry for the mares and foals. The stallion, however, only took the single mares and left them to finish their time in the water. With apparent relief, she lingered another few moments then dutifully rejoined the herd. A couple of days earlier, when her foal was newly born, the stallion had again kindly relaxed his demands on her staying with the others. He did not enforce his herd boundaries on her, rather, he left her alone to bond with her newborn.

wild horse photography of a mare and new foal wading in a pond
A mare with her two day old foal take advantage of pond access on an extra warm spring day.

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