A sweet picture taken in the days before they will be separated. It is time to wean the foals. The oldest foal is about seven months old while the youngest is about five months old. They are weaned as a group and will continue to experience their world together, in familiar territory, counting on each other’s strengths. It is bittersweet when the young leave their mothers and become independent. The newly independent fillies and colts will have many highs and lows of confidence as they mature. The mares, even after months of self sacrifice, have continued to show devotion to nurturing and the protection of their foals. The constant vigilance employed to raise a baby in a free roaming environment, the rude demands of the older foals, the unending search for food and water, all wear on the mares, sometimes you can literally see it in their faces, but then there are also lots of moments of tender camaraderie and evidence of a bond that is as old as time. It takes only a short time for the mares to quiet and accept the coming months, now devoted to the new foal growing inside them. The youngsters, moving forward, lean on each other and their own innate qualities of survival bloom.