Nature’s Pretty Neat

Many mares, new to motherhood, have never even seen a baby horse, so how do they understand their own birth experience and nurturing of their own foal? A strong mix of sensory, hormonal, olfactory, and visual cues combine to ensure new mothers are capable of caring for the birth of their first (and subsequent) offspring. Witnessing the birth and bonding of the mares and their foals is always awe inspiring. So many changes, in rapid succession, are required for the success and health of both the mother and the baby in a natural setting, that every success seems a miracle. But it’s not a miracle. It’s the magnificent efficiency of nature and body chemistry perfected over time. It occurs over and over in nature with all animals. Do horses love their foals? It is uncertain if animals are capable of the variants of love that humans experience. Certainly, they form strong attachments and are often very nurturing and attentive; a form of love, to be sure.

wild horse photography of a new mother and her colt
The expression of this mare shows her concern and bewilderment with her new foal.

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