Horses form close relationships that become subgroups within a herd setting. While it may be anthropomorphic to say horses have friends, they definitely form bonds and make choices within the herd about spending time with favored herd mates. This colt, as a foal, was often entertaining in his interactions with other horses. His personality was inquisitive and social toward not only the other foals but also the adult mares and stallion. Certainly, individual dispositions play a role in this subgroup/friend dynamic. Also, it has been said that horses of a lighter color are often less accepted in herds. There are a couple of theories about why that could be true, but I don’t see that happening as a rule within That Herd.
The growth of a foal is exponential immediately after birth. Not only their body tissues and functions, but their brains transition at an impressive, and necessary rate. These horses are quite comfortable with standing or running water sources. Even this colt, only in his first day of life, seems right at home in the water. Observing horses in water is always mesmerizing. Maybe this is because water is not a usual environment for horses and this makes them appear almost magical in that setting.
This is how you find these two foals, always together. The grey fell in love with this dark filly the first day they met. He has shadowed her ever since. Rarely leaving her side, he is a model of devotion. The mother of the filly tolerates his affections entirely.
Color genetics with horses is not without complexity. A new buckskin in the herd this year inspired me to revisit what I know about color genetics. Without getting into the science of it all and in the simplest terms, black and red are the two basic equine color pigments. A horse’s ability to reproduce theses pigments is an inherited trait, with red being recessive to black. Each pigment can be modified by other genes, including dilution genes. Buckskin color is black-based and a dilute version of the color bay, another black-based coat color. White markings are, simply stated, a matter of chance.
The marking on this colt’s face reminds me of a family crest or a royal scepter, a figure of royal authority. This seems fitting since he is handsome enough to be a prince.
Hidden in the woods, a veteran mother keeps a close eye on my approach as her newly foaled buckskin colt delicately explores the world. As the mare’s due dates approach, anticipation of discovering a new foal escalates into pervasive distraction. On those few mornings that reward you with a new baby to meet, life is good.
Only in his first day of life and this new colt wades right into the pond with his mother. So far, every newborn foal that encounters the pond carefully steps in without hesitation. When you have no life experience I guess everything is possible. It is amazing that with every passing minute and hour they are completely able to learn balance and obstacle negotiation on land as well as water, along with every other new sensation and bodily function that comes with life in the “outside world”.
Just looking at this image you cannot tell how tall the foal is. The mare is substantial in size and height. This is her first foal, and he is quite large for a newborn. He is all legs and (I mean this in a good way), all face. I have no doubt that he will grow into his parts and be a beautiful colt. I think he’s striking and he has an air of intelligence, like his mother.
I know what you’re thinking; no spots. Well, I must say, he is spectacular anyway. He’s big, and solid, and long legged, with flashy white; what more could you ask for? And, yes, he’s a colt. Colts are in the minority this year, so let’s hear it for the boys! Welcome to the long legged, handsome boy! The white on his face looks like some sort of royal symbol …
A newborn image of the first foal of 2019 for the nostalgia of his cuteness. Now he’s a rough and ready brute of a colt.
Conjuring visions of unicorns in mystical forests, this colt displays wondrous confidence and agility for one so young. He was not startled or fleeing, he was simply filled with the joy of life, and acted out with impulsive, light-hearted energy. He was only five days old on this April morning.
With lightening speed, she rises up to administer a (mock) fatal jab. He never saw it coming.
Since I mentioned it was hard to see just how long legged he is, I have proof. He’s just a few days old in this image.
This mare has hidden her new colt away from the rest of the herd. She favors the cover of trees, and the shadows each time I have approached. The colt, an obvious grey, has impossibly long legs which are not as obvious in the tall grass. I give him bonus points for having white around his nostrils. (My whole life, horses with white muzzles have stood out as extra attractive, like a movie horse). Not always a team player, this mare affectionately known as Iris, continues to stubbornly avoid rejoining the rest of the mares and foals. The colt will be in for quite a surprise when he finally experiences other horses. These images were taken the day he was born, so he’s only several hours old.
These two foals are not more than a few days apart, but the bigger foal is shy about introductions. The delicate filly is willing to frisk about with her herd mate, but first she must win him (and his mother) over. She’s a charmer, so I’m sure she succeeded.
A January colt and his mother stroll through a glorious location. After a few rainy days, then a few sunny days, this is their beautiful home.
The new year has brought us a new That Herd member. Strong and flashy, this colt earns the distinction of the first foal of 2019. Be still my beating heart; the foals are coming!
I post different images across various social media. I rarely put the same image on other galleries, so take a look around.
“Is there any instinct more deeply implanted in the heart of man than the pride of protection, a protection which is constantly exerted for a fragile and defenseless creature?” – Honere de Balzac
Distinctive light face patches appeared on the youngest member of That Herd this week.
At this point in his hair coat transformation, he looks kind of like an African antelope, tricolored and long faced. The brown grass completes the African theme.