Womb to World

free range horse photography of a newborn colt drinking in a blue pond
Water must feel like home to the newborn foal only hours out of the womb.

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.

The Will to Survive is Strong

free range horse photography of a new bay filly

“Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this the key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain … ”

–May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

The will to live is strong in this one.

A Star is Born

free range horse photography of a mare sheltering her newborn foal in woods
An early morning surprise is tiptoeing about in the woods.

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.

Can Do

free range horse photography of a newborn colt in a pond
Newborns fearlessly venture into water, which is amazing.

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”.

Yay! Another New Foal!

free range horse photography of a large newborn foal with a long face
Long of leg and face, this newborn, only several hours old has a lot to grow into in the next few months.

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.

Absolute Devotion

free range horse photography of a new mother's devotion to her new foal
Horse hugs.

Her enthusiasm for her foal is adorable. Her constant nuzzles and touches are met with trust and matched adoration from the filly. They are the perfect cure for anything that may causing you stress.

From Womb to Water

free range horse photography of a newborn foal in a pond with her mother
Less than 24 hours old and this newborn filly is experiencing her new world with mature confidence.

With the courage of a veteran, this newborn filly takes the plunge.

Royalty

free range horse photography of a paint mare with here newborn colt
Welcome to (finally) an new colt to That Herd.

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 …

Her Journey Begins

free range horse photography of a one day old foal strolling with her mother
Sporting a cropped mohawk and a determined face, this one-day-old filly strolls beside mother.

With her first day behind her, this new filly purposefully marches beside her mother, matching her every turn and pause. Soon she’ll be investigating her surroundings with confidence.

The Filly Streak Continues!

free range horse photography of a napping newborn filly under her mother
Late day naps are in order on your birth day.

It’s a girl! Again! 2019 Fillies are running in a strong majority for That Herd. Several summer foals are still expected so we will see if that continues. Mother and newborn are just fine. The mare’s roaming patterns were not in my favor today; many tall grasses and mustard seed obscuring my view. She did, kindly, let me approach her and the filly even though she’s only several hours old.

A Little Horse of Her Very Own

free range horse photography of a devoted mare and her first foal
An attentive mother checks in constantly with her newborn foal.

This mare is impossible to dislike. She is curious and gentle. She’s a bit of a lovable goober, though I hate to use a term that’s so hard to define. Motherhood should suit her; she has always wanted a little horse all to herself to play with. The newborn filly, looks almost exactly like her, which makes this even more fun.

Time Flies

free range horse photography of a newborn colt with lots of white
The first foal of the year for That Herd came in January.

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.

Offender Number Two

free range horse photography of a grieving mare taking possession of another mare's newborn foal
A mare who tragically lost her newborn foal takes possession of another mare’s newborn foal.

Still grieving over the loss of her own newborn many weeks prior, this mare took possession of a newborn filly along with an additional thief-mare for several hours. Every opportunity she got, she swooped in to take control of the confused newborn. In a true wild situation, the outcome for this foal would have been calamitous. Human intervention reunited her with her mother and separated her from the others. Both are doing fine. She is the ninja foal from the previous post.

Understandably Peeved

free range horse photography of an angry foal circling it's mother that stole a newborn foal
A well-meaning mare steals a newborn from another mare and her own foal is (understandably) quite irritated.

(Another picture of the sassy filly shown defending the dirt pile a couple posts back.) In this image she is circling her mother with confusion and irritation over the attention given to another foal. Her beloved mother has stolen another mare’s newborn foal and everything got really weird after that. This event required intervention and I’m happy to report that the confused newborn was reunited with her mother and they were separated from the herd for a while to bond. All is well for all the horses and the brief disruption to the sassy filly’s esteem is corrected.

Bonus Points

free range horse photography of a long legged newborn colt and his good natured mother
This brave mare welcomes a large and long legged newborn foal.
free range horse photography of a proud mare and her newborn colt
A good natured mare and her surprisingly large newborn colt.

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.

Earned Fatigue

free range horse photography of a tired mother of a newborn foal
A veteran mother and her earned fatigue shows the day her foal is born.
free range horse photography of a wistful mare and newborn
A mare with a newborn filly appears wistful as the others move off to a new location.

A veteran mother maintains a protective zone around her newborn filly. She stays quietly within the herd, but she minimizes her wandering for the foal’s sake and undoubtedly, her own sake as well. She is recuperating from the birth of a large foal. The foal is not much more than twenty four hours old in these images.

New Kid on the Block

free range horse photography of a new filly on parade
A filly on parade at a couple of days old.

Strolling through the neighborhood.

Reluctant Introduction

free range horse photography of a black mare and black newborn filly
A new mother reluctantly presents her newborn foal.

Looking a bit disheveled and weary, this new mother skirts the perimeters of the herd with her newborn filly. The foal is a day old and still has the wrinkly, albeit dry, wavy patterns in her black hair-coat.

Happy Girls are the Prettiest Girls

free range horse photography of a smoke colored newborn filly
A flashy smoke-grey filly has arrived.

Hey look! She’s the same color as the oak tree bark! At one day old this filly is a joy to observe. Bouncy and independent, her mother follows her carefree explorations instead of the normal foal-follows-mare arrangement.

An Unexpected Arrival

free range horse photography of a week-old filly
A week old and sporting a fuzzy-wuzzy coat for the weather.

She is unusual in many ways. She has an unusual face marking (not entirely visible in this pic), she is unusually stout for a new foal for a maiden mother, she is unusually fuzzy (but the hair-coat is welcome for the wet weather we have been experiencing), and she is unusual because she is completely unexpected, and the sire is a mystery. Despite the foal’s size, it was not obvious her mother was pregnant until the final weeks before birth. Life on the range has a few twists and turns.