New Foals meet the Neigh-bors…the adult horses

Introducing

Click to watch full video

There sure is a lot going on in this video!

Willow, the dun mare at the beginning is surprised by seeing foals. She hasn’t been around babies since she was one so you can see a curiosity and almost a concern/fear with her body language. She was ready to run.

Jackie, the next mare in the video, has had two foals and you can see excitement and curiosity. She has had her own foals and has been out in pastures with other mares and foals. 

The foals themselves are interesting to watch. They are interested in looking at every thing and aren’t especially drawn to the other horses. They are taking all of it in.

Justice, the stockier foal, was with his mom for over two weeks and was likely out with other mares and foals. Presto, the appy was only with his mom three days. I found it interesting that Presto didn’t do the ‘baby talk’ with his mouth for several days while Justice did immediately. 

You can see that the foals get more comfortable and start to run and play more while still sticking close to each other. I’m so glad they have each other through this time. I expect that in the future I will need to wean them from each other, much like they would have been weaned from their mothers, but right now they need the security each offers. 

Just after the 2 minute mark something very interesting happens. Willow, who still isn’t sure about these creatures, has a conversation with them. With her head over the fence she alternates pinning her ears at them, in my opinion what she is doing is asking them questions. She is trying to judge their reaction; do they stand their ground? Do they threaten back? Do they run in fear?

Presto’s reaction shows exactly why theses motherless foals should not be turned out with adults yet: he does nothing. Presto didn’t learn to run when threatened by other horses. He hasn’t been moved out of danger by his own mother and learned to identify danger. He simply does nothing. He doesn’t know how to read this body language. 

I am glad they will have the chance to learn how to read some of this from over the fence. They will eventually be turned out with adults and I want them to learn to move when nipped…Willow might be the one teaching them that over the fence.

The next video clip is almost MORE interesting! Justice takes what Willow just did, alternating ear pinning, and tries it out on the next horse he meets, which is Jackie. Thankfully Jackie has already raised foals and ignores this ‘small talk’. I found it interesting that Justice has never tried this again. 

What Justice did take away from Jackie was the idea to eat some hay. He almost immediately turns away from her (while she is chewing) and grabs the closest hay he can find. It isn’t even the freshest hay in the field. It is safe but the ‘good stuff’ is up in the barn, but what he was looking to do was to mimic this adult horse. 

I love, love, love this stuff!

Presto sleeping on mePopcorn likes babies and you can see that he is kind over the fence. He is generally the strong confident leader. Not a push over and not aggressive. In the future I hope that he will be educating the foals. He won’t be the first adult I choose though. I think the first one will be the 20+ retired TB that isn’t completely sound. He will be a gentle giant who isn’t as much like a drill sergeant as Popcorn will be. They need a kindergarten teacher first.

There is so much going on around here with chickens, dogs, people, pigs, donkeys and other horses that these foals have very full days. I feed them around 10 pm every night and they are sacked out and completely exhausted…and super fun to cuddle with!

 

20 Comments

  1. Elizabeth on August 5, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. So sweet!

  2. Jeni on June 21, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Can I share this video and your blog to the New Beginnings FB page? You nailed it all spot on, majority of these foals have not been with their moms or adult horses to learn the language. The “baby talk” as you put is instinct “I’m a baby don’t hurt me” and I found it interesting that only one of yours did this. This is why Last Chance Corral insists that foals are adopted as pairs.

    • Stacy Westfall on June 22, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Yes! Feel free to link!

      • Becky Gamble on June 23, 2016 at 3:01 pm

        Stacy, how to we get in touch with you? Do you have an email address?

  3. Linda Corbello Duplechin on June 18, 2016 at 7:13 am

    So precious….gotta love those long legs.

  4. Holly on June 18, 2016 at 6:45 am

    I have a gelding who loves babies also. It’s so fun to see him be such a caring, gentle “uncle” to them. Now if you put a new horse into the pasture with him, watch out, “land shark” replaces uncle!!

  5. Cathy List on June 18, 2016 at 5:24 am

    This is fabulous! I am learning so much by following this. Thank you so much for sharing and documenting everything. It is absolutely wonderful!

  6. Lori Christiansen on June 18, 2016 at 1:20 am

    Can I just come over and watch those two little hunyuks run around, shoulder to shoulder? How in the world do you get anything done?

  7. Cynthia on June 17, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Could they be any cuter? I don’t think so! Thank you for adopting them and sharing their progress!

  8. Lesia Lowe on June 17, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Love this video…wondering who is the 20+ retired TB gentle giant?? … Scrapper??

  9. Kathryn on June 17, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing – this is so wonderful to see these babies in a safe and loving home! I love seeing their progress!!! Thank you

  10. Holly on June 17, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Love them!!! What color halters did you end up with for them?
    I don’t know if he is a little older, that he was with his mother a little longer, his breeding or what but Justice seems to have an advantage at this point. Realizing he comes from a larger breed than Presto…. I just like the way Justice moves. He looks pretty graceful for his age and is well muscled already. Is he older?

  11. Lynne on June 17, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    It is so important that the babies have the security of an older horse during this time. Babies with PTSD (my term) may need one even longer once they’ve bonded. Someone to hide behind and to learn important coping skills. Just as a surrogate can alter the temperament of a baby, so a “Foster” parent can intercede for an orphan. Personally, I would just introduce 1 senior to the babies–not 2 as in Stacy’s blog. More than 1 would introduce herd behavior rather than bonding behavior in a delicate situation. These babies have hit the lottery.

    • Stacy Westfall on June 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Lynne, I must have been confusing in my writing…When I do introduce it will be just with one senior horse.

  12. Selene Grace on June 17, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing these little ones. I have always thought of adopting a couple of these babies, with be fun to watch you raise and train these two.

  13. Beth on June 17, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    This journey is going to be so much fun and quite the learning experience, thanks so much for letting us follow.

  14. Beth Cain on June 17, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    I love watching then figure the world out. Thank you so much sharing with us.

  15. Nicole Kobs on June 17, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Omgoodness!! I just love how Justice moves! He is so pretty. Of course Presto is cute too!

  16. Laurie Hall on June 17, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Stacy, I just love you sharing this with us. How do you get anything done, I’d want to be watching them constantly. Lol. It looks like Preston is more the leader. Do you find this?

  17. Rebecca Vensel on June 17, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing their first conversation with the adult horses. Magical!

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