Foals are such wonderful creatures. It is amazing to watch them grow, learn and explore the big wide world.
This is Matilda, a much-awaited filly foal. Her mom waited an agonizing 11 months for her to arrive, the gestation period for a horse. It seemed like a lifetime of excitement and worry.
But Matilda arrived safely and turned out to be one of the fieriest, brave, and inquisitive foals her mom ever met!
Here, she is at only a week or two old and still totally dependent on her horse mom’s milk. But instead of shying away from the running water, she was straight over to explore it.
Not all foals are this brave, but Matilda had no fear.
Quick Foal Facts
Besides being adorable, there are some pretty interesting facts about foals that you might now know. I wanted to share a few of the most interesting facts about foals, like Matilda.
1. Horses are flight animals. Newborn foals can stand within one hour after birth.  They can also walk and even trot, albeit a bit wobbly at this stage.
This is because to survive in the wild, they need to be ready to move quickly.
2. Most foals are born at night. Mares have some control over when they give birth and will almost always go this at night. Darkness provides protection from predators and gives the foal a chance to get up and moving.
3. Foals do not have a good immune system when they are born and are vulnerable to infection. This is why the first milk they drink is vital to their survival. The first milk is called colostrum, and it contains important antibodies that kick start the immune system.
4. Only a few days after birth, foals will start sampling grass, hay, and water. While they aren’t actually eating it at this stage, they know very quickly what to eat other than their mother’s milk.
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into Matilda’s world. It was sure fun watching her grow up!
1. Evaluation & Care of Newborn Foals | AAEP [Internet]. aaep.org. Available from: https://aaep.org/horsehealth/evaluation-care-newborn-foals
Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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