Don’t Despair on Day One

The view through the lens on day 3!

It happened again.  The foal was friendly and sociable right after birth, coming to us to say hello when we were near, bringing smiles to our foal-watch-fatigued faces.  Then at 24 hours old, the foal wanted nothing to do with us, hiding behind Mom whenever we approached, avoiding all possible contact.  This change in behavior is very discouraging after all the work that goes into bringing a new pony into the world (not to overlook the work done by the mare of course!)

Fortunately, we’ve been through this sequence of events many times before.  Sometimes after 48 hours, more often after 72, and very rarely even later, the foal becomes curious and sociable again, learning to enjoy our presence for all the scratches in favorite places we offer as we begin our early foal training routine.  The downside of the situation resolving, though, is that pictures become harder to take, as the foal starts to fill the lens whenever the camera comes out!

It’s our experience that the period of the foal’s disinterest in us is when their eyesight is maturing.  Perhaps they are over-stimulated from all the new sights in their field of view.  We think it’s our strong relationship with our mares that makes the foals accept us right after birth, mimicking mom, and then the same later.  So we’ve learned not to get discouraged at day one but just to wait things out.  Patience pays off, for the joy of a new pony relationship always comes with time.  What a blessing new life is!

© Jenifer Morrissey, 2017

If you enjoy stories like this, you’ll find more in the books A Humbling Experience and What an Honor, available by clicking on the book covers.

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About workponies

Breeder of Fell Ponies, teamster of work ponies, and author of Feather Notes, Fell Pony News, and A Humbling Experience: My First Few Years with Fell Ponies. Distributor of Dynamite Specialty Products for the health of our planet and the beings I share it with.
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