Foals are totally adorable, and this little Quarter Horse foal is no exception. He’s having a great time in the spring pasture, and is testing out his legs – and his balance! You can see him experimenting with really stretching out into his stride, and there are hints of the adult horse that he will become. And for his antics? Well, his mom pays him no heed, contentedly eating while he tires himself out.
In the wild, foals need to be able to stand and run quickly after birth. Their safety depends on it, as they must be able to keep up with the herd and escape predators. Because of this, foals get up quickly after they’re born. While it may take them some time to truly get their balance and get the hang of how their legs work, foals can move about much sooner than other young animals can.
According to Horse Channel, by the time foals are a month or two old, they start to engage in play with other foals. They also start to groom other horses, and through grooming and play, foals learn about the social structure of their herd. Play also helps to strengthen a foal’s muscles and improve his balance and control of his body. Foals fall down frequently, but they’re relatively resilient. It’s much easier for a foal to fall down and get back up than it is for an adult horse to take a tumble.
A foal’s mother will help to teach him about the herd hierarchy so that the foal can understand his place. All herds operate within a certain hierarchy, and horses know their place as it relates to other herd members. Herds are led by a lead mare, and all of the other herd members fit in somewhere beneath the lead mare.
When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing how quickly foals learn the skills they need to survive. The little foal in this video is adorable, but he’s also learning important lessons about life through his play.