It was the horse’s first baby, and she must have been exhausted. But there was still one thing the farmer needed to do: introduce the foal to her mommy. He rubs Mommy’s hindquarters to get her attention, and she turns her head to the new arrival.
Animals are usually natural moms, but just like with humans, sometimes it helps to have a helping hand. In 2017 equine enthusiast Facebook group, Horse Spirit, hosted an amazing video showing a very special moment. The footage revealed a momma horse meeting her first foal.
Both the location and the name of the horse’s owner are unknown. However, the event appears to take place on a farm. Furthermore, the farmer seems to have experience with animal births, so the horse was in very safe hands.
The video begins with the farmer assisting a beautiful dark mare with her birth. The process has already begun, and the farmer holds the baby as it makes its entrance. Mommy looks exhausted and lies down as her baby arrives.
The baby’s hind legs appear first, and the farmer uses them to ease it further into the world. The foal is quite hard to make out at first, though: it’s covered with a membrane of some kind. In fact, that’s the amniotic sac.
Amniotic sacs are tough coverings that envelop fetuses, including human babies, in the womb. They are actually filled with fluid, and act as a cushion to protect the child during its mommy’s pregnancy. When it bursts, it’s referred to as “waters breaking.”
On the other hand, some creatures give birth to babies while they’re still in the amniotic sac. It’s not just animals that do this – it’s also possible in humans. This is a very rare occurrence for human mothers, but it’s much more common in the animal kingdom.
The video’s foal is a prime example, as the baby is born completely covered in its sac. The footage shows how the farmer steps in to free the foal from its membrane. Then he wipes the fluid from its snout and mouth as best he can.
Meanwhile, mommy horse sits up and looks at the baby she brought into the world. The farmer gives the tired baby a moment to catch its breath, but there is still work to do. In this case, the farmer needs to free the foal from the rest of its amniotic sac.
With this in mind, the farmer carefully peels the rest of the sac off, and the video switches scenes. It looks like mommy and baby have had a chance to rest, since Mom is on her feet. She also dedicates her attention to her foal.
The fluids released during birth make an attractive scent for the mother. As a result, she is more inclined to lick her newborn and nuzzle it with her snout. In the video, you can see mommy mare licking her baby.
This is an important step for both mother and child, and it serves several different purposes. The first is obviously to clean the foal. The second is to create an emotional bond between each other. The third reason is as much for survival as development.
Mother mare’s attention is supposed to spur the foal into taking its first steps. The scent and sounds of birth may attract predators, and a helpless foal would be a tasty treat. Mommy wants her baby up and running as quickly as possible for a greater chance of survival.
That’s not such a big problem for farm horses, but it’s ingrained in horse behavior. Despite Mom’s persistent attention, though, the foal doesn’t make an attempt to move. This is presumably why the farmer steps in to help, and Mom seems happy for the assistance.
The farmer approaches the foal and carefully puts his arms around it until he has it supported. Then he carefully lifts it off the ground to encourage the baby to stand. The foal seems nervous as a result and stamps its little hooves.
The foal calms down shortly after and seems to get the hang of its new upright position. It also recognizes that the farmer is there for support and leans its body against him. Mommy sees all this and goes over to see if she can help.
The mare goes back to licking her foal’s neck to help the baby walk. While she does that, the farmer is carefully balancing the foal’s body to give it better support. The combined effort of mother and farmer makes a touching scene.
And their hard work paid off; the footage cuts to another scene, but this time baby’s walking! It’s a little unsteady on its feet but trotting proudly alongside Mommy. The farmer must also be proud to see the baby he helped bring into the world finding its feet.
The video offers a wonderful chance to witness not only a foal’s birth, but also the first stages of its development. It would seem the internet agrees: almost eight million people have watched the footage. In addition, it has been shared 112 thousand times.
Mommy mare did a wonderful job of bringing her foal into the world. But let’s not forget the caring farmer who helped her by literally supported her baby until it could walk. Now that’s someone who’s dedicated to animal care, and as a reward he gets to watch the baby grow up.