Spring is trying to come but the warmth to bring on the new grass really hasn’t arrived yet. For the wild horses, the arrival of this year’s foals cannot wait for the green grass. Some of the mares have given birth and these beautiful young babies are wonderful to see. The ones we’ve been able to see so far are looking strong and healthy and the mares are in relatively good condition.
Even on the open hillsides that get the warmth of the sun all day, the new grass is slow to come. The herds are moving around a lot in order to find enough feed. This herd has no foals yet but there are three pregnant mares in the group.
This cutie with his spiked mane is last year’s foal. He has come through the winter in good condition thanks to his mare allowing him to nurse. He is taking advantage of the warm sunshine.
This young stallion has come through the winter so well with his shiny, glossy coat. He has been rolling quite a bit to groom out his winter coat. This show us the hardiness and beauty of our Alberta wild horses.
With the spring weather comes the shedding of winter coats and the need for the wild horses to also deal with the winter itch. This young boy takes the opportunity to scratch his chin and neck on a tree stump.
This gorgeous mare and her foal take advantage of new green grass along an open spring. These are the areas that become green first and the horses and other wildlife definitely know this. Both foals in this band are fawn coloured which is the most prevalent colour for newborn foals. If they laid down in the brown grass they would be well camouflaged and that may be the reason for their colouring. This is the usually the case no matter what the colouring of the mare or stallion.
This little guy is an exception with his mare a light sorrel and the stallion is a dark bay. It is amazing that only being about a week old, how quickly they mimic the adult horses by picking at the grass. So far all these early foals are doing very well and have a good chance to grow up. Despite the weather changing almost daily, all they need is Mom’s milk to remain healthy and strong.
Mom was unconcerned as this little one tested out his footing on a frozen pond. He seemed to take great pleasure in listening to the sound his hooves made on the ice. Luckily he remained on his feet and joined his herd again as they wandered off.
This black beauty is the sire to the two fawn coloured babies. He stood off to the side as the mares fed and his one little guy practiced his skating lessons! Other stallions were in the area, and he was constantly on the alert to protect his harem. You can tell he is in prime condition for this time of year. His strong genes will be carried by the foals he sired and assure his strong characteristics will be preserved.
We were happy to see another one of our favorite stallions looking absolutely magnificent as he fed along a hillside and kept watch over his mares. We had not seen him for a long period of time so this was a treat in our travels that day.
This is wonderful time of the year to visit the wild horses as the babies are arriving even though most will come in May or June. One thing we have noted in some locations, the herds will start to gather in order to protect the new foals. There is protection and strength in numbers.