Skip to Content

Mare running to her foal when she hears her crying in the stables

When the foal feels in danger or feels insecure, it uses some sounds to call its mother. She can become aggressive if the way she is called is worrying because she thinks someone wants to hurt her child. We see the same thing in the video, the foal cries calling its mother, and she comes very quickly, and the people who were around the foal step aside, because we don’t know what a mother is capable of when her child is crying, so in such cases, it is best to stay away to be safe.

The acoustic signaling plays an important role in mother-offspring recognition and subsequent bond-formation. It remains unclear, if mothers and offspring use acoustic signaling in the same ways and for the same reasons throughout the juvenile stage, particularly after mutual recognition has been adequately established.

Like their mothers, foals use snorts when initiating communication from closer distances. As foals age, there is a moderate increase in the chances that mares would initiate communication with snorts, while there is a marked increase in the probability that foals would initiate communication with those snorts.

Overall, communication initiated by the foals is more likely to result in suckling or a decrease in mamma-foal distance than mare-initiated communication. Communication initiated with whinnies is more likely to result in suckling behavior and a decrease in mom-foal distance than events initiated with snorts, regardless of who initiated the communication.

On the other hand, communication events initiated with nickers are more likely to suckle or decrease to mare-foal distance when used by foals, but not mares. When mares use nickers to initiate communication, the outcome is more likely to be no change to the animals’ distance or current activity.

Anyway, a mare knows when her foal is in danger, so she is capable of anything only to protect her little one. But we already knew it, right?