Peek-a-Boo – Colts Hiding Behind Their Mamas

Colt Hiding in Between the Mama's

Colt Hiding in Between the Mama’s

After finishing this drawing, I was trying to decide on a name for it. As I browsed and googled shy colts, colts hiding by their moms, etc, I stumbled upon an interesting article, that assisted me in coming up with my title, “Peek a Boo”. The article I found suggested mares might favor colts over fillies, and the article was titled “Healthy Horse Moms Play More With Sons” by Jennifer Viegas for Discovery News.
The author suggests mares would do this because sons will potentially produce more offspring, ensuring the herd continues. The article was written while observing the habits of wild horses.
Having grown up in horse country, I recognized the same type of interactions yearly. Predominantly, the mares frequently seem to favor the colts over the fillies.
When walking near the pastures, you could certainly make out the colts because they were frequently hiding behind her and were extremely vocal and frantic if separated from her by even a short distance.
The colts were more reluctant about approaching the other foals and I would see the colts peeking out behind their mom when a bold filly came over to check him out. The mares were more likely to discourage other foals from visiting with her colt for a longer period of time than mares with fillies.
In contrast, most of the young fillies in the pastures were bold, in your face, and almost never hid behind mama. They were very friendly and curious and not that concerned about where their mom was all the time. The fillies were very quick to come over and check you out and enjoyed being petted and rubbed.
It was frequently difficult to take pictures in the field because the filly was right up in the camera and I would have to get someone to help me keep her back if I wanted a shot of anything more than her nose!
When the fillies were newborn, the mare spent a lot of time moving between the filly and the other horses or people. But those fillies never listened and mom soon gave it up. The mare would be quick to move in if the filly was in trouble, but she let her have more freedom to roam and check out the other foals, mares, and people.
So what is the conclusion of this article? I still am not sure I can say if the colts, in general are just shy, while us girls get started early learning how to be independent…
What do you think?

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About Geri Dunn

Western Graphite Artist
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