Are foals scared of things? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 23 Old 11-26-2017, 01:58 PM
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Well, dunno, just quoting Temple Grandin.

Looked it up asd Temple was quoting from Susan Mineka's work which according to the website that came up under her name was fairly extensive.

Quite educational. Enjoy!
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post #22 of 23 Old 11-26-2017, 09:18 PM
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It was the curious, fearless, inquisitive nature of a foal that suckered me right into the horse world! I was living in the upper peninsula of Michigan. We and the neighbors property line was in the middle of a big hay field that we all shared, and one the neighbors turned some of her horses out in it, including a mare with her filly. I ventured out to the mare with some treats and pet her while the filly nursed. The filly kept poking her head under the mare to look at me and started coming up to me for pets. So of course I went to meet the neighbor and wound up volunteering to clean her barn so I could get to know the horses. The filly would try to follow me home :). It wasn’t long before I was leading her out of the barn and all the way to my house with her mama calling to her frantically from the barn. The neighbor being a horse trader and me being a sucker....I bought the filly under the impression I would be riding her alone across the fields as soon as she turned two LOL

That baby stayed pretty much fearless, and I spoiled her rotten. She’s a brat but not spooky at all.
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post #23 of 23 Old 11-26-2017, 10:40 PM
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Again, what has to be remembered, , concerning this topic, is that when we observe domestic foals, influenced by dams used to being handled by people, we are adding an additional variable
Foals are born needing to learn about their environment, and the entire concept of IMprinting is based on this 'window' of 'Impressions'
While there might be an inborn fear, through evolution, of predators, I think most of that learning comes from social interactions,esp with their dam.
When we desensitize foals, teach them through handling to be less reactive, we are modifying their learning curve of behavior, to serve us as domestic animals, kept safe from predators, but that is not the natural learning curve a wild foal would follow, in order to increase his chance of survival
That foal in the wild, not reacting to that object he can't make out completely, fleeing first, then evaluating from a distance, would be dinner!
Thus, foals are born pretty naive, but then their fear factor is either modified through our domestication , or allowed to develop in a natural progression, if that foal is born wild. A fearless wild foal would not survive long
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