Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
• Horses: 0
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