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Vlei Horses Spring Foal
FJ van der Merwe, Kleinmond

The message about the sprightly, Spring foal born on Wednesday September 1, came to me from Sarah Milton who, while on an outride on the Arabella side of the lake, noticed the small group of Vlei Horses with what appeared to be a young foal. Hiking down the Highlands Trail to that site on the Thursday afternoon, we found the mare and foal with her group comprising the dominant stallion, a young mare and a two-year old colt. As part of the larger group, these four horses have been frequent visitors to Fisherhaven over the past 18 months.

Apart from the excitement of a new foal, there is another interesting aspect here. It would appear as if this older and wiser mare, has deliberately, in anticipation of the birth, moved with her little group to a secluded and less frequented area on the northern shore of the lake. The small group then stayed in that area for little more than a week before moving back past the parking area to the Rooisand bird hide where we encountered them with 13 other horses on September 9. There the dominant stallion, and presumably the sire of the foal, had to constantly fend off the unwelcome attention of two virile bachelor stallions.

When last seen the new foal, unfortunately a little male again, was in good condition. As the photograph shows he is exceptionally light coloured with dark mane and tail and star on the forehead. The dam, born in 1997, is a light bay with star and the dominant stallion is dark brown. The foal is expected to darken with age but that will have to be seen.

SEPTEMBER 2010
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