The viral video captured a nervous colt, capering around in a typical ranch scene in Texas. The young Paso Fino must have been learning new things all the time, and it appeared that everywhere he looked presented a new challenge. But apparently the foal simply could not fathom how he was supposed to negotiate one particular obstacle in his path. He is shown making a very big thing over a very small wall. The seemingly insurmountable hurdle had given the young horse the heebie jeebies until he felt a familiar presence at his side.
Indeed, it turned out that it was a very familiar presence; the dominant figure in the little colt’s life – his mom. And she had been there from the start. Any human mother will tell you that pregnancy floods the body with hormones. Well, the same is true of equines. When horses come to term, a complicated series of chemical reactions begins. These serve various different purposes to help with the birthing and bonding process.
To begin with, the mare’s level of progesterone – which the expectant mom’s body creates during pregnancy – decreases to induce labor. Oxytocin is also an important part of this process. This hormone spurs the placenta on, causing the horse’s water to break. One theory suggests that the mother-to-be can even control the release of oxytocin. This way, the mare is able to choose when and where to give birth.