In the bonding process, vision and olfactory senses are important for recognition of both mare and foal. Since horses are considered a follower species, they like to keep their foals nearby at all times.
The mare and foal recognize each other by vocalizations. This is important if the foal is separated from the herd. The mare will vocalize and the foal will follow the mare’s call.
Once foals are one to two months of age, they begin to engage in play and mutual grooming with other foals. These activities teach foals social structure. Fillies tend to bond and groom other foals, while colts tend to do less mutual grooming.