At only a few weeks old, the new foal, Kikín, has become a favorite of guests and staff.
Torres del Paine, November 28, 2023 – As part of the annual horse replacement plan in the stables of Hotel Las Torres Patagonia, eight horses joined the herd a few weeks ago. After adding these new horses, the baqueanos, who oversee their care, were surprised when they realized another new member had joined the herd too.
The birth of a new foal occurred two weeks ago when “Criollita,” one of the new mares of the herd, returned with the group in the morning after spending the night grazing with the herd. The animal was accompanied by her tiny foal, named Kikín, which was only hours old.
Immediately, the baqueanos were alerted to this situation. They went to look for the group of horses and launched protocols to protect the safety and well-being of the newborn foal from threats like the puma.
“One of the protection measures set is that the herd has six mules, which are divided into two groups, one in which accompanies the foal and the other the entire group,” explains Ramón Díaz, who oversees the reserve’s stables.
Díaz explains that the mules are used to protect the herd because they stand firm in the face of the threat, like the puma, and protect the group. Grouping them with the herd protects the horses from this type of attack.
As previously reported, the foal’s birth was completely natural. During the next few days, the veterinarian in charge of the horses will make the first physical examinations of the foal to ensure it is healthy.
Diaz comments that the vet will alert his team if the foal needs vitamins or if it will require any other special care. But, for now, he looks healthy and strong next to his mother.
“After 6 or 8 months, we will begin general care such as filing his nails”, explains Ramón Díaz, adding “that this way, the new horse can start to adapt to the maintenance done to all horses. A way to help him develop a serene and tame personality and not suffer from any deformities too.”
For now, Kikín spends the night with other horses and a few mules in the front of the hotel. His location on the reserve is another safety protocol that ensures he is more visible to his caretakers. Pumas also dislike high-trafficked areas and are unlikely to come near.
Kikín is the first foal to be born in the reserve in four years and has undoubtedly caught the attention of everyone in the reserve. However, we remind visitors to our reserve to watch him from a safe distance, as mother horses can be very protective of their young.