Born of tragic circumstances, a beautiful bond has formed between a mare who lost her baby and a foal who lost his mom.
The 13-year-old Zangersheide mare named Citty Z lost her first baby two months prematurely to stillbirth. Yet her owners, Iris Pinkster and Sanne Kolman of the Netherlands, were convinced she had what it takes to foster.
The moment for a trial came when a male foal from different owners lost his mother to colic, a gastrointestinal condition that causes severe abdominal pain.
After the sudden death of his mother, the foal was left weak and malnourished.
Iris and Sanne, who run TikTok page @equitality together, shared in a video that they wanted to offer Citty as a foster mother. And because the foal was already weak, they said, he needed a “new mommy” as soon as possible.
In the moving footage, the distressed and disoriented foal is led into Citty’s stable and immediately calms down. Citty, who lost her baby just days before, nuzzles and licks him gently.
“She accepted him immediately as if it was her own baby,” Citty’s owners said in the emotional video.
The foal was named Raise Me Up K, or “Uppie” for short.
To date, the clip has been viewed over 10.8 million times on TikTok. Social media users filled the comments section with joy, awe, and support for the foster mom and baby’s bond.
“Love this so much, in darkness comes light,” wrote one user. “The foal’s mother is taking care of the mare’s baby right now,” said another.
In a “foster foal” update, Iris and Sanne showed footage of Citty and Uppie venturing outside together for the first time.
Days later, they described the foal as a “happy little guy” and his mom as “so proud.” Weeks later, he was already making friends in the neighboring field.
Iris and Sanne run Equitality, a Dutch horse advocacy program, and keep seven horses together at Iris’s home. Uppie will return to his owners, they say, when foster mom Citty is done teaching him everything he needs to know.