I’ve heard that the definition of imprinting a foal is a process of touching the foal for an extended time and breathing into its nostrils within the first few hours of its birth. I was able to do that. Now that the foal is a week old, by that definition I’m no longer imprinting when I handle him.
When I grain the mare I have made a custom of handling Blitz. He is still small enough so I can restrain him from running away by putting my hand in front of his shoulders on his brisket. Once restrained, I have been petting him all over his body. He is especially worried about his face and his belly. At first he tried to jump away. Now he only winces at the those sensitive places.
Today there was a marked change. I did not have to restrain him. He even took a few cautious steps toward me but was definitely interested. When I scratched his withers he bit me with his toothless mouth on my nose. It was all in the spirit of friendliness. I think it came from a kind of mutual grooming instinct, but I don’t think I’ll allow it when he gets teeth.