January 2003 Monthly Report
The horses are moving in different patterns. There was one day when I couldn’t find them at all, at other times one group or another couldn’t be found. One band in particular (Mimosa’s) has been seen anywhere from the forest (the pending Preserve area) to the middle of a section two miles down from their normal area, and farther noerth on the farm than usual.

It's a good sign that the horses are moving, though there is increased danger from lack of observation of any potential problems. Unfortunately too, there has been no sign of weight loss and in fact the horses have been seen eating a number of detrimental items:

On two occasions horses were seen eating the dried of remnants of plants (thistles)that had been killed with herbicide under the orange trees. There was a very obvious line of dead brown plants surrounded by green live ones. For several weeks now the horses are also eating enormous quantities of a leguminous vine which is not at all a part of their normal diet in the forest. It is these high protein and high carbohydrate legumes that are the cause of laminitis and founder even in domestic horses which are used to a more rich diet.

The results of the hoof clinic are obvious, there has been considerably less lameness in the horses treated, and the distances being covered indicate improved ability to move around. The abscesses noted last month are all clearing, with only one mare who will retain a scar. Altair’s blinded left eye is shrinking but he has no inflammation and it does not appear to be causing any pain.

Achernar’s breathing problem remains the same. He is not developing the line of muscle at the belly usually associated with respiratory problems. His nostrils still flair as he breathes, he is definitely breathing with his belly muscles and not his chest, the noise is still considerable, but he is not losing weight and continues normal activities even to the point of occasional sparring. On one occasion he was seen to take a very deep breath and to exhale in a long sigh, which I believe indicates that he has good lung capacity. I suspect that he may have inhaled some chemical, or possibly sustained a wound, which has caused the problem. Only an inspection of his airways by a vet will indicate the real cause of the problem.

Capella appeared briefly, the scab on the wound in his belly has sloughed off, leaving a large, cross shaped scar. It’s origins are a complete mystery.

Despite lack of regular observation due to wide movements of the bands, the horses had a relatively quiet and trauma free month.


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