February 2003 Monthly Report
Of most serious concern this month is two sightings of the horses not only off the farm but on the road leading into the farm. One of the gate guards reported seeing the horses in the area, and an eye witness who had gone to church on the farm reported seeing them right next to the road OUTSIDE and PAST (east of) the gatehouse. The road presents a serious danger to them in the form of fast moving vehicles and potentially misguided and misinformed individuals.

Photos have been taken of areas in the preserve location where they have been grazing, this is a good sign that they are foraging on the right food voluntarily. The amount of manure in the area suggests that they are visiting the preserve area several times a week if not daily.

In terms of wounds and damage the following observations were made:

Altair’s left eye continues to shrink but he shows no signs of discomfort and has adjusted well to blindness. He has not developed any shyness, continues to spar and in general there is no change in his behavior.

The fillies Spica nd Dubhe both lost very large chunks from their left fore hooves which suffered severe blowouts before they were trimmed. The trimming no doubt prevented the hooves from worse damage. Spica was seen to be badly lame during one observation, but it had rained and it’s possible the broken area was still soft, the dampness could have caused some swelling. Adhara remains somewhat gimpy on her fores, but we were unable to trim her.

Mimosa’s entire herd were seen grazing in an area literally covered with a leguminous vine. This would be just the type of fodder that is causing the obesity and hoof problems. Not only were they grazing on it, a nearby area showed signs that the band probably spent the night there and so they grazed for 24 hours or more on this super rich feed.

The stallion Achernar shows no signs of deterioration, his breathing is still ragged but it is less and less likely that he has an infection and more likely that he either inhaled a chemical or was somehow injured. Also, nearly all the horses remained in an area of the farm that was subjected to heavy foliar spraying. It is not likely that this was an herbicide, but it could have been a pesticide. The horses simply did not move although machinery was roaring all around them and the air was quite heavily misted.

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