|June was a very mixed month for the horses.
We lost the mare Deneb to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. She first developed breathing problems in 2000; she would rumble in damp weather. When the weather was dry the problem was hardly noticeable. She was fit and looking very good in April, by mid March she had started to lose weight. While the exact cause of the condition cannot be pinpointed, certainly the onset of fires on the three sides of the Preserve, which sometimes filled the area (including the farm) for days with smoke, made her condition worse. With medication and soft bedding we were at least able to make her end a bit more comfortable. A necropsy was conducted and the entire episode recorded. Dr. Bailey has submitted a report. A stallion developed hard breathing several years ago; he needs to be carefully checked as soon as feasible but this will involve tranquilization and we need to have appropriate
staff on hand.
On a brighter note, the bulldozer arrived and in one day cut the long awaited fire break / fence line. When the fence is strung we will have about 600 acres available for the horses. The fence charger died and a replacement is on its way.
A visiting farrier, Mr. Bill Wiltz, observed the horses move and had a good look at all hooves. He said they appeared excellent, hed been expecting much worse. He said the forest environment, with its rocky ground and rough hills, is ideal for maintaining hoof health.
Materials for a structure incorporating the three containers (to include clinic, storage and housing for the security/maintenance people), and volunteers to build it, have been promised. We are hoping for a November barn raising.
We are still raising funds for much needed blood work to establish baseline health information for each horse. We are down to 10 horses. Dr. Michele Mautino has submitted a detailed and highly workable plan for saving them but it cannot be implemented without adequate funding; in a year that has seen a severe downturn in visitation. We do have some funding prospects on the horizon but time is of the essence.