|January was another quiet month on the Preserve. We are starting to make some progress on our various projects and are looking forward to a very busy spring. We have selected a site where a corral will be built to asist our veterinarians when they come to do the horses' health checks.
Work is proceeding on repair of our tractor and we hope to be able to start working on our fire breaks soon.
The horses showed a wonderful sense of timing when the men closed off their current mini pasture and went to work to lay out a fresh new pasture. The horses immediately set out for the farthest end of the Preserve, about two miles south of the old pasture. It takes the men about three days to fence in a new pasture, the new one was just a bit north of the old one. Each day the horses too moved a bit farther north, and practically at the moment when the men opened the pasture, the horses were there, right on time. they were well aware of when the area would be open to them. They enjoy the pasture but spend most of their time browsing and foraging in the forest.
Since this generation has spent so much time on the farm and its over rich pasture, they cannot simply be taken off pasture entirely. But it is encouraging to see them spending most of their time in the forest and perhaps future generations will be able to sustain themselves in the forest alone, as did their ancestors.
However, about two hundred acres of pasture will be prepared on the farm for emergency use, should the forest be bunrned again. We will be cutting and clearing fire breaks and back burning so that no fires will get out of hand as they have in the past, but should that happen in spite of our efforts, the emergency pasture will be much easier to keep safe with a broad fire break around it.