March 2008 Report

March was a busy month with many visitors and many ongoing maintenance projects. School, church and family groups enjoyed the cooler weather that made their visits especially pleasant. The forest is filled with birdsong as the birds stake out their nesting ares. At least one pair of hawks, possibly red tails, have made the Preserve their home.

Mimosa gave us a scare when he went lame in his left foreleg. He was watched closely. He improved each day and within a week he was normal. It’s little short of amazing that this is only the third hoof injury in the four and a half years since the horses have been in the Preserve.

Those of you who have followed the project since before the Preserve are well aware of the constant hoof problems the horses used to suffer on the farm with its soft, inviting ground. In the Preserve the trails are rough and rocky and areas off the trails are extremely hard to negotiate. From pebbles to small boulders, limestone is everywhere, with sharp edges. the rocks often slip or shatter at the slightest pressure. There are holes where the trunks and roots of trees have rotted away. Yet the horses make their way with ease and grace and they have wonderfully sound feet..

While keeping the fence line of the original Preserve clear we are continuing to slowly clear the fence line for the stallion area.

Two treks to the stallion are brought no answers to the questions about the ‘mystery’ horse. Capella still has not joined his two friends so we think he is still with his unidentified companion. We explored another large segment of the area south of the Preserve, there were few hoof prints or signs of much activity in the area. But closer to the Preserve new areas have been grazed and we did see Hadar and Achernar again. A very fresh large hoof print, very likely Capella’s, was found in the new place we explored. It was in firm mud and I found I could place my hand in it, my fingertips touching the sharp edge of the print and the heel of my hand matching the impression of the hoof heel bulbs. It was eerie, so close, yet still unseen.


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