Who's Who in the Herd
|The wild horses of Abaco seem to be in roughly four groups:
The stallion MIMOSA is keeping tough control over three females who all joined him as yearlings. They were all totally ignorant of horse etiquette, we have no idea who their mothers were and its possible, considering the numbers of losses, that their mothers are all dead. He had a tough time keeping them in line whenever one of the batchelor groups tried an ambush. Things have settled down though since NUNKI produced a filly, SPICA in August, ACAMAR produced another filly in October named ALNITAK, and we are waiting for DUBHE to foal. She was the youngest of the group. MIMOSAs group now counts six.
Another stallion, HADAR, has the mares ADHARA, ATRIA and HAMAL. HAMAL and ATRIA lost their foals (see article Head Count) but ADHARA pulled through and had a pinto filly, BELLATRIX II in March of 98. His group now counts five.
The stallion REGULUS had the mare DENEB during my entire stay in Abaco, but after I left in August he was constatly under attack by three stallions, CAPELLA, VEGA and ACHERNAR. Battered, he gave in and DENEB and her new filly ENIF are being pushed around by first one stallion, then the next. REGULUS is one tough horse, probably the msallest of all the stallions, he held those three stallions off for months.
On the bachelor front are the additional stallions ALTAIR, SIRIUS, ALDEBARAN and ACRUX. ALDEBARAN lost his mare, SUHAIL when she died some time in 97.
Interestingly, HADAR and MIMOSA both keep their groups very close to each other, sometimes the herds are only 40 apart. They spar occasionally, and once MIMOSA was seen stalking BELLATRIX as she was sleeping, but the two groups are unusually close. Marc Paulus former head of the Equine Protection Division of the Humane Society of the U. S. felt that it was becasue there was no competition for food or water. The area is so rich in vegetation and water that the horses do not have to compete to survive.
It was also interesting to note that DENEB and REGULUS stayed close to the other two groups, not as close, but often within several hundred yeards. This ended when the three stallions drove her off.