February, 2004 Monthly Report
Replacement solar panel and fence charger have been ordered.

Outside stallions were frequently seen near the inactive fence and the mares just on the other side of it. One of the mares was observed testing the fence with her nose. The mares were generally stirred up and milling about. The stallions on both sides were in frequent motion, making noise and threatening each other.

A worker was put on from 7 am to 6 pm each day until the replacement equipment arrives and is installed. There will be no further work done on the Preserve itself until the fence is recharged. The guard is to prevent further damage to the fence and possible escape of the mares, one of whom has been mating with the new stallion introduced after Mimosa was sent outof the Preserve to recover from fighting. Another mare was openly soliciting his attention. If any are pregnant, to release them would elicit rape from whichever stallion would capture them. To say nothing of the time and expense of rounding them up again because it would not be easy this time, they are nervous because of all the social changes. In addition, we are approaching spring and Dr. Allen noted that mating activity will be on the increase.

The worker had his hands full, shooing the mares away from the fence and dodging through the fence to chase the stallions off. Several times the inside stallion got out, the worker(s) got him back in. If he wasn’t put back in the mares would soon be out too. Disastrous at this phase of their recovery and potential pregnancies. All is on hold until the fence is restored.

The mystery of what actually caused Altair’s death has been solved. Immediately after his death it was seen that he had a long, deep scar perpendicular to the left back corner of his mouth. Since the horses tend to heal quickly, and the stallions are not easily approached, the scar was not seen while he was alive. But it was a serious injury. The remains were sufficiently dried by fire and air to make his skull accessible for inspection. This showed that on the left side of the skull his teeth were badly, deeply and improperly worn on that side of his jaw. The forward most upper molar could have been digging into the gum below. This would have prevented him from chewing his food properly. A visitor to the Preserve with considerable equine experience concurred with this opinion. And it had been noted that he chewed very slowly and more noisily than the other horses. It was noted after his death and in the early stages of decomposition that while his belly was full, the food had not been well chewed and thus he couldn’t get enough nutrition from it. Again, it is the sort of injury that should not occur in the future when the stallions are on their own portion of the preserve and will no longer be fighting over the mares.

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