March, 2004 Monthly Report
The electric fence was back in operation early this month. The ‘inside’ herd is much more calm and the horses are not afraid to spread out a bit more than they have in the past. The stallions are respecting the fence, though their desire to get into the Preserve is very apparent. They spend much time in the area near the fence which is to their benefit as the farm is leaving this east side relatively untouched and so there are not as many chemicals in use.

All the ‘outside’ horse were seen and are looking very good. Weight loss in the inside herd seems to have leveled off and in fact some of the mares seem to have regained a bit of weight. It is too soon to tell if anyone is pregnant.

In mid March Dr. Langton took samples from Spica’s lump, which is still growing, and she has developed several more small ones. We are still waiting for the results. At this same time her fore hooves were trimmed to remove damage left from the two abscesses she suffered just before the move. Her teeth were floated, (filed so that they meet evenly and there are no ‘points’ or sharp spikes) which will help her chew and utilize her food better. All of the skulls that I have, with the exception of Altair, show fairly good dentition. It will be interesting to see that state of the teeth of the younger vs. the older horses when they are done during future check ups. The younger ones will have grown up grazing entirely on the farm while the older ones will have had years both on and off the farm.

As a result of the floating Spica had five bad days during which her mouth was sore and she did not want to eat. She was looking a bit too thin but by the end of the month the loss had leveled off and she is improving. We remain concerned about the growths. While cancer is rare in horses, it can occur.

Mud baths have become very popular. The results are ugly but it’s good to see the horses doing something they couldn’t do on the farm that they obviously enjoy. They are getting good exposure to both wet (in the swamps) and dry (on the road and in the rest of the forest) conditions which are very good for strong hoof development.

The men have begun to cut the fence line for the stallion area. We have no estimated time of completion yet. In all it was a quiet month.

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