January 2007 Report
January brought some interesting observations of horse activity and some positive progress.

Under positive progress, our online campaign to raise money for a Doppler sonogram unit (to determine if a mare is pregnant by placing the probe on her belly with no invasive procedures) has neared its goal and we went ahead and ordered the unit. The person who was in charge of the search for the unit will be practicing with it on pregnant horses before she brings it to Abaco in mid February.

In the meantime, a knowledgeable friend who thought two of the mares were pregnant last spring feels that the same two are getting close to term, pointing out many subtle signs that she has observed in her long experience with her own herd. Stay tuned.

It is fascinating to watch the horses' reactions to visitors. For the most part they remain unperturbed and go about their main business of foraging.
But toward the end of the month two very different behaviors were noted. One group of visitors split itself up. The ladies were enthused and came closer to the horses, their husbands stood apart and a distance away. Stallion Mimosa remained on full alert and faced the men during the entire encounter. Mare Bella stopped eating and moved near Mimosa. It wasn't possible to pin point any particular cause, but the tension was palpable. There was very little movement during the time we were there, but the horses did not relax until we left.

A few days later a friend was in the field with me to just watch the horses. She's the person who feels we may indeed still have two pregnancies. We sat for several hours one day, came back two days later and sat again. The difference in the horses' reactions was impressive. During the second period the four mares dozed off and Mimosa, the stallion who is supposed to be the macho guardian, lay down and went to sleep. He was out for nearly 20 minutes and when he got up he had wrinkles all over from where he'd relaxed so heavily on the weedy ground. The other mares were sound asleep on their feet. It seemed that we were trusted enough that the job of standing watch was temporarily handed over to my friend and me. We were done great honor by being so trusted.

Mimosa Foraging in December

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