September 8, 2009 – Gather Day 6

I know a lot of you have been asking about the status of Beauty, and I appreciate the concern for her. We still have not located her, but we have also not located Merlin. The last time I saw Beauty was the last time I saw him, and so I think it is probable that they are all together. Also, I realize what many people are saying about the workers during this operation. I was making observations just the same as people have been on other blogs when I commented on how I felt the workers were showing compassion for horses like Brumby. Again, I know what is being said on other blogs; and I think it is fair that these comments are being made. But I am making my comments too, and I think it is only fair that they be taken into consideration. Also, there are questions about Halcyon and her foal. The two have not been gathered; and, as you’ll soon deduce, they likely will not be gathered at all.

This morning, we were all talking; and we discussed how much we hated the horses to try and climb out of the chutes like they did yesterday. It was then decided that plastic fencing material could be spread out over the chutes and on a side area we’ve been worried about too.

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This worked well. Out of all of the horses that went through the chutes today, only one stallion tried to rear up in there,; and he came down and never reared up again after brushing against the fencing material.

The first thing that was done today was to process horses gathered yesterday that hadn’t yet been processed. The first harem they brought through was Cloud’s. Last night, one of his daughters (Hurricane) seemed to be colicking; and they took care of her last night into this morning, when she was seeming to be doing a lot better. Three horses were removed from Cloud’s harem: Heart, Hurricane, and Image.

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There was a question about me not commenting on Cloud apparently stepping out toward the helicopter. I honestly didn’t see this happen; at the time I was watching Image with my binoculars as he was a distance behind the rest of the harem. They have had me come down there so I can watch the horses coming in to give them faster feedback on anything I notice instead of me coming down after the horses are in the trap.

Duke and Jackson’s harems were also processed. Each had one removed from their harem. Meanwhile, the helicopter had left; and he came back some time later with horses. Three harems came together in this group.

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It was Starman, Mescalero, and Cappuccino’s harems. They were all brought into the trap, and these three stallions weren’t too happy with each other. They were separated into their harems soon after, though. New pens had to be constructed to allow for this; I think it really is a good idea to keep these harems together and isolated. Soon after the horses had been separated, the harems were each brought down to the chutes to be processed. None of these horses were to be removed, but hair samples needed to be taken and some of the females were treated with PZP. Cappuccino had to be left in the chute while a pen for him and his mare was finished. He started to get agitated in there, and he ended up pushing open the hydraulic gate and getting out into the alley. The hydraulic system in the chutes has been very problematic between incidents like these and the terrible noise it makes when it is running.

Some time later, the helicopter came back with another group of horses.

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This was Baja’s harem, but his mare Bacardi and her young foal were not there. I headed down to alert them to this, and we asked if there was any word on what had happened to them. We soon after discovered that the two of them were falling back a lot, and the pilot decided to let them fall back behind to reduce the potential for them to be injured.

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Following this, the harem was processed. It was decided that the helicopter wouldn’t be bringing anymore horses down today. I noticed with some of the latest horses brought in that they are looking like they may be more sore than some that had been gathered earlier. I guess this is because these horses have been running from the helicopter on the range these past days, even if they aren’t brought to Britton Springs in the end. I think this had something to do with the decision to not bring anymore horses down. Thus, it is looking like tomorrow will be the last day of this gather operation. It looks like some of the horses that have been gathered already will be removed instead of the ones that have not been gathered off of the mountain yet. I will be back tomorrow with final observations on gather operations as well as specific information and numbers on horses removed, treated, released, and the like.

Published in: on September 8, 2009 at 7:56 pm  Comments (29)