One less

23 06 2008

Some sad news to report: Jif, the little dun mare Traveler stole from Hollywood earlier this spring, is missing. I saw all the other horses this weekend, and she’s not with any other band. Duke was back with the Bachelor 7 following Steeldust’s band on Sunday, so my hopes of her being with him were dashed.

Thursday evening, I climbed a tall mesa in the area where the horses had been and walked all along the top of it (not very big on top, but it affords a good view of that area), and I didn’t see her. If she’s down in an arroyo, I wouldn’t see her, even from there. I also hiked Friday and Sunday in an area that’s cut with arroyos and has more trees than the other areas, but I never found her.

I went a long time thinking Slate, the grulla mare that had been with Bounce and Alegre, would show up … but she’s still missing. Even with all my hiking in the herd area, I haven’t found a trace of her. (I last saw her Dec. 29, 2007, from Round Top.) I don’t know what the normal mortality in the herd area is, but I’ve/we’ve lost three horses (all mares) since last fall. Ceal was thin, and I didn’t expect her to last through the winter, but Slate was only 9-10 (she was an introduced mare from Sand Wash Basin), and I think Jif was young, just 3 or so.

Jif with Grey\'s band

This was taken Monday; that’s Jif at far right.

Jif

She wasn’t visibly hurt or limping then.

It’s the reality of life in the wild, but I feel so helpless to just LOSE her without a trace, without knowing what happened.  

And Lady Alpha still has not foaled. Maybe she’s not pregnant at all but just fat, like Luna?! I’m still watching.


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