Wild Horse Diary: March 07, 2020 - New Foal in The Broadfoot Herd
It was another beautiful day in the Missouri Ozark's that seemed like a spring day. Springtime is right around the corner and I can barely wait till it is here. My spring fever is mounting by the day.
In just 12 days on March 19th, the first day of spring will officially start and I am sure the wild horses will be very happy to see the new grass too.
I visited the Broadfoot herd back on February 23, 2020 and we had an incredible time. During this sighting, I got to see the stallion strut his stuff and interact with some of the mares and it was incredible to watch him run at full speed across the field.
In the Wild Horse Diary today, I am delighted to let you know there is a brand new foal in the Broadfoot herd! To the best of my knowledge, this is the first official reporting of the new foal. I did a comprehensive search via Google and did not find any references to the new foal.
NEW FOAL IN THE BROADFOOT HERD
I am excited to announce there is now a total of 15 horses in the Broadfoot herd as of today.
Sometime between February 23, 2020 (my last sighting of the herd) and today (March 07, 2020) a new foal was born!
As you can see in the photo to the left, the new foal has a large white spot on its forehead right between its eyes above its muzzle versus the other foal has a group of white markings on its rear right quarters. I believe the other foal is about four to six weeks old based on my personal sightings of this herd and it is a male.
When we find a herd, the first thing that we do is to count them and note the number of foals, yearlings, colts, fillies, and mares. It isn't always possible to identify the gender, so sometimes we have to just document what we can. I keep a detailed journal of each horse in the herd with a description and photo if I have one of their distinctive markings. This helps me know if the same horses are in the herd or if a new member has been added.
When we first found the herd we counted 14 which was the same as our last sighting. I didn't think any more about it and went to work trying to verify if the same members were in the herd today and then I started trying to document the genders on some missing information.
Then about an hour into the experience, I noticed a very dark blob out in the field about 150 yards from me. It was far enough that I couldn't really identify what it was, so I pointed my 600mm F4 lens and discovered it was a little foal.
In the photo to the left, you can see the little foal sleeping on the ground next to the mare.
So, I started the count again and I got 15. Then, I thought that I probably miscounted, so I checked again and got 15. It was at this time that I realized there was a new foal in the Broadfoot herd, but I was concerned.
I realized that I had been there for about an hour and I was just now noticing the new foal. The foal had not moved an inch during that entire time, so I started looking at it more closely through my long telephoto lens. I increasingly became more concerned because I saw the mare grazing all around the foal and she even brushed the foals head and there was no movement. At this point, I was thinking the foal might not be alive and so I started working my way closer so that I could get a better look.
About 15 minutes into my accent towards the foal, it popped up on its feel and started looking around! Within a few seconds the new foal started nursing and I was relieved. I watched the new foal for about another hour or so from 100+ yards away and I was unable to identify the gender, but I was able to document some unique markings, so hopefully in the near future I will be able to identify the gender and let you know.
In the photo to the left, the stallion is on the far left behind the sleeping foal and the mare is to the right.
It was an incredible day with the Broadfoot herd and I am excited to photograph this new little baby in the coming weeks and months.
As previously noted above, there is another foal that looks to be a month or more old, so it will be a lot of fun watching them play together in the future.
The long winter is almost behind us now and I couldn't be any more excited about the wild horses if I tried.
Keywords: eminence, missouri, nature, ozark national scenic riverways, ozarks, shannon county, wild horses, wildlife
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