A Majestic Mare In The Fresh Winter Snow

January 30, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Wild Horses of Shannon County, Missouri in Winter Snow by Tim LaytonWild Horses of Shannon County, Missouri in Winter Snow by Tim Layton I was very fortunate to find the Broadfoot herd today right after sunrise in the fresh winter snow. 

The mare that you see in this photograph today is pregnant and I think she is likely to foal in early March based on when she foaled last year.  

I was very lucky that I got to see her new foal last year, probably within a week or so of the birth. 

On that day, I didn't even realize the foal was laying on the ground near her taking a nap because of the distance from me and lack of movement.

As I got closer, I noticed something that was on the ground, but at first, I couldn't determine what it was.  I became more curious and stood still for a while and whatever it was never moved.  I moved closer and got out my binoculars and realized it was a new foal.  I started to become concerned because the foal was not moving and I couldn't determine it was breathing because I didn't see any movement of the chest. 

Tim Layton Holding "New Life" Wild Horses of Missouri B&W Silver Gelatin PrintTim Layton Holding "New Life" Wild Horses of Missouri B&W Silver Gelatin Print If you love horses, join my Free Wild Horse Journal where I bring you behind the scenes in my darkroom and studio and provide my latest updates and special offers.  Current members are automatically entered for a chance to win one of my wild horse fine art gallery prints every month.  

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I was fearful the new foal was a still born.  I waited another 10 minutes or so and the mare continued to eat and walk around her new foal and still no movement.  Then, all of the sudden the new little foal popped up, stretched, and found her mom to get a drink after an apparently long and restful nap. 

I was relieved and enjoyed watching the baby foal stay close to her mom and graze next to her. I was thankful the new foal was healthy and happy and my day instantly improved. 

Tim Layton - Wild Horses of Missouri Broadfoot HerdTim Layton - Wild Horses of Missouri Broadfoot Herd Today was a much different story. 

It was the first real snow of the winter and after several failed attempts to find the other herds, I was fortunate the find the Broadfoot herd.

The beautiful mare that you see in this photograph greeted me as I found the herd.

She knew, as well as the rest of the herd knew I was in their space long before I found them.

As I made my way through the fresh and untouched snow, it was an absolute delight to find the Broadfoot herd today.  The moment I saw them, I felt joy and a sense of peace rush over me like I was standing in a cool waterfall on a hot summers day.  

The cool and crisp air was so fresh that it was a pure delight to breathe it in and enjoy it.  It was good to be alive and part of something special.  Today was one of those special days when everything felt right and special and I knew I was part of something that was unique and never to be repeated.  It is days like this that we know we are alive and blessed beyond anything that could ever be expected.   

I will put a larger version of the photograph below this text so you can see it better and enjoy her majestic beauty. 

Wild Horses of Shannon County, Missouri in Winter Snow by Tim LaytonWild Horses of Shannon County, Missouri in Winter Snow by Tim Layton

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Free Wild Horse Behind The Scenes Art Updates by Tim LaytonFree Wild Horse Behind The Scenes Art Updates by Tim Layton

Wild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.comWild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.com Wild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.comWild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.com Wild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.comWild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.com Wild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.comWild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.com Troublemaker - Wild Horse Fine Art by Tim LaytonTroublemaker - Wild Horse Fine Art by Tim Layton Princess Warrior - Wild Horse Fine Art by Tim LaytonPrincess Warrior - Wild Horse Fine Art by Tim Layton

HISTORY OF THE WILD HORSES OF SHANNON COUNTY MISSOURI

8/1/20 - Shawnee Creek Mare - Wild Horses of Missouri by Tim Layton8/1/20 - Shawnee Creek Mare - Wild Horses of Missouri by Tim Layton Shannon County is home to an extraordinary herd of wild horses that very few people know about. Hidden away in Southeast Missouri in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways on public land about 130 miles from Springfield and 150 miles from St. Louis, 4 herds of wild horses roam the beautiful and rugged landscape. 

Ozark National Scenic Riverways is the first national park area to protect a river system and the only place in the state where wild horses still roam free.

It hasn't been an easy path for the wild horses over the last 100 years and it would be foolish to think current conditions couldn't change and put the horses back in danger again. 

During the 1980s the National Park Service announced a plan to remove the wild horses, and people were outraged. 

In 1993 the U.S. Supreme Court denied a final appeal to protect the horses and gave the National Park Service the right to remove the horses from federal land at their discretion.  

The national park service started the process of removing the wild horses in a way that was profoundly upsetting to local residents and horse lovers around the country.  The people of Shannon County and horse lovers around the country rallied together and the Wild Horse League of Missouri was formed.

Wild Horses of Shannon County Missouri by Tim LaytonWild Horses of Shannon County Missouri by Tim Layton Luckily, by 1996 the Wild Horse League of Missouri, which formed in 1992 to save the wild horses, received help from the people of Shannon County, Congressman Bill Emerson, and Senators Kit Bond and John Ashcroft.

Their tireless efforts paid off, and President Clinton signed a bill into law on October 3, 1996, to make the wild horses of Shannon County a permanent part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.  

Now, people from around the world visit Shannon County Missouri in hopes of seeing these majestic wild horses.

The Missouri Wild Horse League works with the National Park Service to capture some of the horses when the herd exceeds the maximum agreed upon limit of 50 horses.  The captured horses are taken into care and evaluated before being adopted by loving families for permanent homes.

It is important to remember that these horses are wild. When looking for them, be sure not to approach them or attempt to feed them. It is essential to keep these animals wild and free, and for you to be safe. The horses are big, strong, and unpredictable and for your own safety as well as theirs, keep a safe distance of 100 yards or more between you and the horses. 

 

Free Wild Horse Behind The Scenes Art Updates by Tim LaytonFree Wild Horse Behind The Scenes Art Updates by Tim Layton


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