Running Free & Wild - Wild Horses of Shannon County Missouri
Little did I know that by later that morning I would be able to see a beautiful mare running free in a winter's fresh snow showing her strength, power, and agility.
She is doing exactly what she was born to do watching her run in her natural environment and thriving is pure joy.
I often think about the 50 or so wild horses that make up the four main herds in Shannon County, Missouri. You can learn more about their history below the main article, but I can assure you they are truly wild. No one is feeding them, providing any type of medical care, or anything that could be thought of as directly helping them.
The executive order signed by President Bill Clinton on October 3, 1996 did something very important for the horses. The horses are protected by law and a permanent part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, which is part of the national park system. That order allows for up to 50 horses to freely roam the National Scenic Riverways and an agreement with the Wild Horse League of Missouri allows them to capture some horses when the herds exceed the allowance. The captured horses are adopted out to good homes.
In the photos below, you can see the elegance, power, and beauty of this mare in her prime. She is part of the Broadfoot herd which currently has 14 members. Recently there were 15, so I am unclear at the time of this article the status of the 15th member.
Based on observation this winter, I can see that at least two mares are pregnant and will be delivering new foals this spring. New foals, just like new babies are nothing short of amazing and magical. I can barely wait to see the new foals.
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