WILD HORSES OF MISSOURI
Broadfoot was a farm since the Civil War days until the National Park Service acquired the land in the 1960s to be part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
According to county records, this land was last owned by farmer Darrell Broadfoot before the sale to the park service. Some people believe the herd in the 1960s may even have included some of his animals.
According to the National Park Service, Broadfoot is now considered a primitive campground and horseback riding area.
The Broadfoot herd is probably the second most popular herd because they are frequently found in and around the Broadfoot fields.
Don't let that statement fool you because I have gone for months without seeing them. Until this spring, we didn't see them for about five months after a big roundup in 2019 as part of the management protocol.
You can view the photographs of the current and historical members of the Broadfoot herd below this paragraph.
The members of each herd change over time because of several factors. Lead stallions are known for visiting other herds and bands to steal mares. Yes, that is correct; the stallions swoop in and steal mares from other packs.
Also, because of the monitoring and management of the herd per the law, sometimes members are gathered up to keep the size of the herds within the bounds of the legal agreement.
NEW 2022 BROADFOOT FOALS
Foal # 1 - Born the last week in March around the 25th to 27th timeframe. Black with a long white marking on his muzzle that is broad at the top by its eyes and narrows and terminates just above its nose. It has some very distinctive white marks on its rump area. Gender has not been verified yet.
Foal # 2 - Born the first week of April sometime before the 9th. Light brown (Buckskin type of color) with a long white mark on its muzzle. The white area is broad near his eyes and narrows as it extends into his nose area. Gender has not been verified yet.
Foal # 3 - Born the first week of April sometime before the 9th. Near black color with a distinctive white mark on his face and what looks like a black bow tie above his nose. No other colors/marks on its body at this time that I can see. Gender has not been verified yet.
Foal # 4 - Born the third week of April. This foal is much different than the other three. It is a blue color which is beautiful.
Foal # 1
Foal # 2
Foal # 3
Foal # 4
Three of the foals with the herd. The fourth (foal # 1) is out of the frame napping.
|May 25, 2022||BF||12/11||It was another surprising discovery today. When we arrived today there were 12 horses and then within 5 minutes, 1 left leaving 11 which indicates the departing horse was most likely a Shawnee Creek horse. Foal # 4 and its mom is still missing and if they were there, that would make 13 which would be the correct number before all this drama started last week.|
|May 24, 2022||BF||16||I noted yesterday that it was the most fascinating day that I have ever had since I started following the horses in 2015. Well, I have no idea how to compare, but today was equally as fascinating. We got to see things with the wild horses today that we have never seen before. Two more horses from the Shawnee herd joined Broadfoot between yesterday at 6 PM and 5 PM today. One of them was the big strong mare that is easily identifiable and the other was one of the older mares. More to follow on this story when I have time to fully document the experience.|
|May 23, 2022||BF||14||Today was the most fascinating day we have ever had with the wild horses since 2015. The youngest foal (foal # 4) and its mom were still missing from the herd today. More to follow on this story when I have time to fully document the experience.|
|May 22, 2022||BF||12||It was an interesting and fascinating day with the Broadfoot herd today. There were only 12 horses with four of them being the new spring foals. The youngest foal # 4 and mare were missing from the herd today, which means there should have only been 11, but there were 12! Based on some reports from others and my own observations, I realized the 12th horse was an older mare from the Shawnee Creek herd! (Clip MVI_0016, 0019.MP4) A friend told me on the 20th they spotted the Shawnee mare at Broadfoot and this coincides with what I saw too. There were reports of the Broadfoot horses being very upset about the Shawnee Creek mare, and I am guessing the new foal and mare may have left the area because of this. A friend got some photos of the Broadfoot stallion and the Shawnee mare together which indicates possibly she has been accepted into the herd. Much more to unfold with this story. I am very concerned about foal # 4 and I really hope she is alive.
|May 14, 2022||BF||0||The horses were not at Broadfoot in the evening near sunset. We suspect this was because there were several rowdy campers there with big campfires. We will circle back during the week and see if they have returned or if there are any signs of them in the area.|
|May 06, 2022||BF||13||All four foals and the herd of 13 were all present and accounted for right before sunset. Others have reported earlier this week that 2 of the foals were not present. All four of the foals look healthy. Near sunset, the horses worked their way over to the water hole next to the loop road. The foals all walked over and got a drink along with most of the other horses. The lead stallion did not try and mate with any mares during this visit.|
|April 25, 2022||BF||13||All four foals and the herd of 13 were all present and looking in great shape today. We got a chance to video all four foals today. The lead stallion (dark horse with light mane) successfully bread with one of the mares during our visit today. We saw the same thing on the 21st as well. This means winter foals will be born next year which makes me concerned based on the cold weather. The stallion is very curious. I left a tripod a few hundred yards away from where the herd was and the stallion made his way across the field to check it out. He smelled it, licked it, and was trying to eat it. Something else grabbed his attention and he quickly left.|
|April 21, 2022||BF||13||A lot has happened and changed with this herd recently. We saw the brand new less than a week-old new foal today. This makes a total of 4 foals for 2022 so far. Last week we verified that 4 horses as discussed in my 4/14/22 notes were rounded up taking the herd back down to 12 members. The new foal brings the count back up to 13 now. There was a lot of romance happening between the lead stallion and a couple of the mares today. We got a lot of good videos of their mating behavior and some explosive reactions by the mares. All 4 foals looked healthy and good. We saw something quite unique today. At the time we didn't realize that a near-white coyote and 4 dark pups crossed the end of the fields down by the camping area. We later verified this on the video that I took. This is the second time in a month that I have seen coyotes at Broadfoot.|
|April 14, 2022||BF||2||We arrived at Broadfoot in the early afternoon and found a lone mare and foal # 1 in the tree line over by the river. We looked around and did not see the rest of the herd. We went over to Cross Country and verified they captured 4 horses from the herd, so in theory, there should be 12 now because the 4th foal was born over the weekend and took the herd count to 16 at that time. MWHL took 1 mare, 1 filly, 1 stallion, and 1 colt. I hope we get to see the 4th foal soon.|
|April 10, 2022||BF||15||We arrived at Broadfoot before sunrise and we were amazed the horses had made it back. There were recent reports by MWHL that they were across the river, so it seemed doubtful they would be back with new foals because the river is up and very swift right now. We identified 3 new foals and one mare is still very pregnant and will likely foal very soon. We were able to document their markings with a high degree of accuracy, but no gender identifications yet. It was an incredible gift to watch all of these horses and the new foals at sunrise. We got to watch some feverish mating behavior and a couple of successful mating courtships. We got both video and photos today. The herd count is up to 15 now with the new foals. We strongly expect the MWHL to capture some of the stallions from this herd soon. I was able to identify at least 4 stallions today and this is sort of funny because Shawnee Creek has none at this time.|
|April 04, 2022||BF||0||We did not find the herd today, but we heard from the MWHL that they were across the river. On 04/09/22 there was a reported sighting of 3 foals. This would mean 2 new foals were born since the first new foal the last week of March. It appears they may be back at the BF location. We will try and verify soon.|
|March 27, 2022||BF||8||Today was an exciting day. We arrived around 840 AM, and we discovered five horses in the catch pen. This was the first time we saw horses in the catch pen. They were all mares, and one of them was pregnant and looked like she was going to foal at any time. We could see the foal's legs in her rib cage. Three horses were in the pasture in front of the catch pen and then ran deep into the woods with many other horses. We followed the horses in the woods and hiked to the top of the ridge and lost any sign of them. We followed the trail to the gravel road. We walked back and watched the horses in the capture pen and enjoyed them for quite a while. We will follow up with Cross Country in a few days to determine which horses they captured and any of them they let go. We did not see the new foal today, but hopefully soon, I think the other mare will quickly be foaling.|
|March 26, 2022||BF||0||No horses were found by me around 930 AM, but the Missouri Wild Horse League reported a new foal spotted for the first time today. The colt looked a few days old based on the photo I saw. I will try and locate the herd and the new foal and take some new pictures and videos. I also confirmed that "Redbeard" from Shawnee was caught in a roundup at Broadfoot, and he is over at Cross Country going through the intake process and waiting for adoption. More on that as I know more.|
|March 25, 2022||BF||0||No horses were found - It is reported that Redbeard (a young two 1/2-year-old brown colt from the Shawnee Creek herd has moved over to the Broadfoot herd earlier this week, but I was not able to verify that today. I am looking again tomorrow, and I can hopefully confirm.|
|March 19, 2022||BF||12||Twelve Horses (verified) - No foals, two yearlings, two pregnant mares. We now know that one new foal was born between today and March 26th (the first spring foal's first sighting). I got good photos of both mares before they gave birth.|
|March 13, 2022||BF||0||I did not find the herd today, and still no signs of them in the area. They have been gone from the main fields since my last sighting one month ago on 2/13. A few days ago, someone sighted the herd in a new area across the river. NOTE: A friend let me know they found the pack back in the regular fields at daybreak on Monday (3/14), which establishes them back in the area now.|
|March 05, 2022||BF||0||I did not find the herd today, and still no signs of them in the area.
|March 02, 2022||BF||0||I did not find the herd today, and still no signs of them in the area.
|Feb. 26, 2022||BF||0||I did not find the herd today, and there were no signs of them in the area.
|Feb. 20, 2022||BF||0||I did not find the herd today. Possibly the recent high waters drove them from the standard fields? More to follow on this.
|Feb. 13, 2022||BF||12||12 Horses (verified) - No foals, two yearlings, two pregnant mares
|Feb. 12, 2022||BF||12||12 Horses (verified) - No foals, two yearlings, two pregnant mares
|Feb. 07, 2022||BF||12||12 Horses Verified - No foals, 2 Yearlings, 2 Pregnant Mares (at BF fields)
|Feb. 06, 2022||BF||12|| 12 Horses Verified - No foals (at BF fields)
|January 28, 2022||BF||0||I Did not find the herd today.|
|January 2, 2022||BF||0||I Did not find the herd today.|
|August 06, 2021||BF||?||Missouri Wild Horse League Rounded Up 6 Bachelor Colts, Leaving a Reported nine horses in the herd, which is one short from my verified count of 16 on May 22, 2021. I will verify soon.|
|August 03, 2021||BF||0||I Did not find the herd today.|
|August 01, 2021||BF||0||I Did not find the herd today. MWHL has a catch pin setup in front of the fields.|
|May 22, 2021||BF||16||16 horses verified (4 foals)|
|May 09, 2021||BF||16||16 horses verified (4 foals) (1 new foal since 4/25/21)|
|April 25, 2021||BF||15||15 horses verified (3 foals)|
|January 27, 2021||BF||14||14 horses verified (first significant snow of this winter)|
|January 20, 2021||BF||14||14 horses verified (unsure about a possible 15th, need to verify again)
|January 16, 2021||BF||0||I did not find the herd today.|
|December 12, 2020||BF||15||15 horses verified at Broadfoot fields.|
|November 21, 2020||BF||15||15 horses confirmed at Broadfoot fields.|
|August 01, 2020||BF||15||15 horses verified with two foals at Broadfoot fields.|
|July 18, 2020||BF||5||Found part of the herd today in the back pocket (BF)|
|July 4, 2020||BF||0||I did not find the herd today.|
|March 29, 2020||BF||15||15 horses verified (2 foals) at Broadfoot fields.|
|March 7, 2020||BF||15||15 horses verified (2 foals now) at Broadfoot fields.|
|February 23, 2020
||BF||14||14 horses verified (1 foal) at Broadfoot fields.|
HISTORY OF THE WILD HORSES OF MISSOURI
Shannon County is home to a beautiful herd of wild horses. We are located in Southeast Missouri in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways on public land about 130 miles from Springfield and 150 miles from St. Louis.
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.
The national park service started removing the wild horses in a profoundly upsetting way to 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.
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, 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 worldwide visit Shannon County 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 50. 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 safety, keep a safe distance of 100 yards or more between you and the horses.
The Wild Horses of Missouri are generally organized into 4 herds and 5 bands to include: Shawnee Creek, Broadfoot, Round Spring, and Rocky Creek. You can click on each of the herd names and review the latest information about each herd. If you would like to get more information on where to find the Wild Horses of Missouri, review my detailed online guide for the latest information.