Cracker Horses

The largest herd of registered Cracker horses in Florida (and in the world) is also on the Crescent J. They are being bred to bring back some almost-lost Iberian genetic characteristics such as the Spanish Gennet pace, an easy-riding, fast, single-foot walk and other characteristics of the breed that developed in Florida during the four centuries they ran feral in Florida, such as intelligence, endurance, hardiness and resistance to parasites. On the Crescent J, young Cracker horses are trained to be good cattle-working or trail horses. Some taken to horse shows bring back blue ribbons.

Horse and Cattle Heritage in Florida

Florida’s early culture and heritage was based not on tourism but mainly on agriculture and primarily on cattle and horses. Most people today don’t know it, but Florida was the first state to have cattle and horses – long before it was a state.

Rotational Grazing

In 1979, Dr. Broussard learned about a system of managed grazing that could increase the herd carrying capacity of available pasture by about 50%. This is accomplished by dividing the pastures into grazing cells and rotating the cattle through the cells every day or two. The size of the cells is determined by head count. He divided all the pastures on the Crescent J with solar-powered electric fences in order to implement this advanced system of managed grazing.

The cattle quickly learned the routine and are always ready to move immediately into each new cell in its turn. They eat everything in the cell instead of wandering around a large pasture, picking out their favorite grasses. When they leave that cell, all the grasses begin to recover at the same time. When the cattle are rotated back into that cell a month or so later, all the grasses are fresh, instead of some being old and dry. This not only makes better use of all species of grass in the cells, but also spreads the manure around the entire area, as the cattle don’t just go in the afternoon to their favorite spots to lie down, chew their cuds and when they get up, drop their manure where it becomes a source of polluted water that could drain into canals or creeks and eventually into some source of drinking water.

“We hope that the Allen Broussard Conservatory will be a legacy of education, not only for the general population but for scientists and politicians who would have something to say about preservation and conservation in Florida – and all around the world.” 

Margaret Broussard


Florida has a rich history, in both nature and society. The moment the Spanish set foot on the peninsula, Florida would be forever changed.


From the get go, honoring history and providing a glimpse into the heritage of the land we inhabited was important for us.


The day Allen told his father about his concerns at the disappearance of Florida’s natural beauty was one of the last days they would be together.


Help us conserve these beautiful wetlands by making a charitable donation today!