Wild Horses of Missouri Field Diary 11/12/2022 - Round Spring (Band #1) & Shawnee Creek Herds

November 12, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

11-12-2022 Round Spring Herd © Tim Layton wildhorsesofmissouri.com11-12-2022 Round Spring Herd © Tim Layton wildhorsesofmissouri.com It was the first snow of the season today, and it was a total surprise to everyone.  It wasn't forecasted, and we were excited when we got up this morning and saw the snow. 

It was the first day of riffle season today for the deer hunters, so we didn't expect too much in the way of finding the horses.  

To our surprise, we found Band # 1 of the Round Spring and Shawnee Creek herds. 

We checked all of the normal places a little before lunchtime and had no luck, so we decided to head to the lodge at Echo Bluff State Park and treat ourselves to a nice lunch.

If you haven't been there for a meal, it is a real treat.  I think it is the finest choice for good food in at least a 75-mile radius.  

If you are on Facebook, join the Wild Horses of Missouri Group to see our latest updates or to share your photos, videos, and stories too. 

My son, Tim Jr., and I are working on a handmade platinum and palladium fine art collectible book featuring the Wild Horses of Missouri.  You can learn more about the project on my fine art website and follow along on our YouTube channel as we make each handmade print using 19th-century methods.

ROUND SPRING HERD (BAND # 1)

After lunch, we started our same rounds, and we ended up finding them over past Painters Ridge. 

I rounded the corner, and I saw the herd of 6 running.  I got a few videos of them and then gently hiked our way closer to the area in case they were nearby.  It was a beautiful hike in the woods with the crisp air and fresh snow on the ground.    

After a short hike of less than a mile, we found the horses in the woods.  They were hanging out, relaxing, and socializing while the foal played in the snow. 

We spent quite a while with them and got a lot of good videos and photos.  The stallion with his shaggy hairdo is always such a joy to watch.  The foal looks great and is as curious as can be. 

It was an unexpected surprise to find them after the failed attempt earlier, but this isn't uncommon.  I always tell people that if they don't find them at first, give it some time and stay in the area and try again because these horses are always on the move.  I often bring a book and sit still and read and then look again.  This tactic has worked in my favor many times.   

We discovered a new pond area that we didn't know about, so we will keep that in mind in the future. We did look for the newly discovered band # 2 (8 horses) in their normal area, but no luck today.  We believe this second band is well-established now, and technically, there are two bands in the Round Springs area now.

In the video clip below, you see the current 6 members of this band (stallion to the far right, lead mare in the center, and the foal to the far left) standing in the woods near Painters Ridge. If you have been following the horses for very long, then you already know these bands and herds are constantly changing. It is a lot to keep up with and the amount of change this year as compared to previous years since we started following them in 2015 is significant.  

11-12-2022 Round Spring Herd © Tim Layton wildhorsesofmissouri.com

SHAWNEE CREEK HERD

11-12-2022 Shawnee Creek Herd © Tim Layton wildhorsesofmissouri.com11-12-2022 Shawnee Creek Herd © Tim Layton wildhorsesofmissouri.com We started our day at the main Shawnee Creek fields, and luck was with us today because the main herd of 11 and the 2 old ladies were foraging in the new snow for some grass to eat.

In case you are not fully up to date, earlier this Spring, we noticed the two oldest mares, whom we affectionally call "the 2 old ladies," started hanging back when the main herd would move to a new location.  Now, two seasons and 8 months later, the two old ladies never leave each other's side, and they no longer follow the main herd as they move around.

The last time the 2 old ladies were away from the Shawnee Creek area was back in May when we found them on the road to Broadfoot, and I followed them in the woods on a newly found trail that I have never seen before down to the main field at Broadfoot.  It is amazing how fast these horses move.  They look like they are walking in slow motion, but I could not keep up as I had to jog, run, take a break, and start over again. 

11-12-2022 Shawnee Creek Herd © Tim Layton wildhorsesofmissouri.com11-12-2022 Shawnee Creek Herd © Tim Layton wildhorsesofmissouri.com By the time I hiked back to the truck and got down to the field, the lead stallion was courting the two old ladies.  That stallion has since been captured and adopted, and there is a new stallion now.  It was an amazing event to watch unfold in real-time as the stallion mated with both of the old mares.  The boss mare of Broadfoot was furious and would not let the two old ladies near the rest of the herd.  The two old ladies tried for several days to work their way closer to the herd, but the boss mare wasn't having any part of it and aggressively pushed them away.

Since this event, the two old ladies have never left the general area around Shawnee Creek, to my knowledge. 

In this video below, enjoy the herd on this beautiful morning with our first snow of the season.  It was like a postcard moment getting to see and enjoy the wild horses roaming free and enjoying the crisp and clean morning air.

We watched the youngest foal chase off birds on the ground in front of him, and then his mom got in on the action too.  Birds tend to hover around the horses because they are looking for an easy food source. 

11-12-2022 Shawnee Creek Herd © Tim Layton wildhorsesofmissouri.com

In the video below, you will see the two old ladies off by themselves away from the main herd and as the camera pans around, notice the trail through the snow that comes from the woods.  This is where they entered the field from the woods this morning before sunrise.  

11-12-2022 Shawnee Creek Herd © Tim Layton wildhorsesofmissouri.com

If you are on Facebook, join the Wild Horses of Missouri Group to see our latest updates or to share your photos, videos, and stories too. 

My son, Tim Jr., and I are working on a handmade platinum and palladium fine art collectible book featuring the Wild Horses of Missouri.  You can learn more about the project on my fine art website and follow along on our YouTube channel as we make each handmade print using 19th-century methods.

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