Sunday, September 23, 2012

Traveler on Assateague Island

I am off doing what I do best- exploring.

Today, I took the girls to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands so we could see the Wild ponies! The upper half of Assateague Island is in Maryland and the lower half and Chincoteague Island are in Virginia.

I am sure most of you have heard about Misty of Chincoteague, who was the subject of Marguerite Henry's classic book.

The wild ponies of Assateague are hardy barrier island ponies- there are two theories as to what they are doing here. The first theory is that settlers in the 1600's kept their livestock out in Assateague Island and the ponies are descended from escaped stock.

But the theory I like best is that the wild ponies are descendants of Spanish horses who swam ashore during a Spanish Galleon shipwreck! That is the one I choose I believe!

Entering the wildlife area...

The signs warned that the wild ponies would bite, kick and charge- but the Jill and Sally were not too worried about that. In fact they seemed to hope that would happen!

Assateague Island is filled with marshes, beautiful pine trees- and Mosquitos!

There is actually a herd! of poni es beyond the trees- but they were so far away they were hard to see...

Thy are out there- but you have to really look! The ponies are hardy and usually do not get much bigger than around 13.2 hands- although they will grow taller in captivity. Out in the wild they have a difficult diet of salty marsh grass which keeps their size down naturally.

Just when we had almost given up on seeing any wild ponies up close- we came across a herd crossing the road and grazing along the side!

There they go crossing the road! They even hopped right over the guardrail!

I got so excited seeing them that I didn't really get any good photos!

- Posted by Jill Curtis from Shiloh Ranch

Read this article here

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