Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wild Ponies

In between all the house work, writing, and back-to-school errands this past week, I did manage to squeeze in a little beach therapy. We usually head out to The Outer Banks of North Carolina (blog photo locale), but this time we decided to check out the Maryland coastline. The pollution at the Ocean City Boardwalk beach area was anything but therapeutic, but just south of that are Assateague's National Park protected beaches...home of the famous Assateague ponies. I couldn't resist taking a few snapshots from my car.

There are actually two herds that are divided by a fence. The Assateague ponies are on the Maryland side, and the Chincoteague ponies are on the Virginia side. The latter gained some fame in 1991, when author Marguerite Henry published Misty of Chincoteague, which won the Newbery Honor.

The ponies are considered feral and are believed to have arrived on the island during the 17th century. There are signs everywhere cautioning visitors to not feed or get closer than 10ft of the animals. Unfortunately, not everyone listens or realizes that feeding the ponies draws them closer to cars...and danger. I witnessed people walking up and feeding them. Very frustrating. You can see from my pictures (taken with zoom of course) that the ponies end up way too close to danger. They even had car-pony accident pictures posted near the beach, but I guess people can be stubborn.

There was plenty of 'evidence' that they hang out here too.

Seeing these beautiful creatures was still therapeutic in and of itself. I had the music from the movie Spirit, sung by Bryan Adams, running through my head the whole time. There's just something about them.


  1. Hi Rula! Even the pics of the ponies are so calming. Sad to hear about people not following the rules. They must not realize how they're endangering the ponies.

    Thanks for sharing where your blog pic is from. Is wondering. Makes me miss the beach.

  2. Those are gorgeous.

    We have problems with mountain goats on the roads and people stopping even though they shouldn't. People, lets not block the road so you can take pictures (on the narrow mountain past) and cause an accident.

  3. Hi Isis! Great to see you here. I love beaches.

    Hi Stina! Narrow mountain roads are scary as it is! I totally agree with that. In our case, people had already formed a bumper to bumber traffic line (unfortunately), so we were just sitting there. I've seen pics where the horses are actually on the beach around people, but that can be dangerous for people who get too close as well. People need to have more respect for nature.

  4. Beautiful! Great pictures :). I couldn't fit in a beach trip this summer and I'm feeling deprived.

  5. I'd heard stories about these horses for years. I've always wanted to see them. Beautiful!

  6. I agree. When we lived in the New Mexico mountains, a herd of wild horses roamed the forest. They were beautiful to watch.

  7. Beautiful pictures. It's so sad that people don't follow the rules. Then the wildlife doesn't stay completely wild and it gets into trouble. It happens with anything wild that people feed.

  8. Hey Kaily! Now a beach trip without the kids...that would be relaxing, LOL.

    Hi Maria! I've heard of wild horses down in the Outer Banks too, but I haven't seen them yet.

    Carol, wild horses in the forest must be an incredible thing to see.

    Hey Kaelee! Thanks about the pics. So true about people and wildlife.