Wild Ponies on Assateague Island, VA.

wild ponies on assateague
Did you ever see one of those romantic paintings of wild horses running on the beach? I think those artists traced a photo of horses running and superimposed them on a beach scene because these wild ponies don’t run much. They can be found standing around or walking on the beach but mainly you see them far away standing knee deep in marsh grass with their heads down munching. As far as I can tell they only run once a year when the fire dept. / cowboys round them up and make some of them swim across the channel to Chincoteague Island where they auction them off to benefit the fire dept.

The wild ponies seem a little lethargic to me but the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce free literature says they get veterinary care when they need it. Life’s not easy for them on Assateague Island though. Where do they go for shelter in a hurricane? Once I heard that the reason they look fat is because there’s no fresh water for them to drink on the island so they drink brackish water. The ones that get auctioned at the annual pony swim / auction slim down after they get a better diet and fresh water.

I want to try to paint a marsh landscape but I don’t think I’ll try to draw the wild ponies in, because they’d probably come out looking like spotty blobs out there. Maybe some time in the future….


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