June 30, 2011

Pony Up at Chincoteague

Dave and I went to Chincoteague, VA for a day and half at the beginning of this week.  We had a great time seeing all the ponies in their natural habitat. It felt like we were always playing hide and seek, us being the seekers and the ponies being the hiders. When we did find them, we would get really excited, grab our cameras and start clicking away. That is probably how we ended up with 300 + pictures in such a short time!

Here is a look at some of our pictures:
These pictures are of the Chincoteague Island Herd, they are managed by the Volunteer Fire Department of Chincoteague. They are in their natural habitat, coming out to eat and mosy about. There are about 150 horses on the island. Each year at the end of July the Volunteer Fire Department hosts a Pony Swim where they wrangle up the ponies and they swim from the island tip to the coast (300 ft wide and 25 ft deep) where they are sell around 60 horses. This helps manage the herd numbers so they do not overpopulate.

We went on a sunset cruise in hopes to seeing more ponies and relax on the water. And the cruise met all of our expectations! We got to see two sets of ponies, one was far in the marsh and then other was right on the beach. Also on the cruise we got to see a Bald Eagle and a large variety of birds. There is this one bird,  I can't remember it's name, but it's in the gull family. They fly above the water and then BAM they dive into the water like a kamikaze for food! 

These photos are of the Assateague Herd and are on the Maryland side of the Assateague Island. The herd has around 150 ponies and is managed by the National Park Services. Due to campers on the island, many of the horses come closer to eat human food in campsites and on the beach. You are able to see the horses on the road, stopping to get a little snack, on the beach picking at visitors lunches, and far away in the marsh land.  The Maryland side of the island is around 1 hour from the VA side, but definitely worth the drive for up and close experiences!

The Assateague Island is located on the Atlantic Ocean, so being the beach lovers we are we made sure to take full advantage! Dave loves swimming in the ocean, jumping into the waves but I'm more of a sit and read kind of girl. I did go in and the ocean man handled me like nobody's busy, I almost lost my top and bottoms both at the same time!!! 

I got some really great pictures and I would love to share them with you! I will be posting a few of my favorites up throughout the week! So keep a look out for them.  I am afraid of horses, but this was such a great time and experience. 

P.S. You may have noticed that they are called Chincoteague Ponies and not horses, this is because of their size. They are not as tall as horses are here in America, therefore they are ponies!