CHINCOTEAGUE PONY HORSE
Have you heard about CHINCOTEAGUE PONY SWIM? The most interesting and famous fact of the Chincoteague Pony Horses ,the wild horses is the Pony Penning Festival, The annual swim of these pony horses from CHINCOTEAGUE to ASSATEAGUE Islands.
The Chincoteague Pony Horses are undomesticated horses living on Assateague Islands in the United States, states of Virginia and Maryland. These horses are separated into two main groups by fencing at the border of Virginia and Maryland states. The Virginia Herd of Assateague Horses is referred as Chincoteague Pony Horses.
| Chincoteague Pony Horse
|Common Uses||General riding and Hunting|
|iding Height||12 to 13 hands|
|Weight||850 pounds ( 390 kgs)|
|Price||$ 500 onward|
There are two theories that explain the development of Chincoteague Pony Horses on the barrier islands of Assateague.
The first one says these horses had come to this island from Spanish Shipwrecks.
According to another one, these were brought to this island from the mainland by their owner to avoid fencing laws and taxation rules of mainland as many animals like sheep; pigs were brought to Assateague Island for this purpose.
BODY BUILD, HEIGHT, WEIGHT and COLORS
The Chincoteague pony horses have been living on this island for more than hundreds of years. The stormy weather, extreme heat and cold and deprived and limited vegetation on the island have made these horses, tough and strong as weak horses can’t survive in such adverse conditions.
This breed is very solid and thickset in body build. This pony variety is small in height. The height is around 12 to 13 hands. The Legs of this horse are short and tough. This pony has thick and coarse mane and thick tail. The weight of this pony breed is about food 850 lbs, may be due to limited diet.
The Chincoteague pony comes in almost all the colors. Pinto Patterns are appealing feature to this breed.
DIET, BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT
The Chincoteague pony breed feeds on salty grasses and brushes that grow in the wetlands of Assateague Island. Grasses and Brushes are limited and high in salt content so these horses have to drink plenty of water. They drink collected rain water or water present in the wildlife sanctuary.
Like other wild animals, these horses tend to live in herds in which there is one leading male horse, few mares and few foals. These horses live in a group of 6 to 12 members. The fights for dominance are common for them.
The Chincoteague pony horses are wild horses and can’t be tamed. They can only be enjoyed from a distance. The services tell visitors not to feed the horses and to keep a distance from them. They may feel sick after eating human food, may bite or kick the visitors. They live in their natural habitat with fencing and enjoy their freedom and don’t like any interference.
CHINCOTEAGUE PONY HORSE MANAGEMENT
The Chincoteague pony horses are managed by local Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. Every year this company gets a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to graze the ponies on the Chincoteague National wildlife Refuge. But the permit is only for about 150 adult horses to prevent overgrazing of land resources.
The Fire Company conducts veterinary inspections and vaccinations over time to time each year to keep these horses sound and healthy.
CHINCOTEAGUE PONY PENNING
As a path to control the population of these pony horses and to raise funds for the company, The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company has started PONY PENNING, the annual festival of Chincoteague island and it has become tradition celebrated each year from1925 to till now. Thousands of people visit the Chincoteague Island being a part of this festival and to get pleasure watching these wild horses.
On the last Wednesday of July the Chincoteague pony horses are rounded up and a group of healthy horses swims from Chincoteague to Assateague Islands. On Thursday, these horses are brought back to Chincoteague Island and are Auctioned Off.
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