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.