Some people believe that the wild ponies of Assateague arrived on Assateague Island when a Spanish galleon cargo ship (with a cargo of horses) sank off the coast and the horses swam to shore. Others believe the wild horses arrived there via early colonial settlers. Recently in 1997, a Spanish shipwreck was discovered off Assateague Island, which lends credit to the first theory. In any event, the ponies have become well adapted to the seashore ecosystem where they feed on saltmarsh cordgrass, dune grasses, bayberry twigs, rosehips, and persimmons.
The following photo was taken on our third trip to the island. Much to my surprise, I saw this beautiful little pony nuzzling up to what I believe is it's mom!
In the parking lots of the island are big piles of horse doo doo! You have to watch where your step at all times! lol The same goes for the beach! As you can see by this photo, these horses greeted us in the parking lot.
There are three beaches on this part of the island. This beach here was the only beach on the island that allowed dogs. As you can see it wasn't very busy on this day.
My boys absolutely LOVED the beach! They chased the waves, the tried jumping over them, they ran along the waves, and even tasted their salty water! Ben said it was "Soooo gross!" lol
Here is my favorite photo from my entire vacation! They are sooo sweet, and are finally cooperating with me taking their photo.
Or should I say sometimes cooperating?! lol
Out of nowhere these horses came onto these people's beach towels and started eating their lunch! One of the rules is that you are not allowed to feed or get close to the horses. But how is that possible when they do whatever they want on the island? lol
What's really bizarre about these horses is that they'll just stand there and stare at you for a very long time! These horses here wondered down the beach and stood in front of one family for about an hour! And all they did was stare! I got really close to take a photo and they'll look at you, and it's kind of creepy because they are "wild" and sooo unpredictable!