Combine wild horses and sandy beaches and you have the makings of a fine summer vacation.
On Assateague and Chincoteague Islands, wild horses that are the descendants of ponies brought to America by colonists roam about the salt marshes, forests and beaches of these barrier islands between Maryland and Virginia.
The feral horses have adapted to the climate changes and environment of the islands, surviving through summer’s harsh heat and winter’s storms.
Visitors flock to these islands to view the wild beauties in their natural habitat. However, as much as visitors would like to, feeding or touching the horses is forbidden, as it would only be detrimental to the horses survival skills and can be dangerous for humans.
Two main herds make up the wild horse society on these two islands. To get up close and personal with the horses, take a nature tour with a guide from May 18 – Oct 6 each year.
In addition to these nature tours, there is a Wild Pony Swim each year when the horses cross the waters between the two islands. Though very crowded during this event, it’s an experience not to be missed for horse lovers.
This year’s Wild Pony Swim is on July 24, 2013.
Photo source: John Riviello