Chincoteague Pony Horses
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About Chincoteague Pony HorsesAbout Chincoteague Pony Horses



Chincoteague horses come from the Eastern coast of the United States, the islands of Chincoteague and Assateague off the coast of Virginia and Maryland. They are well known for their hardiness and willing to succeed. Additionally, they are raised for riding and harness work (they are good at carry burden long distances).

It's not clear how the Chincoteague horses evolved, but most believe that they are related to 17 Arabian horses that swam ashore from a spanish vessel that had capsized off the coast, around 1600. Once on the islands they became stunted under the harsh environment. To keep from starving they ate coarse salt marsh cordgrass, American beachgrass, thorny greenbrier stems, bayberry twigs, seaweed and even poison ivy. Because they drink salt water, they have an appearance of being fat or bloated.

At one point the horses were split into two different groups or herds. The two groups are The Maryland Herd and The Virginia Herd. The Virginia Herd consists of approximately 130 horses and are owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Dept. The ponies graze in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Virginia portion of Assateague Island. The Maryland Herd consists of approximately 140 Head and is owned by the Maryland Park Service.

Every year, in July, they are are collected and taken across the water to be included in a large group of all of the Chincoteague breeds that are put on display for all the residents to view and many are auctioned off.

The Chincoteague horse is sweet and calm. They are also considered kind and very wise. This cool and collective temperament of theirs is why they are such an excellent choice for riding and especially with little ones as they are not very tall and can be easily manipulated when riding. They are an extremely resilient and have the remarkable ability to continue on for weeks without any supplies.

They grow to around twelve hands high. They can be bred in all sorts of colors and are considered an attractive animal. They have beautiful heads and a short back, along with a very thick mane and tail alike. They have a stocky build and are great for riding.

They are extremely simple to tend to as they can spend most of their lives roaming around without any help from their owners. They have the keen ability to obtain all of their needs and supplies on their own, for the most part. Additionally, they can reside in very warm areas, as well as very cold climates.

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