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Discover The Beautiful History Of The Famous Feral Assateague Horses

The Assateague Island National Seashore is the home of the famous Assateague horses. These ponies have been residents of the barrier island areas of Virginia and Maryland since America was first settled. There are several legends about how these wild animals came to live on the difficult seashore. Some say that a Spanish galleon sunk off the coast and the hardy equines escaped to the shore. Others point out that pirates may have left them. Still more point to historical evidence that mainland farmers may have hidden their livestock there to avoid high tax collections. Now, these legendary horses are part of area traditions, with thousands coming to see them annually.

These ponies are divided into two herds. The Maryland herd is known as the Assateague, while the Virginia herd is called the Chincoteague. Both live along the coastal areas that are shared by the two states. The Maryland ponies roam freely and have a reputation for wild and spontaneous behaviors. The Virginia ponies are a bit more managed, though equally feral.

Because the Maryland horse herd is one of the last wild groups left in the states, they are frequently studied by scientists. They, and the Chincoteague group each have specific behaviors which are unique. These feral animals offer excellent opportunities to see how equines grow, learn and socialize when left to their own devices.

The officials that manage each herd work hard to keep the population in check. Each group rarely numbers more than one hundred and fifty or so. This way, the animals will not exhaust the natural resources that help to sustain them. There will be enough space for them to live adequately and enough natural plants for them to eat. The veterinarians that care for them plan for appropriate vaccinations, medications, contraception and culling the herds through yearly public auctions.

When the Assateague herd drops below reasonable limits, it is common for members of the Chincoteague herd to be selected to add to the previous. In this way, each group of ponies is kept at a limit that helps them to remain healthy and find the foods they need on the island. The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire company tends to the needs of its herd. The National Park Service manages the wilder Maryland herd.

Because thousands visit each year, a Pony Patrol roams throughout the area educating the public about them. These equines have a reputation for biting, kicking and even charging at humans. There are strict rules that demand absolutely no contact between humans and horses.

Keeping the herds in small numbers is not only accomplished through contraception. Every year, the ponies swim across the island waterway for Pony Penning. The collects them together for assessment, treatment and auctioning. Once they are checked, the chosen are auctioned to the public on the spot. Most people enjoy watching the swim and then stay long after to enjoy the annual carnival.

The famous Assateague horses are truly wild. Viewed as a national treasure, these handsome animals remind people of the rugged adventurous settlers of the New World. Many would prefer to keep them as wild as possible and work with environmental agencies to keep the herds protected and secluded. Though humans can camp on the island areas, they often find themselves sharing space with these stubborn animals who know the land and consider it their own.

The following homepage contains further details on assateague horses that people require for their horse breeding needs. Get more information by visiting our official website at now.

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