Chincoteague Pony

Chincoteague Pony photo
A feral pony of Assateague Island.
Photograph by Xiaphias. Some rights reserved.

Chincoteague Pony photo
Chincoteague Pony Swim featured more than 200 wild ponies swimming across the Assateague Channel into Chincoteague, Virginia.
Photograph by Christopher Evanson. License: Public Domain.


Other Names
Assateague Pony

Chincoteague Pony is a tough breed that can be found on an island called Assateague Island. This breed is also referred to as “Assateague” since it is found on the island by the same name which is located off the Atlantic coast of Virginia and Maryland. Most of the ponies of this breed live in feral conditions. The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company own and manage this breed.

The height of the Chincoteague pony varies between 13-14.2 hands; however, these horses grow better when they are exposed to domestic rather than feral conditions. Some ponies that are bred under domesticated conditions have reached a height of 16 hands. The head of this horse is small and has a refined looks. The eyes are small and they are placed wide apart. These horses of this breed have a bloated look. The reason for this look is the fact that they drink twice the water that any normal animal intakes. They feed on the grass in the marshes which is rich in salt. The Chincoteague ponies have slender legs that possess strong joints and tough feet.

These animals have an independent temperament, thanks to living in feral conditions. However, when they are domesticated they are friendly creatures. These animals are easy to keep and maintain.

When feral ponies exceed in the number, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire company auctions them to raise funds.

13 - 14.2 hands

The ponies of this breed can have any coat color. Pinto is the most common coat pattern.

Suitable for
The Chincoteague Ponies are used as show horses in a variety of disciples and they excel in this.

The feral Chincoteague ponies have been existing on the Assateague island for a number of years. There are a number of theories about how they came into existence there. While one school of thought states that these ponies were the animals that managed to swim and reach the island when a Spanish ship got wrecked. Another school of thought assumes that these ponies were animals that were let loose on the island by their owner who wanted to avoid paying tax on domesticated livestock.

Storms and other natural calamities have posed to be a threat for these feral animals. Though most of the domesticated stock has been able to retain the bloodline, the bloodline among the feral ponies seems to have been diluted due to the influence of other breeds.