The Chincoteague Pony, or Assateague horse, is a breed of pony originating from the Assateague Island off the coast of Virginia and Maryland. Left by settlers in the 17th century, the ponies were exposed to harsh conditions and a poor diet of salt marsh plants and brush. Over time, the breed became small in stature and thrifty. Local farmers occasionally released new horses on the island to diversify the genetics and dilute inbreeding beginning in the early 20th century.
Learn About Chincoteague Ponies
In 1835, pony penning began as settlers rounded up the ponies and removed select individuals to the mainland. The first official “Pony Penning Day” was held in 1924 by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company as a way to raise money for fire equipment. Ponies were rounded up on the island and herded across the channel to the mainland where they were separated and any older foal was marked for auction. The ones that were not marked for auction were then made the 10 minute return swim back across the channel. This same practice continues through the current day.
Chincoteagues ponies are horse like in appearance, averaging 13.2 hands and weighing around 850lbs. They can be any solid color, and are often found in pinto patterns, which are a favorite with breed enthusiasts. In general, the breed tends to have a straight to slightly concave facial profile with a broad forehead and refined neck. The chest is broad with a shorter back and broad loins. Their legs tend to be straight with sturdy, thick bones.
Once trained, Chincoteagues excel as hunters, drivers, and trail ponies. They are healthy and are generally easy keepers. Their temperament is typically very easy going, with a willingness to please and a great aptitude for learning.
Chincoteague PonyIn 1985, the National Chincoteague Pony Association was founded to register all horses that were auctioned during Pony Penning Day. A second registry, the Chincoteague Pony Association, was created in 1994 to maintain a breed registry and stud book of all Chincoteague Ponies, including those bred on the mainland. Currently, there are nearly 1,000 Chincoteague ponies living throughout the mainland of US and Canada.
In 1947, the children’s book Misty of Chincoteague was released, depicting the life of the horse Misty who was born on Assateague Island in 1946. In 1961, a movie rendition, Misty, was released, garnering much publicity for the breed. The real horse Misty lived out her life on the Beebe ranch on the island of Assateague where she had a total of three foals, Phantom Wings (1960), Wisp O’Misty (1961), and Stormy (1962). Today, there are around 80 descendents of Misty.
We are very proud of the daily handling and care given to our miniatures here at Tanglewood Farm. We provide proper nutrition and quality veterinary care to all of our animals. Our livestock is current on vaccinations, dental checkups, hoof care, and worming. The health of our animals is very important to us, and we follow rather strict practices. We maintain a closed herd, which means we do not bring in any new animals, embryos or semen. Once an animal is sold, it may not be returned. So that we do not unintentionally introduce disease into our herds, we do not bring our animals to shows, and we do not borrow or lend animals for breeding. We prefer weanlings do not leave Tanglewood Farm before they are 6 months of age. They need time to grow and play with other weanlings, receive discipline from their mothers, and time to change their diet gradually to eliminate the desire for mother’s milk. This also enables Tanglewood Farm time to deworm the weanlings and give them their first vaccinations. All miniatures come with Tanglewood Farm health papers showing up to date vaccinations, deworming schedule, and hoof trimming schedule. If you need transportation, we can arrange ground transport within the US and Canada. To other countries, we can arrange air transportation on major airlines.