Share This

Friday, July 30, 2010

Salt Water Cowboys......

The Chincoteague Pony Swim

"The famous annual "Pony Round-up" and "Pony Swim" 
is held each year during the month of July on the last Wednesday of the month. 
The Chincoteague Volunteer Fireman (Salt water Cowboys)
herd the ponies off their island and through the sea water channel to Virginia. 

Horses and their ponies swim 
from the Virginia side of Assateague Island to 
Chincoteague Island 
under the watch of the Saltwater Cowboys
The wild horses belong to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department, which has auctioned colts and foals for 79 years to raise money.

I have always wanted to go.
Running free-
The ponies live on the islands of Chincoteague and Assateague off the coast of Virginia and Maryland.
" The Ponies are a race of small hardy horses, compact and good natured. The legend is that these ponies swam ashore from a Spanish Vessel which had capsized off the coast, around the century 1600. Once on the islands they became stunted under the harsh environment. To keep from starving they ate coarse saltmarsh 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". The horses bred down to the unique breed we know today as the Chincoteague Pony."
I have great memories of riding a horse through river crossings while camping.
If you haven't ever done it.....
put it on your 'before I kick the bucket list.'

They swim just like doggies 
and there you are 
sitting up on their back while they swim across.
It is amazing.
Do it.
Does this not look like fun???

Have a sweet weekend.  XXX's

Would you want to see this?

"Today there are two groups of these ponies descended down from the only 17 original Arabian Horses in which survived the famous shipwreck. The two groups are "The Maryland Herd" and "The Virginia Herd". The Virginia Herd consists of approximately 130 head and is 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"


Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her BLOG..... Interior Design, Palm Beach, Boca Raton,Ft.Lauderdale,Design Service, Window Treatments, TurnKey Interior Design Service,Paint selection, Floor-Plans,Online Interior Design, Design Center of The Americas, D.C.O.T.A., ponies, horses, salt water cowboys Share/Save/Bookmark


  1. Renee, the images are so incredibly beautiful. I would love to be on that dock and watch the ponies swim. You are such a fabulous rider, I just can see you riding the ponies bareback across the rivers...

  2. francine-

    i would just about give anything to do it again!
    .....and sooner than later


  3. When I was growing up I had a pony that we simply could not keep out of the water! If there was a dam in the paddock she was in (didn't matter if I was on board or not!!) It looks as though these ponies are enjoying it too!

  4. Great post Renee.......

    A must for my list!


  5. Hey Sweet Friend!
    Love these images, I might be skeered...I can see you lovin' life though up on those ponies!
    love ya girl...miss ya!

  6. julienne

    it is the weirdest thing...
    horse either hate water or love it.
    i guess like people and dogs.

    my horse (georgian gentleman)that i showed with was a real scare-dy cat when it came to water.
    it was always a huge effort to get him to take the jumps that went over water.


  7. Those pictures gave me goosebumps... and what a great story about survival... ~Terri

  8. What an amazing site that must be! I would much rather see that than run with the bulls. :) I had never heard of these types of ponies, and to think they drink salt water! Great post!

  9. Hi Renee,
    I am so glad I found your blog! You images are amazing and oh would I love to watch those ponies! I am now a follower! Please come visit me.

  10. I agree with Francine, to be watching those beauties would be one of the top 10 moments of my life. Thank you for sharing this, Renee. I went to school in Virginia and never knew this. I'm putting it on The Bucket List. :)

  11. But...dayum...they look so scared!

  12. linda @ lime

    i a sure they are.....
    but the older ones must know the drill by now.

    uhmmmmm....i hope so

  13. I saw the ponies swim when I was a child. What an amazing experience!!! That summer, I had seen the movie, Misty of Chincoteague (Disney) and fell in love. On our family vacation, Dad took one of his "shortcuts" so I could visit "Misty". This experience still ranks high...

    Jane (artfully graced)

  14. I love seeing animals happy!

  15. I wish I had your many talents Renee. Although riding across the river on a horse is a bit scary (comes from watching 'How the West Was Won' as a child) it would be thrilling to accomplish such a feat. I can totally understand your love of being a horsewoman. Such magnificent creatures. I loved reading this post as I had never heard of these horses. It was be a thrill of a lifetime to see them.

    Thanks for sharing this story with us all Renee. A new week ahead and hoping it's a decent one? How is Andi doing now that she's graduated? Does she leave for the Peace Corp soon? Thinking about you my dear xxx

  16. That is so amazing. They are small
    compared to Cowboy and horse.
    I would diffently make a trip to see that if it were closer. They look so happy.

  17. ..oh my... does anyone else remember reading "misty of chincoteague"...about pony penning of my childhood dreams...long before i ever heard about a bucket list...shows how old i am...

  18. My guys were playing in a small lake we now have in the pasture from so much rain! Maduro and Slick rolled and splashed in the water for several minutes. Romeo went back three times to play and kick at the water....unfortunately I did NOT have my camera it was back in the barn. I did think as I watched them how fun it would be to ride them through deeper waters. I think they would like it just as much as the ponies in your fun post! Thanks for the fabulous photos! Hope your week goes well!



Thanks for participating!!

About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her Adventures in Design by Renee Finberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at reneefinberg@gmail.ocm.

Protected Journalist