The Wild Horses of Assateague Island

You didn’t think I’d give up on seeing the wild horses of Assateague Island that easy did you?

After squinting to see the “fenced” wild horses on the Virginia side of Assateague Island, we hoped in our truck and decided to make the hour and a half drive to the Maryland entrance.

Really, what’s an hour and a half after driving from California? We didn’t drive all the way across the country to have my childhood dream of seeing “Misty” (the horse in one of my favorite childhood books, Misty of Chincoteague) roam free on the beach be contained by a stupid fence.

This drive was filled with more anxiety than before. I know it was silly and certainly childish but I really really REALLY wanted to see the wild horses. It was as if I’d have a life of regret if I didn’t get to see these legendary creatures roaming free on the beach.

I’m not obsessive or dramatic or idealistic, not at all.

It was late afternoon when we arrived at the Maryland side of Assateague.

I held my breath as we drove through the entrance gate. I secretly prayed we would see some horses. (Yeah, sometimes I pray for trite things like that.)

Then I squealed and I’m pretty sure there were some tears.

A wild horse!

He was grazing freely on the side of the road completely indifferent to the crazy girl telling him how beautiful he was and taking pictures as if she had never seen a horse in her life.

Satisfied that there were indeed wild horses on Assateague Island, we went to the visitor center just minutes before it closed so the boys could turn in their Jr. Ranger stuff we had picked up on the Virginia side and we could learn a little more about the horses.

The horses have been living on Assateague Island since the 1600’s. No one knows exactly how the the wild horses of Assateague came to be. Legend is they swam to shore after a Spanish shipwreck. However, the more probable story is they were put on the island by their owners who wanted to avoid paying livestock taxes on the mainland.

Spanish galleon or tax evasion? Hmmmm…..

We drove further into the island and it wasn’t long before I was screetching again.

A mama and a baby or “Phantom and Misty” for us once (still?) horse obsessed little girls!!!

Someone has an itch.

I think I took 200 pictures of these guys and Thing Two loves animals as much as I do.

The horses were every bit as beautiful as I had imagined and so were the beaches.

As we drove around the island, we soon saw there were horses everywhere.

In the campsites.

Hanging around the bathrooms.

This guy just stood by the water spicket for the longest time.

People were petting the horses but I had seen pictures of the horse bites in the Visitor’s Center and having been bite by a horse before I know horse bites are no joke.

But more than that they were almost too wild and too beautiful to touch as if petting them like they were dogs would a sign of disrespect.

As the sun set we found a quiet spot near the beach.

Brent grilled.

And I read Misty of Chincoteague to my two favorite little boys.

Yes I actually brought the book all the way from California. Over the top, I know.

Then we watched the sunset from our little spot of horse heaven on Assateague Island.

Love and Laughter,

If you enjoyed this post you can follow one of three ways! 1. Sign up to have posts emailed to your inbox. 2. Subscribe to the RSS Feed or 3. “like” Newschool Nomads on Facebook (Just make sure to check subscribe if you want it to show up in your feed.) Simple dimple!

Like food and fitness? Follow along as I film a workout in every state and explore finding a healthy balance on the road at Girl Heroes!

Share this:

About Jenn

I'm Jenn and I'm so happy you stopped by our little corner of the web. My favorite moments are cuddling with my boys, listening to the purrs of my cat, and sipping warm cups of tea. The smell of orange blossoms conjures up delightful memories of childhood even though I grew up in Indiana hundreds of miles from citrus groves. I love animals and when I'm stressed I dream of owning a goat farm. I love art, road trips, books, and food. Vintage clothes make me ridiculously happy. Red lipstick is my friend.

View all posts by Jenn

8 Responses to “The Wild Horses of Assateague Island”

  1. Tamara Says:

    Oh my goodness!! That’s incredible. I didn’t even know about these wild horses… thank you for sharing!


  2. Krystal S Says:

    o.m.g….I am squealing along with you! We did not drive to the Maryland side and I am having deep regret over that after seeing all the wild horses you did encounter. This would have been one of the highlights of our travels to be sure! Thank you for sharing it so I could enjoy it this way at least.


  3. Weewa Says:

    I love the ending to this post. After reading the previous one I just felt so brokenhearted for you (but being your Mom I knew you had seen them) but nevertheless it was like reading a book and waiting to see how it ends. So happy Brent and you took the extra time and effort to experience the “Wild Horses of Assateague.” Looks like a wonderful place to visit. πŸ™‚


  4. Kae Says:

    Beautiful pictures! I’ve wanted to go there since I was a little girl, and perhaps I’ll make it there one day. Of all the photos, I love the one of you reading to your kids… brought a tear to my eye and made me happy…


  5. Kerri Says:

    I know I am a little late to the rodeo, but wanted to leave you a comment about this post. I am reading through all of your posts and really enjoying them, but I can SO relate to this one.

    Misty was one of my very favorite books when I was little. My eleven year old daughter is reading (and loving) it right now. In fact, just as I clicked on this post, she came in and picked it up off my bed (where she’d been reading earlier) and I was like “hey, look at this! This post is about Misty and Chincoteague/Assateague!” Thought that was a pretty cool coincidence and she loved seeing the pictures of the wild horses!

    We are hoping to hit the road in our little, old rig in a few weeks. This is our 16th year to homeschool (my son is grown) and we are so looking forward to roadschooling! Love your blog and your pictures…

    Have a great day!
    Kerri in AL πŸ™‚


    • jennincat Says:

      Well I’m late to the rodeo too. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by and that is so cool about your daughter! Good luck on your adventure. How exciting! You will have the time of your life!!! πŸ™‚


  6. Brook L. Says:

    Just found your blog! Yay! We have homeschooled for 5 years and it would be a dream to travel with our 24 foot trailer and experience life like this. Maybe one day. I have recently begun using kettlebells too…20 minutes a day..6 days a week. I needed something doable at 35 and having 4 kids…youngest is 8’s not getting any eaiser to stay fit. Anyway, i just wanted to stop in and say hello. Blessings to you and your family!


  7. Bryan Thomas Says:

    It’s so cool to see a family from the West Coast enjoy our local resources here in Maryland. We live relatively close to Assateague and love visiting. We just started our adventure this year and can’t wait to get to California. Heading to Florida for the FTF reunion before we head West!


Leave a Reply