Poetic Ponies and Childhood Dreams

assateague pony

Poetic ponies and childhood dreams….say what?

The only thing today’s post has to do with my usual writing theme (other than the fact that I am writing this post right now) is that it’s about an article I wrote for the travel blog Budget Travel with Gabby.

But this post is also about dreams coming true, which seems a very literary bent to me. And it’s about traveling–the ultimate escape, whether it’s literal or in the pages of a novel or even non-fiction book.

wild assateague horses

What the heck are you talking about?

I recently fulfilled a childhood dream of seeing the wild horses at the Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland. I’m sure some of you are familiar with Marguerite Henry‘s children’s book, Misty of Chincoteague. (Assateague…Chincoteague…confused? You should be. Read on.)

wild assateague horses

That book (which perhaps indirectly inspired my own children’s book, Shannon’s Odyssey) initiated my intense desire to see the wild ponies for myself. After all, other than seeing wild mustangs in the west, what could top witnessing these gorgeous creatures at the beach, being themselves with little human intervention?

Henry’s book also fueled my already considerable passion for horses, which manifested itself in adolescence as a shelf filled with fiction and non-fiction horse books, and another shelf crammed with plastic models of horses in every shape and color, from the raging Appaloosa stallion with mane permanently cresting, to the petite, honey-and-cream-cloaked Misty herself.

Get to the point, please

Before I go too far down Memory Lane, let me pull myself back and get to the point: After encountering logistical confusion while planning my trip to Assateague, I decided to help future travelers by penning the ultimate, best guide on how to visit Assateague and see the wild horses. Such a resource was not to be found when doing my research. Just for starters, who owns this land and which state is it in? And are these Assateague horses or Chincoteague ponies?

My daughter graciously agreed to publish my travel article on her blog, Budget Travel with Gabby, which offers budget travel tips and guides, and stories of volunteering around the world.

wild assateague horses foal

Equally thrilling, I met an amazing wildlife photographer on Assateague, Joe Bainbridge, who allowed me to use his gorgeous photos in the article on Gabby’s blog. I am also highlighting a few of his shots in this piece; to me, they capture the poetry that is wild ponies. And his images are a sight better than what I got with my phone!

If you like horses, or travel, or saving money when you travel, check out the article and the blog.

2 thoughts on “Poetic Ponies and Childhood Dreams

  1. My husband and I traveled to see the ponies more than 20 years ago. What a wonderful trip! We took a small boat tour around the island (I think the Virginia portion, which tourists aren’t allowed on). We still have some wonderful pictures.

    1. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, IMHO. Even though they are somewhat acclimated to humans, the NPS does a good job keeping people at a distance and maintaining the horses’ wild mindset. It was fun stepping into THEIR world instead of the other way around.

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